Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Audio Spot: ORNL may assist Volkswagen with new plant set-up

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., July 31, 2008 — Automotive technology capabilities at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are credited with helping nearby Chattanooga, Tenn., land the new Volkswagen Plant.

Oak Ridge Partnerships Director Tom Ballard says the laboratory stands ready to help Volkswagen in attracting suppliers for the new plant.

"What we would want to do is work with communities that want to try to recruit one of the new suppliers to their communities to find out what ways they might connect the suppliers with Oak Ridge National Lab," Ballard says.

The Chattanooga plant will be the first VW facility in the United States in many years and Ballard says many Southeastern companies will benefit.

"It's going to locally source most of its content which means those manufacturers will probably be within 300 miles of Chattanooga," Ballard notes. "As more of the R&D from the automotive side goes from the original equipment manufacturer - which is what Volkswagen is - to their Tier One suppliers, it opens up opportunities."

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.