Archive for category 2012 Passat

Tour of the Volkswagen Chattanooga Passat Plant

A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to visit the Volkswagen manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, TN, where the 2012 Passat is made. This was a rare opportunity, so to make sure I made the most of the trip, I came loaded with a number of your questions, along with my own. I’ve posted answers to the most popular and unique inquiries at the bottom of this post. Before I get to that, I’d like to take you along as I look back at my tour of the 1,400-acre facility.

The Chattanooga plant can currently produce up to 150,000 vehicles per year. Many of you asked if Volkswagen has plans to expand production to an additional model at the current location; beyond what I outline below, I did find out that the Chattanooga plant location has enough unused acreage nearby for a mirror plant to be constructed in the future. So stay tuned!

Check out the embedded video below to see monstrous machines that transform 4,700 welds into a car, vehicles being started for the very first time, and a clip of me braving my way through the monsoon weather simulator that tests for paint and seal quality. In addition to the monsoon simulator, all new cars receive four-wheel alignment and are driven down a cobblestone road to check the suspension and listen for unwanted interior sounds. To further uphold top-notch quality, two Passats are taken off the line daily and disassembled. Once they’re given the green light, approximately 85 percent of the vehicles are shipped to dealers via train to reduce energy consumption.

On the topic of sustainability, Volkswagen has incorporated a plethora of features into the design of the Chattanooga facility that make it the only LEED Platinum Certified auto plant in the world. What is LEED? Simply put, LEED provides building owners and operators a way to identify and implement energy-efficient, eco-conscious solutions for design, construction and operations.

The plant has implemented a storm water management plan that protects receiving stream channels from excessive erosion, promotes infiltration, and captures and treats the storm water runoff from 90 percent of the average annual rainfall. Volkswagen also installed a highly reflective white roof membrane that minimizes heat by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Lastly, six-inch mineral rock wool panels insulate the plant walls to reduce building energy consumption by 35 percent.

Even though this is an efficient, eco-conscious plant, the real magic behind the high quality vehicles that roll off the line lies with the employees. Each new employee is enrolled in six to ten weeks of classroom and physical training, including weight-lifting and cardiovascular exercises, before beginning work on the line. What’s more, Volkswagen offers an onsite degree program that includes classes alongside their paid work time for employees who want to earn their BAs and MBAs.

If you could build your own Passat, what options would you select?

Inquiries from Facebook Fans:

Are factory tours available?

Yes, there are eight tours a week, Tuesday to Friday at both 9am and 1:30pm. You can email tours@vw.com to set up a time, but keep in mind that it’s usually necessary to book several weeks in advance.

Are there any plans for factory deliveries?

Not at this time, unfortunately. Vehicles can only be picked up at dealerships.

Any other plans for other models to be built in Chattanooga?

Not at the moment, but this is being considered as a future possibility. There are currently plans to increase capacity from 150,000 to 180,000 a year with the addition of a third team.

Is the Passat TDI Premium available with a 6-speed manual transmission?

Yes!

What is the average rate for completing one full standard model?

In Chattanooga, cars come off the line every minute and 40 seconds, which equals about 35 cars an hour. What’s more amazing is that many suppliers have parts shipping to the plant just two hours before they are actually put on cars.

Why build a plant in the US?

Efficiency. Eighty-five percent of suppliers for the Passat are in North America, which keep shipping costs to a minimum. Additionally, building in the US allows Volkswagen to understand the customer better, react quicker to market needs and bypass fluctuation in currency exchange rates.

I would love more info on Volkswagen’s state of the art paint center.

The state-of-the-art paint shop has new technologies that will make it the most technologically advanced in the world. My favorite of those, which you can see in the embedded video, is the “E-Shuttle.” This new conveyor technology allows carriers to rotate the car bodies in a phosphate bath and electro deposition bath versus dipping them. These carriers can be programmed like robots and can maneuver vehicles 360 degrees. They can also enter the bath at a steeper decline. Because of this, it allows the dip tanks to be smaller, saving chemicals, water, and energy. This process provides the vehicle corrosion resistance and acts as a foundation for subsequent paint coatings.

Is the plant still hiring?

Yes. In March, VW announced it was hiring 800 more employees for a third team by the end of 2012. This will bring employee total to approximately 3,500. VW is looking nationwide for candidates and noted that there is currently a high demand for service/maintenance technicians for the robots.

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Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com names the 2012 Volkswagen Passat Top Family Car

Herndon, VA — The 2012 Passat can add yet another accolade to its growing roster of awards: It has been named by Kelley Blue Book’s www.kbb.com as the number-one pick for its 10 Best Family Cars of 2012 list. Each year, the expert editors at kbb.com choose 10 vehicles that they feel address a wide selection of typical familial concerns, ranging from safety, comfort, child-friendliness and favorable consumer ratings to potential out-of-pocket costs during the car’s first five years of ownership.

