CHATTANOOGA -- Volkswagen's factory here is a blueprint for higher productivity and more sustainable auto assembly for the entire company.
"It will be the first factory built completely according to standardized manufacturing methods," said VW production chief Michael Macht. "Here we have consolidated the knowledge available from our global locations."
VW's Chattanooga factory also aims for new benchmarks in environmental protection.
"This new factory is our first facility with complete LED exterior lighting," said Hubert Waltl, who is responsible for production and logistics on the brand management board for VW cars.
Lighting with diode technology uses substantially less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs. The factory also makes heavy use of thermal insulation and reuses rainwater.
VW executives also cite an innovative paint shop layout. "We have installed a new, primer-less paint process," Waltl said. "With the elimination of a process step, material and energy usage as well as cycle time in manufacturing is reduced."