Volkswagen will export its American made, all-new Passat to South Korea for sales in that country, a company official says.
Volkswagen's aim is only to sell 4,000 vehicles a year in the Asian country, but the overseas delivery is hailed as good news for the company's new U.S. manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee manufacturing the Passat.
Frank Fischer, CEO of Volkswagen's Chattanooga operations, confirmed that VW will export the all-new Passat to South Korea for sales in that country with the Times Free Press. He said the German-based automakers sales team determined South Korea and VW's Passat as a very good match.
According to Fischer, Volkswagen will begin selling the Passat in South Korea in 2012.
The U.S. Congress is considering a vote this summer on a South Korea trade agreement that could boost U.S. exports to the Asian country by $11 billion per year.
Volkswagen's new U.S. manufacturing plant is already making the all-new Passat in limited production, at a pace of 100 to 140 units per day, shipping about 50 Passat's to VW dealers so they can book pre-sales to customers before the vehicle hits full-scale production. Fischer told the Times Free Press about 3,000 Passats have been made at the plant so far, including test vehicles, and that almost 2,000 workers have been hired so far.
So far it has come along very well, said Fischer, about VW's Chattanooga plant production. We're very satisfied.
Volkswagen is aiming to become the largest automobile manufacturer in the world. The company was the last holdout of the major global automakers to build vehicles on U.S. soil, though it did so briefly in the 1970s at a small factory but it wasted no time becoming aggressive once the decision was made. The plant officially began producing cars at the facility in May and the $1 billion plant is expected to reach full production early next year, making 150,000 vehicles in Chattanooga.
The company announced its goal of becoming the world's largest automaker in terms of sales and profit by 2018. Part of that plan was boosting sales in the United States over the course of a decade to 800,000 units per year -- thus, the Chattanooga plant became an important part of that growth process.