The Passat—starting at $19,995, with class-leading rear-seat legroom and parent-friendly standard features like Bluetooth® technology and dual-zone climate control—represents a tremendous value for any modern family. And, with the option of a TDI® Clean Diesel engine that gets an EPA estimated 43 mpg on the highway and a range of up to 795 miles when equipped with a manual transmission, the Passat can also be an eco-conscious family-hauling machine.

In naming the Passat their number one pick, kbb.com editors said: “Crafted specifically for the American market—it’s even built in Chattanooga, Tennessee—the 2012 Volkswagen Passat is both larger and cheaper than the model it replaces. But the European driving dynamics and interior feel remain, making the new Passat a uniquely well-rounded family sedan and our best family car of 2012.”

“We’re flattered to have the Passat recognized as the best family car of 2012 by the editors at Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com, a company that is highly regarded by both the automotive industry and consumers,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “Such acknowledgement further validates our efforts to make it the first affordable, midsize German-engineered car for the American family. And it’s built in America!”

For more information about kbb.com’s 10 Best Family Cars of 2012, visit
http://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/10-best-family-cars-of-2012/.

To learn more about the 2012 Passat’s other accolades, visit media.vw.com.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers.

Notes:
This press release and images of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat are available at media.vw.com

“VW”, “Volkswagen”, “TDI” all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. “Bluetooth” is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG.

Features and technical data apply to models offered in the USA. They may differ in other countries.

Vehicle range based on EPA highway estimate and 18.5 gallon fuel tank. Your mileage will vary.

All prices are MSRPs and exclude taxes, title, transportation, options and dealer charges.

About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)

Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website http://www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies. Kbb.com provides consumer pricing and information on minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs. Kelley Blue Book Co. Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader.com.

ABOUT BOARDWALK AUTO GROUP VOLKSWAGEN DEALERS

Boardwalk Auto Group has three Volkswagen Dealerships serving the North Dallas community. Boardwalk Volkswagen, located in Richardson, Texas, was recently named 2012 Volkswagen Dealer of the Year for Texas by DealerRater® reflecting on the dealer’s commitment to unparalleled customer service. Park Cities Volkswagen and McKinney Volkswagen have also become two of the Highest-Rated DealerRater Certified Volkswagen Dealers in Texas.  For more information about Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers, please visit www.DallasVWDealers.com. 

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Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com names the 2012 Volkswagen Passat Top Family Car

Herndon, VA — The 2012 Passat can add yet another accolade to its growing roster of awards: It has been named by Kelley Blue Book’s www.kbb.com as the number-one pick for its 10 Best Family Cars of 2012 list. Each year, the expert editors at kbb.com choose 10 vehicles that they feel address a wide selection of typical familial concerns, ranging from safety, comfort, child-friendliness and favorable consumer ratings to potential out-of-pocket costs during the car’s first five years of ownership.

The Passat—starting at $19,995, with class-leading rear-seat legroom and parent-friendly standard features like Bluetooth® technology and dual-zone climate control—represents a tremendous value for any modern family. And, with the option of a TDI® Clean Diesel engine that gets an EPA estimated 43 mpg on the highway and a range of up to 795 miles when equipped with a manual transmission, the Passat can also be an eco-conscious family-hauling machine.

In naming the Passat their number one pick, kbb.com editors said: “Crafted specifically for the American market—it’s even built in Chattanooga, Tennessee—the 2012 Volkswagen Passat is both larger and cheaper than the model it replaces. But the European driving dynamics and interior feel remain, making the new Passat a uniquely well-rounded family sedan and our best family car of 2012.”

“We’re flattered to have the Passat recognized as the best family car of 2012 by the editors at Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com, a company that is highly regarded by both the automotive industry and consumers,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “Such acknowledgement further validates our efforts to make it the first affordable, midsize German-engineered car for the American family. And it’s built in America!”

For more information about kbb.com’s 10 Best Family Cars of 2012, visit
http://www.kbb.com/car-news/all-the-latest/10-best-family-cars-of-2012/.

To learn more about the 2012 Passat’s other accolades, visit media.vw.com.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen’s operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Beetle, Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, Touareg and Routan vehicles through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers.

Notes:
This press release and images of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat are available at media.vw.com

“VW”, “Volkswagen”, “TDI” all model names and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. “Bluetooth” is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG.

Features and technical data apply to models offered in the USA. They may differ in other countries.

Vehicle range based on EPA highway estimate and 18.5 gallon fuel tank. Your mileage will vary.

All prices are MSRPs and exclude taxes, title, transportation, options and dealer charges.

About Kelley Blue Book (www.kbb.com)

Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website http://www.kbb.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In and Retail Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies as well as governmental agencies. Kbb.com provides consumer pricing and information on minivans, pickup trucks, sedan, hybrids, electric cars, and SUVs. Kelley Blue Book Co. Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AutoTrader.com.

