Volkswagen has entered a deal with SL America Corp., a former supplier to General Motors's Saturn vehicles, to build automatic shifter assemblies on VW programs in Tennessee and Mexico. Based in Clinton, Tenn., SL America Corp. has been a longstanding supplier to the Saturn line, which was discontinued as part of GM's 2009 reorganization.
Under this deal, SL, the US subsidiary of Korea's SL Corp., formerly known as Samlip Industrial Co., will supply both VW programs and will be producing parts for Saturn and other GM vehicles.
VW will use the assemblies on its new mid-sized sedan that will be produced in a plant that's currently under construction in Chattanooga, Tenn. This program is set to be launched in mid-2011.
In addition, SL's Clinton plant will produce the parts for a vehicle made at VW's Puebla, Mexico, plant. This marks SL's first global business with Volkswagen. In a statement released by VW, SL America President Y.K. Woo said that SL America has worked very hard to pursue a partnership with Volkswagen.
He said that the new mid-sized sedan was a perfect opportunity to demonstrate its capabilities and show Volkswagen that SL America could be both a viable local and global partner.
VW declined to indicate which program in Mexico SL will be supplying to but the next-generation Mexican-made Jetta will reportedly share a large percentage of parts with the sedan.