Archive for category Boardwalk Auto Group

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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Boardwalk Auto Group’s Hot Summer Nights Car Show to Benefit Camp Sweeney

Boardwalk Auto Group is hosting its fourth Hot Summer Nights Car Show on Saturday, June 23rd from 6 pm – 9 pm under the tents between its Boardwalk Porsche and Boardwalk Audi Showrooms in Plano, TX. All of the proceeds will go to Camp Sweeney located in Gainesville, Texas benefiting children with diabetes.

The Car Show will feature everything from new exotic cars from Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Maserati to custom hot rods from the 60’s. Awards will be given out for the best cars in each of the following seven classes – Italian, German, American, British, Japanese, Vintage and People’s Choice.

Mooyah burgers, drinks and snow cones will be available for a small donation. Attendees will also have the opportunity to get their picture taken with an exotic sports car of their choice. Competitive Camera will be on hand to provide 8 X 10 photos on the spot for anyone making a donation.

The Cover Down Band will be providing live music all night and the event is free and open to anyone interested in seeing or displaying their car and helping out a great organization like Camp Sweeney.

Brian Ongaro, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Boardwalk Auto Group said, “Our Hot Summer Nights Car Shows attract great cars, owners and spectators from throughout the Dallas Metroplex. When we have the opportunity to benefit a great organization like Camp Sweeney while sharing our passion for fine automobiles, that makes for an outstanding event.”

About Boardwalk Auto Group

Boardwalk Auto Group is one of the premier auto groups in the nation representing Porsche, Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Volkswagen. Learn more about Boardwalk Auto Group at http://www.BoardwalkAutoGroup.com.

About Camp Sweeney

After more than 60 years of operation, Camp Sweeney is regarded as one of the largest and most effective diabetes educational facilities in the world. Camp Sweeney offers the only 3-week residential diabetic life skills training program in the United States. Campers learn to recognize and treat the early warning signs of dangerously high and low blood sugar levels. By coaching the skills necessary to maintain tight control of their diabetes, they are equipping this generation to minimize the complications of diabetes in hopes that they will be good candidates once the cure for diabetes is available.

Southwestern Diabetic Foundation, Inc., a non-profit corporation, was founded in 1947 with the sole purpose of operating a residential camp for children who have diabetes. Camp Sweeney opened in 1950, under the direction of Dr. J. Shirley Sweeney, a Dallas endocrinologist, and has provided a positive turning point in the lives of more than 30,000 children.

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Boardwalk Auto Group 2nd Annual Spring Exotic Poker Run

Over 130 Boardwalk Auto Group customers and their guests participated in the 2nd Annual Spring Exotic Poker Run on Saturday, May 19th. Participants met at Lamborghini Dallas in the morning where they received their first card and a list of clues as to where the find the next three cards. Locations included Southfork Ranch, the Heard Museum and Aero Country East Airpark in McKinney.

The final destination was Boardwalk Ferrari/Maserati where the group enjoyed a catered lunch and received their fifth and final card. The top six hands won prizes including American Express Gift Cards and merchandise from Boardwalk Porsche, Lamborghini Dallas and Boardwalk Ferrari/Maserati. The Dallas Stars Ice Girls helped hand out the cards, as well as the prizes which also included signed merchandise from the Dallas Stars. It was fun day for all involved.

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Boardwalk Auto Group Spring Concorso Gallery

Boardwalk Auto Group congratulates the following winners:

1st Place Italian – David & Barb Halpin – Ferrari 458 Italia (w/Graphics Wrap)

2nd Place Italian – Don Patty – Ferrari 328GTB

3rd Place Italian – Will Huber – Ferrari 348TS

Best In Show – Lorenzo Triana – Mercedes Benz 300SL

Most Unique – Brendan Hinds – Audi S5

British Class – Rachel Hardin – Lotus Esprit

German Class – Chuck Lawson – Porsche 356

American Class – Don Seibert – Chevrolet Corvette

[cincopa AULAK0qJ-XTS]

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Audi reports best U.S. February sales in its history; 14th consecutive record-setting month

  • New vehicle sales up 10% vs. February 2011, and an increase of 14.9% YTD growth compared to 2011
  • Sales propelled by demand for top two premium categories, representing more than 25% of the sales mix, and strong TDI® clean diesel sales
  • Certified Pre-Owned sales of 2,865 vehicles marks second-best February on record, an increase of 11.2% over the same period in 2011

Audi reported its 14th straight record-setting month of sales with 8,531 luxury vehicles sold in February 2012. The results surpassed the prior February record set in 2011 by 778 vehicles. Closing in on a promising first quarter, year-over-year vehicle sales increased 10% over February 2011, and recorded 14.9% year-to-date growth compared to 2011.

