published Sunday, June 30th, 2013

$40 million VW center opens in Roane County, Tenn.

A new $40 million Volkswagen facility in East Tennessee will distribute domestic auto parts to global markets, including the Chattanooga-made Passat.

Located in Roane County, about an hour and a half from the automaker's VW production plant, the 459,000-square-foot facility addresses the need for increased warehouse and parts delivery to dealers and customers, the company said during a grand opening celebration last week.

The facility, which will employ about 45 people, will begin as a redistribution center to service warehouses and will later expand to include a parts distribution center. The redistribution depot will support the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Germany.

The distribution operation will help improve service parts order delivery times to over 110 dealers in the surrounding regions.

"This new facility serves as tangible proof of the clear commitment that Volkswagen Group of America has to meeting the needs of our dealers and our growing customer base," said Anu Goel, vice president of parts and vehicle logistics for the company.

Volkswagen Group has said it plans to invest more than $5 billion in North America over the next three years in new products, technologies and infrastructure aimed at helping the company reach its long-term goals for the region.

Gov. Bill Haslam, R-Tenn., said in a statement that focusing on growth in existing companies is "an important part of our strategy, and we appreciate the additional investment in our state."

A key part of VW's long-term growth commitment involves serving the needs of retail networks and consumers. VW operates five parts warehouses in the United States.

The Roane County center marks Volkswagen's fifth building in the U.S. to achieve Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design certification and the first among Volkswagen's warehouses. The VW plant in Chattanooga and its Herndon, Va., headquarters also have the LEED badge, according to the carmaker.

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