Tennessee Legislators Plan to Meet With Volkswagen in Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) – Tennessee legislators wonder tonight if Volkswagen will respond quickly to deal with the emissions scandal, now that the automaker has new leadership.
That response is especially important to Chattanooga because jobs could be on the line if sales begin to drop.

While the world continues to digest the idea that Volkswagen would actually rig emission controls on diesel vehicles, production of the award-winning gasoline powered Passat continues without a blip at Enterprise South. The question is—will it stay that way?
Tennessee leaders are hoping to meet with Volkswagen’s leadership for some answers.

SEN. "BO" WATSON, (R) HIXSON, SENATE SPEAKER PRO TEM " After some discussions with the Lt. Governor Ramsey, and then with chairman of finance, Chairman McNally, we agreed to have a public meeting here in Chattanooga with the appropriations committee."

Although no date has been set for that meeting, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has said he’s also hoping the gathering storm doesn’t cost jobs here.

The state’s economic development commissioner visited the plant last week, and issued this statement Tuesday.

Randy Boyd said: "The administration has received assurances directly from Volkswagen executives that the expansion in Tennessee is on track and proceeding despite this very unfortunate and disappointing recent news."
Watson wants Volkswagen to tell Chattanooga that.

SEN. WATSON "And you know, we want to be sure that people’s jobs are protected ..and that this plant continues to operate even in the near term as Volkswagen figures out what their next move is."

Will the giant automaker recover? Analyst Mellody Hobson was on CBS News This Morning.

MELLODY HOBSON, AUTOMOTIVE ANALYST "If you look at some of the precedents, like Toyota with the issue they had with unintended acceleration and General Motors and the issue they had with the faulty ignition switch..those companies got through it."

Volkswagen created thousands of jobs in the plant, and by attracting dozens of suppliers.
The legislature approved 167-million dollars to encourage V-W to build its new S-U-V here, beginning next year.

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