“Audi continues to lead the high-end sector of the luxury car market in the U.S. Our superior lineup boasts the most technologically advanced and exceptionally engineered vehicles that Audi has ever produced,” said Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen. “We are optimistic that Audi is on track to make 2012 another banner year for the company.”

February results were buoyed by strong performance in the top two premium categories, with sales for the Audi A6 increasing 63.6% over 2011, and continued strong sales of 584 vehicles for the design-forward Audi A7, which was launched in the U.S. market in April 2011.

Other highlights include:

  • February 2012 ranks as the best February in Audi of America history, eclipsing the previous record set last year.
  • 2012 Audi A6 sales up 63.6%, compared to February 2011.
  • Audi A3 sales up 21.5%, compared to February 2011.
  • Sales of Audi Q5 increased 14%, compared to February 2011; Audi Q7 inventory extremely limited due to low supply.
  • Audi TT sales up 15.2% vs. February 2011, boosted by increased demand for the Audi TT Coupe.
  • Sales mix for Audi TDI clean diesel models finished the month at 53.9% for the A3 TDI on 253 TDI models sold, and 36.7% for the supply restricted Q7 TDI on 137 models sold.
  • Audi Certified pre-owned sales of 2,865 vehicles mark an increase of 11.2%, compared to the same period in 2011; Southern and Western regions set new all-time records for February.
  • For the record-setting month of February 2012, three Audi models recorded year-over-year sales increases of 15% or more, including the Audi A3, the Audi A6, and the Audi TT models.


ABOUT AUDI

Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. AUDI AG is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. Audi was a top-performing luxury brand in Europe during 2011, and broke all-time company sales records in the U.S. Through 2016, AUDI AG will invest about $17 billion on new products and technologies. Visit http://www.audiusa.com or http://www.audiusanews.com for more information regarding Audi vehicle and business issues.

AUDI US SNAPSHOT –YTD–
Model Line Feb. ’12 Actual Feb. ’11 Actual Yr/Yr % change Feb. ’12 YTD Actual Feb. ’11 YTD Actual Yr/Yr % change
A3 469 386 21.5% 1,054 1,101 -4.3%
A4 2,719 2,770 -1.8% 5,395 5,253 2.7%
A5 1,119 1,142 -2.0% 1,997 2,196 -9.1%
A6 972 594 63.6% 2,102 1,188 76.9%
A7 584 0 0.0% 1,227 0 0.0%
A8 323 361 -10.5% 647 811 -20.2%
Audi Q5 1,754 1,539 14.0% 3,745 3,123 19.9%
Audi Q7 373 742 -49.7% 1,239 1,498 -17.3%
R8 74 94 -21.3% 153 173 -11.6%
TT 144 125 15.2% 326 222 46.8%
Total Audi Sales 8,531 7,753 10.0% 17,885 15,565 14.9%
Total CPO Sales 2,865 2,577 11.2% 5,435 4,809 13.0%

NOTES:
– 2010 A4 numbers include Audi A4 sedan, Avant, and S4 models. 2009 A4 numbers include A4 cabriolet, which has been discontinued.
– 2010 A5 numbers include Audi A5 cabriolet and coupe’ and S5 cabriolet and coupe’
models. 2009 A5 numbers do not include the cabriolet models.
– A6 includes Audi A6 sedan, S6 sedan and A6 Avant models.
-All-new A7 model sales began in april 2011.
– 2010 A8 includes Audi A8 sedan, A8L sedan, and S8 sedan models. 2011 A8 includes Audi A8 sedan and A8L sedan.
– TT includes Audi TT coupe’ and TT roadster models.

 

About Boardwalk Audi
DealerRater recently named Boardwalk Audi 2012 Audi Dealer of the Year for the State of Texas. With its distinctive 42,000 square foot dealership–the largest in the Audi USA dealer portfolio—Boardwalk Audi is committed to interlacing Audi’s unparalleled engineering prowess with exceptional service performance. As a member of Boardwalk Auto Group, Boardwalk Audi cultivates a focus on top-flight performance.

About Boardwalk Auto Group  
Boardwalk Auto Group is one of the premier auto groups in the nation representing Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, and Volkswagen. Learn more about Boardwalk Auto Group at http://www.BoardwalkAutoGroup.com.

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Boardwalk Auto Group Has Chosen Trade Secret as Boardwalk Audi’s Preferred Authorized Collision Repair Center

Boardwalk Auto Group is proud to announce that they have chosen Trade Secret as their preferred Audi Authorized Collision Repair Center. Trade Secret was recently certified for Audi aluminum frame and body repair, the second of only two centers in the State of Texas.

