VW ChattanoogaUS – The further collaboration will involve an extension of Gestamp’s existing plant at Chattanooga and the construction of a stamping facility in Enterprise South for the production of Class-A parts including external metal skin for Volkswagen’s upcoming midsize SUV. The development will add 510 jobs at the site in Tennessee.

In a land swap with the local authorities, VW is giving up 59 acres of its territory to accommodate the Gestamp expansion, which will triple the supplier’s capacity. Gestamp is contributing $180m to the project. Christian Koch, president and CEO of VW Chattanooga, said the importance of the expanded partnership “cannot be overstated”.

VW currently uses press shops in several states to provide the stamped metal parts for its Passat which is built at Chattanooga; the local production of all external sheet metal and the majority of structural components will significantly reduce logistical costs. Hot-stamping technology, which Gestamp Chattanooga will offer for the first time, will enable the production of lighter but harder metal as well as a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

“Gestamp was an early believer in Chattanooga in 2009 and now we are taking a remarkable step forward with a macro-project that multiplies our size, adds Class A, introduces hot-stamping technology and brings chassis for the first time into our North American operation,” said Francisco Riberas, president and CEO of Gestamp. The new hot-stamping line at Chattanooga will be the 13th of its kind in the company’s US footprint.