UTK study: Volkswagen adds millions to area economy
by Special to the Banner
Jun 09, 2013 | 979 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AN AERIAL VIEW shows the scope and size of Chattanooga’s Volkswagen car manufacturing plant. A recent study showed the plant has added millions of dollars to the area’s economy. Contributed photo
AN AERIAL VIEW shows the scope and size of Chattanooga’s Volkswagen car manufacturing plant. A recent study showed the plant has added millions of dollars to the area’s economy. Contributed photo
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CHATTANOOGA — A University of Tennessee research study released last week showed local incomes and tax revenues had been increased by millions of dollars since Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant opened for production.

The study said the presence of the plant created 12,400 full-time jobs at Volkswagen, at suppliers and in the economy. It was also said to be responsible for $643.1 million in annual incomes and an increase in state and local tax revenues of $53.5 million annually.

The UTK study stated the 12,400 jobs number comes from the fact the Chattanooga plant directly employs 2,415 employees and indirectly employs 9,985 employees through the suppliers and other companies where Volkswagen spends its earnings, plus “multiplier effects.” The company has attracted 17 supplier companies to the area.

Of the $643.1 million Volkswagen pays, $159.2 million is paid directly to Volkswagen employees. Those who are indirectly kept employed by the company’s production were said to have made $483.9 million in income due to multiplier effects.

The study also found all employees paid directly by Volkswagen Chattanooga earned on average at least $50,000 in 2012, which includes bonus, benefits and overtime.

“The people of Tennessee, Hamilton County and Chattanooga made a commitment to Volkswagen in 2008,” said Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “I’m pleased this report shows our project has been very successful, and the investment has proved to be a wise one.”

The study estimated the Volkswagen plant increased state and local tax revenues by $53.5 million annually. State revenue tax is estimated to increase $31.2 million, and local revenue tax is expected to increase $22.3 million.

Volkswagen has invested $1 billion in the local economy for the Chattanooga plant, according to a company representative.

The Chattanooga manufacturing facility builds the all-new 2012 Passat Sedan, which was specifically designed for the North American market and won the Motor Trend magazine 2012 Car of the Year award. In 2012, it produced more than 152,400 Volkswagen Passat sedans. Employees reached the mark of having produced the 250,000th car in May.