published Monday, March 5th, 2012

VW assessing possible hail damage to cars at Chattanooga plant

Newly constructed “hail nets” shield new Passats at the Chattanooga Volkswagen production plant.
Newly constructed “hail nets” shield new Passats at the Chattanooga Volkswagen production plant.
Photo by Dan Henry.
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A Volkswagen official said Monday the automaker is bringing in experts to see if Passats awaiting shipment from its Chattanooga assembly plant were damaged by hail.

He said that as the storms approached Friday, VW workers drove some of the vehicles parked in the plant’s loading yard under its hail net, which is about 30 percent to 40 percent installed, said Guenther Scherelis, a VW spokesman.

Also, he said, VW workers transported some of the vehicles onto covered railroad transport cars on site. In addition, other Passats were moved back into the assembly plant.

But, Scherelis said, not all the cars were placed under cover, and those were undergoing scrutiny to assess damage.

VW is spending about $5 million on the massive hail net, made of a fabric, to protect much of its car loading yard.

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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