ABOUT BOARDWALK AUTO GROUP VOLKSWAGEN DEALERS

Boardwalk Auto Group has three Volkswagen Dealerships serving the North Dallas community. Boardwalk Volkswagen, located in Richardson, Texas, was recently named 2012 Volkswagen Dealer of the Year for Texas by DealerRater® reflecting on the dealer’s commitment to unparalleled customer service. Park Cities Volkswagen and McKinney Volkswagen have also become two of the Highest-Rated DealerRater Certified Volkswagen Dealers in Texas.  For more information about Boardwalk Auto Group Volkswagen Dealers, please visit www.DallasVWDealers.com. 

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Volkswagen Chattanooga Earns LEED Platinum

  • First Automotive Manufacturer to Reach Top Green Building Standard
  • Both Volkswagen Factory and Volkswagen Academy Awarded Platinum Certification

Chattanooga, Tenn. — Volkswagen’s Chattanooga manufacturing plant has received a platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) green building certification program. The facility is the first and only automotive manufacturing plant in the world to receive the Platinum certification.

Platinum certification recognizes the highest level of performance.

“Because Volkswagen has a longstanding, worldwide commitment to sustainable mobility and environmentally responsible manufacturing, we are proud to have achieved the LEED Platinum certification at our Chattanooga manufacturing facility,” said Hubert Waltl, member of the board of management of Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand for production and logistics.

“Volkswagen Chattanooga’s LEED Platinum certification is the fulfillment of a promise that Volkswagen has made around the world and in this community that we will work in harmony with the environment,” said Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga. Our commitment to building a LEED certified factory began in the planning and design stages,” Fischer said, “I believe that this not only helped insure that we would achieve Platinum status, but was actually a very cost effective way to implement environmentally responsible building methods,” he said.

The ultra-clean paint shop alone will save 50 million gallons of water in ten years.

“Volkswagen is clearly committed to the US market;” said Jonathan Browning, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “During the worst recession in the past century we never wavered with our investment of a billion dollars to create this world class facility. This certification underscores Volkswagen’s commitment to engineering excellence.”

LEED certification is an internationally-recognized green building certification system developed by the USGBC in March of 2000. LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through a suite of rating systems that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance.

Aspects of the plant that earned LEED recognition include:

  • Superior insulation provided by six inches of mineral rock wool, resulting in 720,000 Kilowatts per year savings
  • Green power from the local hydroelectric dam
  • Use of LED lighting on the exterior results in 68% less energy used, up to 262,500 kWh per year and a reduction in light pollution.
  • Rainwater collected and reused to flush toilets and cool the welding machines
  • White roof membrane is highly reflective, minimizing heat island effect by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Natural flowing creeks to capture heavy rains and restore a natural habitat
  • Low-flow water fixtures and no-touch sensors throughout the plant reduce water usage by 30%.
  • Plant was built on a brownfield property with no destruction of untouched nature. Protected 100 ft. wide creeks and wetlands were established to create natural habitats with low impact on natural habitats.

The Volkswagen Academy was also certified by USGBA as a Platinum LEED facility. The primary purpose of the Volkswagen Academy is to prepare new employees for work at the Volkswagen plant. In conjunction with Chattanooga State and Tennessee Tech, the Academy also offers an Industrial Technology degree and an apprenticeship program.

“We are very pleased that the Volkswagen Academy has been Platinum LEED certified, because this reflects the level of excellence that we expect and produce in the academy,” said Hans-Herbert Jagla, EVP of Human Resources.

“Building operations are nearly 40% of the solution to the global climate change challenge,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO & Founding Chair, U.S. Green Building Council. “While climate change is a global problem, innovative companies like Volkswagen Chattanooga are addressing it through local solutions.”

Volkswagen Chattanooga produces the all-new 2012 Passat, which has recently been named Motor Trend magazine’s 2012 Car of the Year, as well as having earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick rating, the highest possible from the non-profit safety research organization. The Passat TDI – the only clean diesel option in the midsize segment – is rated at 43 mpg highway, with a range of nearly 800 miles.

About U.S. Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council is the nation’s foremost coalition of leaders from across the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. More information on USGBC can be found at www.usgbc.org.

About Volkswagen Chattanooga

Volkswagen will invest $1 billion in the local economy for the Chattanooga plant and create more than 2,000 direct jobs in the region. According to independent studies, the new Volkswagen plant is expected to generate $12 billion in income growth and an additional 9,500 jobs related to the project. The Chattanooga manufacturing facility builds the all-new 2012 Passat sedan, specially designed for the North American market and winner of the Motor Trend magazine 2012 Car of the Year award.

