The managing director of Volkswagen AG’s Chattanooga site, Frank Fischer, has been transferred to lead the carmaker’s Emden assembly facility in Germany. The Emden site builds the European version of the Passat, a Passat-based wagon and the CC four-door coupe. Taking over Fischer’s post in Chattanooga is Christian Koch, which is managing director at Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH, which builds the European-spec Passat, the Golf and the bodies for the Volkswagen Phaeton and the Bentley Continental.
Endem’s former manager, Jens Herrmann, was tasked to lead vehicle production at Volkswagen’s Wolfsburg site in Germany. Fischer used to led VW’s Braunschweig parts plant in Germany from 2005 to 2008. When he became manager of VW Chattanooga, he oversaw building of the assembly plant, which he nicknamed as “plant of short distances” due to the layout that places the body shop, paint shop, assembly shop and management office closer to each other.
The plant started output on time in 2011 and its first product, a version of the for-US Passat, was rolled out in September. Fischer’s impending transfer to Emden in April comes at a time when the Chattanooga plant is the focus of the UAW’s bid to expand its influence in vehicle sites in southern US. Fischer and as well as top VW managers in the US have been pressing to expand the Chattanooga site to produce a three-row SUV that will be available to the US public in 2016.