published Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

Volkswagen's Jagla leaves Chattanooga for post in Germany

Hans-Herbert Jagla, right, who oversaw the hiring of the Chattanooga plant's 3,200-strong workforce, is returning to Germany to be the human resources director of Volkswagen Group Retail Deutschland.
Hans-Herbert Jagla, right, who oversaw the hiring of the Chattanooga plant's 3,200-strong workforce, is returning to Germany to be the human resources director of Volkswagen Group Retail Deutschland.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

One of the top Volkswagen executives to steer the ramp up of its Chattanooga auto assembly plant has returned to Germany.

Hans-Herbert Jagla, who oversaw the hiring of the plant's 3,200-strong workforce, has become human resources director of Volkswagen Group Retail Deutschland.

Taking over for Jagla at the Chattanooga facility is Sebastian Patta, who was head of personnel at VW's plant in Braunschweig, Germany.

Jagla, 59, came to Chattanooga as executive vice president of human resources in 2008 while plant construction was still in its early stages.

He said in an interview that VW brought the idea of a passion for detail to the Chattanooga plant and the company's focus on engineering.

The city's workforce, in turn, offered "an excited and can-do spirit," he said, adding that Chattanooga's employees built an award-winning car in the Passat midsize sedan. "It was good to work in Chattanooga because of the community," he said, adding that the plant's gear-up was a success. "I'm proud of the people we hired in Tennessee."

Coming to Chattanooga from a post as human relations director at VW's headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, Jagla had been an outspoken advocate for developing more highly skilled workers in Tennessee.

He called for bettering efforts between companies and government to fill future slots at the VW plant and in other businesses. The official said that "education will determine the future ... in Tennessee. It's the most important thing."

Jagla said the work of the Chattanooga employees is the foundation for the plant's future. The VW official said the company has opened production plants worldwide and used that experience here. "That paid off and exceeded my expectations," Jagla said.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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