Two takes on VW's Tennessee facility

Volkswagen’s move to Chattanooga seen as a boon to its new home, a challenge to the rest of the region


While Tennessee officials %%MDASSML%% and one of the state’s leading newspapers %%MDASSML%% spent a good bit of time this week crowing about the arrival of Volkswagen in the state, others in the region took note and used it as a rallying cry to find ways to attract similar investment in the region.

The $1 billion Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga “brought an enormous sense of joy and satisfaction among those who have worked long and hard to make the goal achievable,” according to an editorial in The Tennesseean newspaper . The deal came with an estimated $81 million in tax incentives, and while the newspaper acknowledged the costs, it concluded that “It is no secret that Alabama and Michigan were eager competitors, so it's fair to say Tennessee had to at least have incentives ready to compete.”

They took note of that deal in South Carolina as well. The Greenville News discussed the megasite concept that Tennessee officials used to help draw VW to their state, and suggested that South Carolina do the same.

“Given the impact that Upstate South Carolina has seen from BMW Manufacturing's plant in Greer (BMW is directly and indirectly responsible for nearly 17,000 jobs in the state, according to a 2002 study by the University of South Carolina), it's a process that South Carolina needs to be involved in. If other automotive companies come south looking for a place to put their next plant, South Carolina needs to be ready with a site. If it doesn't have a site prepared, a potentially major employer will simply move on to the next state that does have a site ready.”

BMW’s efforts have already been recognized by Plant Engineering magazine with its 2006 Top Plant award.






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