VW Chattanooga President Disputes Corker Statement On New Line Of SUVs And Union Vote; Corker Retorts

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga, on Thursday disputed a statement made by Senator Bob Corker at a press conference on Wednesday.

Mr. Fischer said, “There is no connection between our Chattanooga employees’ decision about whether to be represented by a union and the decision about where to build a new product for the U.S. market.”

Later in the morning, Senator Corker replied, "Believe me, the decisions regarding the Volkswagen expansion are not being made by anyone in management at the Chattanooga plant and we are also very aware Frank Fischer is having to use old talking points when he responds to press inquiries.

“After all these years and my involvement with Volkswagen, I would not have made the statement I made yesterday without being confident it was true and factual."

Senator Corker said Wednesday that Chattanooga will be getting the production of a second line of vehicles as long as the UAW is not voted in by employees.


He said, “I’ve had conversations today and based on those am assured that should the workers vote against the UAW, Volkswagen will announce in the coming weeks that it will manufacture its new mid-size SUV here in Chattanooga.”

His staff said, "As mayor of Chattanooga from 2001-2005, worked with officials and community leaders to develop the 1,200 acre Enterprise South Industrial Park, which is now home to Volkswagen's North American manufacturing headquarters.

"Much of the negotiation that led to Volkswagen choosing Chattanooga occurred around the dining room table of Corker’s Chattanooga home."

The voting began Wednesday and continues through Friday.

VW officials said, "Volkswagen has invested $1 billion in the local economy for the Chattanooga plant and has created more than 5,000 jobs in the region. According to independent studies, the Volkswagen plant is expected to generate $12 billion in income growth and an additional 9,500 jobs related to its investment."


PHOTOS: Back The Blue Walk

A group of family and friends of law enforcement. along with active and retired police officers, showed their support for law enforcement Saturday afternoon. They took part in the Back the Blue Walk from Ross's Landing to Coolidge Park. (click for more)

Upcoming City Council Agenda For Tuesday

Here is the upcoming City Council agenda for Tuesday: I. Call to Order. II. Pledge of Allegiance/Invocation (Councilman Gilbert). III. Minute Approval. IV. Special Presentation. V. Ordinances – Final Reading: ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT a. An ordinance to amend Chattanooga City Code, Part II, Chapter 26, Section 26-33, Outdoor Fee Changes to ... (click for more)

Olympic Events On The Ocoee River Made History – But It Wasn’t Easy

It started with a simple “what if” question while Atlanta officials were working on a bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.  A group of amateur kayakers from the city began asking themselves: “What if Atlanta’s bid is successful? Then where would the Olympic whitewater canoe and kayak races be held?”  To some of the members of that group, the answer was obvious. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Don’t Kick A Man’s Neck

From the minute my brothers and I each became cognizant, my dad started teaching us the rules of becoming a man. Dad was from deep in Mississippi and he’d been taught a lot of life’s secrets from his father. These lessons have been passed for generations and, the older I have become, I’m convinced a lot of them were borne from The Sermon on the Mount. Our favorite, back in the ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Shocked By Sonoma In NPSL National Semfinal

A Will Roberts goal in the sixth minute assisted by Juan Hernandez looked like it would be enough Saturday night in the NPSL National Semifinal match at Finley Stadium.   Unfortunately, the visiting Sonoma County Sol would score two late in the game to earn a 2-1 win.   Sonoma had very few chances in the 90 minutes of play before a crowd of 12,251 which is second to ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Some SEC Games To Watch This Fall

We're a month away from college football's opening weekend. While I'm still pondering my annual pre-season picks, I have noticed a few "must see" games in the SEC this season. And while I say "must see" games, they will all likely have serious implications as to how the final standings will shape up. September 3rd : Alabama vs Southern Cal in Arlington, Texas.  ... (click for more)