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Passat's proudest moment: Volkswagen Passat named Motor Trend 2012 Car of the Year

They grow up so fast. It seems like just yesterday that the first Volkswagen Passat rolled off the production line at our state-of-the art factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We’ve always thought highly of the Passat, and as it turns out, we’re not alone: no less an automotive authority than Motor Trend named the Passat the 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year. In a field of 35 vehicles, the American-made midsize sedan took top honors. The award was presented to Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen of America, by Motor Trend Editor-in-Chief Angus Mackenzie during a press conference at the 2011 LA Auto Show. Needless to say, we’re thrilled.

Not only did Motor Trend designate the Passat as the best new car for 2012, but they also said think that it outclasses the current segment leaders: The Passat SE, TDI SE and VR6 SEL each came out on top in comparisons against comparable models of the 2011 and 2012 Hyundai Sonata and 2012 Toyota Camry.

The German-engineered and designed Passat delivers the complete Volkswagen driving experience. Make that experience last as long as possible in the Passat TDI Clean Diesel model, which gets an estimated 43 MPG* and can go up to 795 miles before refueling. Tell your passengers to feel free to stretch out in its tastefully designed interior and get comfy for that long drive, because the Passat also offers class-leading rear-seat legroom, automatic dual-zone climate control and standard Bluetooth®. Even when you reach your destination, you and your passengers may not want to get out of the car, thanks to the crisp, booming sound provided by the optional Fender Premium Audio System, designed exclusively for Volkswagen.

No matter where the Passat (and the music) take you, everyone inside can rest easy knowing that the Passat is also an IIHS Top Safety Pick award winner. The Passat features six airbags, tire pressure monitoring, ABS, and electronic stability control to help drivers avoid many dangerous situations before they happen. It’s also built with high-strength steel and constructed using advanced techniques like laser seam welding.

All that cool lasering and construction takes place at our LEED-aggressive manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, one of the world’s most advanced and energy-efficient assembly plants. The plant uses recycled rainwater to supply water for daily operations at the factory, helping to save 350,000 gallons of fresh water every month, and its paint shop’s Eco Dry Scrubber System reduces water consumption by 50,000 gallons a day. The plant also uses energy efficient technologies that will save the annual energy use of 1,880 households. In addition to creating the Passat, the plant has also created more than 12,000 new jobs for American workers and invested $1 billion dollars in economic development in Tennessee that will create $12 billion in economic growth for the region.

The 2012 Passat arrived in showrooms in September and is available now. And best of all, Passat models start at only $19,995*.

The Volkswagen Passat:  German engineered. American made. Universally loved.

Tell us: what do you like most about the Car of the Year?

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Love at first Passat: The first 2012 Passat is sold in San Jose, California

From the man who knows everything: An insider’s view of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat

*43 highway mpg EPA estimates for 2012 Passat TDI® Clean Diesel equipped with manual transmission. Your mileage will vary.

Range based on 43 highway mpg EPA estimate and an 18.5-gallon tank in the 2012 Passat with optional TDI® Clean Diesel engine and manual transmission. Your mileage will vary.

Estimated selling price is the base MSRP for the model and trim selected. Final payment will be based on the transaction negotiated with your Volkswagen dealer. Estimated selling price does not include dealer charges, destination charge, taxes, title and registration or optional equipment.

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From the man who knows everything: An insider's view of the 2012 Volkswagen Passat

At Volkswagen, our product managers are a bit like parents: they know things about our cars that most people don’t, and they say embarrassing things like, “I remember when you were just a CAD design!” But when the production model rolls off the line and into the real world, no one is prouder—and Passat Product Manager Serban Boldea is certainly no exception.

At our recent Full-Line Dynamic Drive event, we let the proud poppa and Passat Product Manager do what he loves best: take a spin in his beloved Passat TDI.

“It’s a fun car to drive,” says Serban. “You don’t have to give up anything to get the great fuel economy. You still get the driver’s car, you still get to have fun going through corners, but you can go down the interstate and get over 40 miles per gallon.” The Passat also features available leather seating surfaces with Dinamica inserts for added comfort, which is a good thing; with a fuel range of nearly 800 miles, you could find yourself sitting in those seats for a long, long time. But don’t worry—the dual zone climate control feature will ensure that you and your passengers enjoy the entire journey.

And Serban’s not just showing a parental bias when he says that he loves the optional nine-speaker 400-watt Fender Premium Sound System. He describes it as “the absolute nicest surprise.” As he puts it, “You start listening to the music and the crispness of the sound is just unmatched.”

To hear more of Serban’s thoughts on the Passat, watch the video below.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa5eUueQ-Js

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2012 Passat Commercial: Vámonos

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsTqGa2gd0E&hd=1

With the all-new 2012 Passat TDI Clean Diesel, you can drive almost 800 miles between refueling, so plan your road trips accordingly.

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