“This is a significant acknowledgment by Boardwalk Auto Group and Boardwalk Audi of Trade Secret’s commitment to the highest quality repair of their clients’ automobiles,” said Tom Lhotan, President of Trade Secret. “Repairing aluminum has introduced a totally new level of technical expertise and certification. It’s the next level of service, further enhancing our commitment to total customer satisfaction,” said Tom Lhotan.

Trade Secret’s Audi Authorized Collision Repair Center certification comes after a $200,000 investment in facilities, training, machinery and tooling made specifically for the repair of aluminum Audi’s, specifically the R8, A8 and the TT. Aluminum repair requires near hospital-like sterile conditions to avoid the cross contamination of steel and aluminum.

Brian Ongaro – Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Boardwalk Auto Group said, “Boardwalk knows that Trade Secret repairs each vehicle we send over as if it were their own. We have complete confidence that the collision repair will be done right, the first time.”

About Boardwalk Audi
DealerRater recently named Boardwalk Audi 2012 Audi Dealer of the Year for the State of Texas. With its distinctive 42,000 square foot dealership–the largest in the Audi USA dealer portfolio—Boardwalk Audi is committed to interlacing Audi’s unparalleled engineering prowess with exceptional service performance. As a member of Boardwalk Auto Group, Boardwalk Audi cultivates a focus on top-flight performance.

About Boardwalk Auto Group  
Boardwalk Auto Group is one of the premier auto groups in the nation representing Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, and Volkswagen. Learn more about Boardwalk Auto Group at http://www.BoardwalkAutoGroup.com.

About Trade Secret
Trade Secret has built their reputation as the finest body shop in the DFW area with the belief that it costs no more to do the job right. Learn more about Trade Secret at http://www.TradeSecretAuto.com.

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DealerRater® Names Boardwalk Audi 2012 Audi Dealer of the Year for the State of Texas

DealerRater, the world’s premier car dealer review web site, just announced the winners of the 2012 Dealer of the Year Award Program. Through this award program, 37 manufacturer categories were represented and Boardwalk Audi, located in Plano, Texas was named 2012 Audi Dealer of the Year for the State of Texas.

According to recent studies, 84% of Americans say online evaluations have an influence on their decision to purchase a product/service, and 73% of car shoppers now consult online dealership reviews.

“Consumers are increasingly relying on credible, third-party review sites like DealerRater to research prospective dealerships across multiple geographic areas and vehicle brands so as to find the right car dealer committed to quality customer service,” said Chip Grueter, President of DealerRater. “We congratulate Boardwalk Audi and look forward to their continued success.”

Brian Ongaro, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Boardwalk Auto Group said, “We are honored that Boardwalk Audi was named DealerRater 2012 Audi Dealer of the Year for Texas. We embrace the complete unbiased customer feedback and the transparency that DealerRater provides our entire team at Boardwalk Audi. We also want to take this opportunity to thank all of our team members for their unparalleled commitment to excellence, thus making this award a reality.”

The 2012 award winners demonstrated consistently high PowerScore ratings for customer satisfaction, placing them in the top of their class. The PowerScore is determined using a Bayesian algorithm that factors the dealership’s average DealerRater consumer rating and the total number of reviews written about the dealership during the 2011 calendar year.

The winners of the 2012 Dealer of the Year Awards were announced at the 2012 NADA & ATD Convention and Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada during a press conference on Sunday, February 5, 2012.

About Boardwalk Audi
With its distinctive 42,000 square foot dealership–the largest in the Audi USA dealer portfolio—Boardwalk Audi is committed to interlacing Audi’s unparalleled engineering prowess with exceptional service performance. As a member of Boardwalk Auto Group, Boardwalk Audi cultivates a focus on top-flight performance.

About Boardwalk Auto Group  
Boardwalk Auto Group is one of the premier auto groups in the nation representing Audi, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, and Volkswagen. Learn more about Boardwalk Auto Group at http://www.BoardwalkAutoGroup.com.

About DealerRater®
DealerRater was founded in 2002 as the first car dealer review website worldwide. DealerRater is the world’s #1 online resource for anyone seeking third-party information on automobile dealerships. DealerRater features more than 41,000 U.S. and Canadian car dealers, nearly 600,000 user reviews and over 1,000,000 cars for sale. DealerRater attracts more than 8 million consumers every year who visit the site to search for car dealerships, read current reviews, write their own descriptive reviews, and find car deals – all for free. Car dealers are rated on the criteria of customer service, quality of work, friendliness, price and overall experience. In addition, DealerRater offers qualified car dealers a Certified Dealer Program as a reputation management tool to help them grow their online presence and achieve higher SEO rankings across the Web. Today, more than 4,200 dealers are members of DealerRater’s Certification Program.

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