CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WDEF) --Will the new Volkswagen SUV be built in Chattanooga---or Mexico?
The answer may come later this year.
The mayors of Hamilton county and Chattanooga are headed to Germany at this hour, hoping to sway Volkswagen leaders who'll make that decision.
This is what the mayors want for Enterprise South---the Volkswagen Cross-Blue SUV.
It was unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show, and immediately sparked a debate over where it will be built.
China and Mexico both want it.
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and Hamilton county mayor Jim Coppinger skipped the annual Mayor's Breakfast and headed for the airport and a trip to Germany to make a pitch for the SUV.
RON HARR,PRES.&CEO, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE "Today's announcement that the mayor's are over there is not anything saying it's a done deal..its just one more step in a long process to make sure we have the best possible opportunity at those new jobs."
The local Volkswagen leadership is also hopeful the SUV can be built in a mirror plant to the billion-dollar facility already there.
FRANK FISCHER, CEO, VOLKSWAGEN CHATTANOOGA "They went to show their commitment, talking to Volkswagen top management at the headquarters and once again that is very helpful."
At the Chamber breakfast, a new study by Dr. Bill Fox of The University of Tennessee Center for Business Research was presented. It shows Volkswagen's economic impact locally is greater that expected.
V-W created 2400 jobs, but it rolled through the economy, producing 12,400 full-time jobs with 17 suppliers.
The billion dollar plant produced 643-million dollars in annual income.
But local leaders are quick to point out that its too early to begin counting on an SUV plant to add to the booming local economy.
RON HARR "We are very excited that we are still in discussions with Volkswagen but they could tell us tomorrow they are going to Mexico..and we all need to be prepared for that eventuality."
Volkswagen pays 159-million dollars in annual salaries.
And the study says that results in 484-million dollars in income for this area because of the multiplier effect.