SOURCE: Volkswagen Group of America

Volkswagen Group of America

August 07, 2013 10:30 ET

Volkswagen Factory in Chattanooga, Tenn. Is Global Benchmark for VW Group Manufacturing Operations

TRAVERSE CITY, MI--(Marketwired - Aug 7, 2013) - Volkswagen's Think Blue Factory in Chattanooga, Tenn., will serve as the blueprint for all new plants worldwide and has become a benchmark for environmental efficiency for all existing plants. This was the key message of Dr. Jan Spies, Volkswagen AG head of factory planning, at the Center for Automotive Research's Management Briefing Seminar in Traverse City, Mich., today.

Spies noted that Volkswagen is aiming to reduce its energy consumption by 25 percent and increase the renewable energy it uses by 2018, as part of the global Volkswagen Think Blue program. This applies especially to energy consumption, waste volumes, solvent emissions, water consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. As Volkswagen AG builds new plants -- currently seven in China and an Audi plant in Mexico -- designers are using the Chattanooga plant as a sample, Spies said.

Highlighting examples, Spies discussed the paint shop, which has one less spray booth and dryer than has been customary in traditional paint shops and doesn't need to use a primer coat of paint. This process alone reduces energy consumption by more than 20 percent. Volkswagen Chattanooga was the first plant to implement this energy-efficient paint process, and the method is being copied in Volkswagen plants around the world. Other energy efficient highlights of the plan include: The capturing of rainwater to cool equipment and flush toilets, six-inch insulation, and a newly added field of 33,600 solar panels that supply about 12 percent of the factory's power.

The Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga was the first automobile factory worldwide to receive platinum LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by the US Green Building Council. Platinum certification confirms compliance with the most demanding standards for sustainable, environmentally compatible production.

"Through the growing efficiency and productivity of our plants, the Volkswagen brand is already making key contributions to the achievements of Group strategic targets for 2018," Dr. Spies said. "Sustainable, efficient production is a clear, competitive advantage. With its Think Blue. Factory. initiative, the Volkswagen brand is pursuing a clear strategy which pools all environmental activities at our plants throughout the world. Our ambitious targets for sustainable vehicle production have now been defined in a way which is clear and comprehensible for our customers."

About Think Blue. Factory.
Think Blue. Factory. is an addition to the Volkswagen Think Blue. portfolio including key measures in the area of vehicle production. The program, which is concerned with efficiency improvements in production and the expansion of environmentally aware energy supplies, addresses all employees at the plants. Think Blue. Factory. is a holistic approach that pools all the environmental activities of the Volkswagen brand plants. Each plant has therefore produced an individual, tailor-made development path for achieving our targets by 2018.

About Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (VWGoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, one of the world's leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. VWGoA operates a manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee and houses the U.S. operations of a worldwide family of distinguished and exciting brands including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Volkswagen, as well as VW Credit, Inc. VWGoA brings vehicles to the U.S. that marry the science of engineering and the art of styling, with the goal of offering attractive, safe, and environmentally sound automobiles that are competitive and set world standards in their respective classes. The company has approximately 5,900 employees in the United States and sells its vehicles through a 950-strong independent dealer network.

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