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Just one year after celebrating its grand opening, Volkswagen Chattanooga has hired and trained a third shift team and implemented a new production schedule.
The three production teams will rotate through two shifts and work 40 hours over four shifts. The plant will operate six days a week, 20 hours a day. This will allow for an increase in plant production time as well as normalization in weekly work hours for all team members. The addition of the third shift team has boosted the employees at the factory to over 3,300, well over the 2,000 employees that were announced when Volkswagen chose Chattanooga, Tenn., as the site for its only American assembly plant in 2008. In 2013 the plant will have increased capacity to produce 180,000 vehicles per year, over 30,000 over its original capacity.
“The hard work of our production team over the past year has not only produced a car that won the JD Powers APEAL award, but has also provided opportunity for these new employees,” said Frank Fischer, CEO and Chair of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “We will all work to maintain the passion for detail that we build into the Passat.”
This change will provide a more predictable work schedule that allows for a better work-life balance for the teams that have been quite busy building the multi-award winning Passat.
“We have worked quickly over the last four months to recruit, hire and train our third shift team so that we can ease the work schedule of our production team, while maintaining the high standards for quality in our Passat,” said Hans-Herbert Jagla EVP Human Resources at Volkswagen Chattanooga. “However, we continue to recruit for professional positions here at the plant.”
Volkswagen Chattanooga production team members had several rounds of input to determine how to implement the three-team, two-shift operation, including details such as lunch and break times and when to start and end daily shifts. The process is intended to maximize plant operations while recognizing the need for family-work balance.