60 Minutes this week comes to Chattanooga to talk Volkswagen

Leslie Stahl interviews CEO Herbert Diess at the Chattanooga plant

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The CBS News program 60 Minutes will air a segment this Sunday shot here in Chattanooga.

 

They are looking at how Volkswagen is coping with rising gas prices, supply chain issues, climate change and the war in Ukraine.

 

Leslie Stahl sits down with Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess in which he talks about the company goal of making at least half of their fleet all electric by the end of this decade.

 

Here is an excerpt of the interview:

VW IN CHATTANOOGA IS RECONFIGURING ITS PLANT CURRENTLY PRODUCING GASOLINE SUVS TO ALSO START ROLLING OUT ELECTRIC SUVS – THE ID4:

LESLEY STAHL “How much did it cost to take the– a plant that was for the combustion engine and make it an electric car company?”

SCOTT KEOGH: “$800 million– here to do that investment. On top of that, of course, you have a $1.6 billion investment to build the battery cells with our partner SKI. So absolutely, these are big automotive bets but spot-on for the market.”

LESLEY STAHL: “Have you had trouble finding skilled workers to make this transition?”

SCOTT KEOGH: “I think the challenge over the next couple of years is exactly that, making sure you have the skilled workers. But if I look at big picture, you know, first and foremost, the state of Tennessee. They made a profound commitment to the automotive business. It’s been a state strategy. And it led to General Motors being down here, Volkswagen, Nissan,”

LESLEY STAHL:  “Why are all the car companies in Tennessee?”

SCOTT KEOGH: “Yeah, I think first and foremost, they made a state plan. And whether you go back to the senators of Corker and Alexander to the existing governor of– of Bill Lee, it was a strategy. And I think the upside of–”

LESLEY STAHL: “What is it, low– low taxes? What’s the strategy–”

SCOTT KEOGH: “It’s low taxes…. I think it’s affordability, which is huge. The other thing is the state and us have made a profound commitment to what I’ll call vocational training. It’s going right into the high schools, right into these tech centers where we can develop, train, educate the workforce of– future.”

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