VW's Tenn. plant chief is reassigned

WASHINGTON -- Frank Fischer, who has led Volkswagen AG's operations in Chattanooga since the automaker announced its return to U.S. manufacturing in 2008, has been reassigned to lead an assembly plant in Germany.

Fischer, 52, will take over as manager of Volkswagen's assembly plant in Emden, Germany, which builds the European version of the Passat mid-sized sedan, a Passat-based wagon and the CC four-door coupe.

He will be replaced in Chattanooga by Christian Koch. Koch, 50, is managing director at Volks-wagen Sachsen GmbH, which also assembles the European-spec Passat, as well as the Golf.

It also builds bodies for the Volks-wagen Phaeton luxury sedan and its cousin, the Bentley Continental.

The Emden plant job opened up when manager Jens Herrmann was named manager and head of vehicle production at Volkswagen's Wolfsburg, Germany, plant.

Fischer, whose move is scheduled for April, led VW's parts plant in Braunschweig, Germany, from 2005 to 2008.

He oversaw construction of the Chattanooga plant, which he nicknamed the "plant of short distances" because of a layout that put the body shop, paint shop, assembly shop and management office in proximity.

You can reach Gabe Nelson at gnelson@crain.com