Christian Koch Set To Be New Chattanooga Volkswagen President

Thursday, March 27, 2014
Frank Fischer, new plant manager at Volkswagen’s Emden plant, Christian Koch, new head of the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga
Frank Fischer, new plant manager at Volkswagen’s Emden plant, Christian Koch, new head of the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga

Christian Koch is set to be the new president of Chattanooga Volkswagen.

Mr. Koch, 50, is currently managing director, D class at Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH.

Christian Koch holds a degree in mechanical engineering and is also an MBA graduate. He joined Volkswagen in 1990, holding posts in powertrain and component planning in the production technology department at the Salzgitter plant until 1998. Following various management positions at Volkswagen Sachsen and the Salzgitter plant, he assumed responsibility in 2004 for establishing a joint venture in Shanghai for the local production of an inline 4-cylinder petrol engine. This was followed by further senior management posts in China, including his appointment as president of the Chengdu Branch of FAW-Volkswagen in 2010. Mr. Koch was named managing director, D class at Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH in 2013. 

He will be replacing Chattanooga Volkswagen President Frank Fischer who is leaving Chattanooga and returning to Germany. Thursday will be his last day on the job here.

Mr. Fischer has been in charge since before the opening of the $2 billion plant that produces Passats.

He recently clashed with U.S. Senator Bob Corker over the issue of UAW gaining representation at the plant.

Mr. Fischer disputed a statement made by Senator Bob Corker that Chattanooga would be getting the production of a second line of vehicles as long as the UAW was not voted in by employees.

Mr. Fischer retorted, “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, 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."

Mr. Fischer, 52, is to take over as manager of Volkswagen’s Emden plant. He takes over from Jens Herrmann, 55, who has been named plant manager and head of vehicle production in Wolfsburg. Mr. Herrmann succeeds Prof. Dr. Siegfried Fiebig, 59, who has been appointed management spokesperson at Volkswagen Sachsen. These changes take effect in April 2014.

Mr. Fischer, who holds an engineering degree and an MBA, studied at RWTH Aachen and the University of Washington in Seattle. Fischer joined the Volkswagen Group in 1991 and was jointly responsible for basic strategic issues and competition benchmarking before taking charge of the body shop at the Wolfsburg plant and subsequently moving to Emden as head of production in 2001. He became plant manager in Brunswick in 2005. He headed the project team for the new plant in Chattanooga from 2008, and was appointed plant manager there in 2010.

Jens Herrmann holds an engineering degree. He began his career with the Volkswagen Group in 1988, and was appointed head of industrial engineering for vehicle construction at the Wolfsburg plant in 1994, assuming responsibility for a production line in 1999. He switched to the SEAT brand in 2003, becoming an assembly manager in Barcelona. On his return to Wolfsburg in 2006, he was assigned general responsibility for vehicle assembly at the main plant. Herrmann became production manager at Emden in 2008, and was appointed plant manager there in 2010.

Prof. Dr. Siegfried Fiebig holds a doctorate in mechanical engineering and is professor of production technology and logistics at Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences in Wolfsburg. He began his career with Volkswagen in Wolfsburg in 1978. After holding a number of different positions at the Salzgitter, Emden and Wolfsburg plants, he was appointed head of the logistics planning department at Volkswagen Brand Logistics in 1989, becoming head of logistics at the Volkswagen plant in Emden in 1994, then head of production in 1996 and acting head of the Emden plant in 1997. Dr. Fiebig was appointed to the post of technical director and management spokesperson at the Volkswagen plant in Brussels in 1998, and was named head of the Emden plant in 2003. He was placed in charge of site management and became head of Golf production at Wolfsburg in 2007, before taking up the post as plant manager and head of vehicle production in Wolfsburg in 2008.


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