CHATTANOOGA — Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd along with Gestamp Chattanooga officials announced today the company will expand its Tennessee presence by growing its existing cold-stamping operation and adding Class A stamping, hot-stamping and chassis component stamping to function primarily as a Tier 1 supplier to Volkswagen. The expansion represents an investment of $180 million and the creation of more than 500 new jobs in Hamilton County.
“We are grateful for Gestamp’s ongoing commitment to Tennessee and for the more than 500 new jobs that will be created in Chattanooga,” Haslam said. “The momentum of Tennessee’s automotive sector is strengthened not only when companies locate or expand here, but when they build strong partnerships and support one another. We congratulate Gestamp on today’s announcement and thank the company for bringing us one step closer toward our goal of making Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs.”
“The automotive sector touches nearly every corner of the state with 88 of Tennessee’s 95 counties having automotive operations,” Boyd said. “When Gestamp located in Chattanooga in 2009, it was the company’s first greenfield project in the United States, and it’s great to see that another facility will soon be built in Hamilton County to aid in the company’s growth. I thank Gestamp for creating these new jobs in East Tennessee and look forward to our continued partnership.”
This project will include an expansion of Gestamp’s existing Chattanooga facility and the construction of a new stamping facility in Enterprise South to accommodate stamping of Class A parts including external metals skin for the new mid-size SUV. Gestamp’s $180 million investment in the project will triple its capacity in Chattanooga.
“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,” Gestamp President and CEO Francisco J. Riberas said. “Chattanooga is now a key component in Gestamp’s strategic growth roadmap in North America. It began with Volkswagen, with whom we share a strong and enduring bond globally, and has grown to include both government and civic organizations in Tennessee, which engaged with us at the highest levels to make this project possible. We believe this will prove to be a winning combination.”
“The importance of this expanded partnership for Volkswagen and Chattanooga cannot be overstated,” Volkswagen Chattanooga President and CEO Christian Koch said. “I am grateful for the hard work of Gov. Haslam and Commissioner Boyd, and Senator Corker as well. They all worked tirelessly to make the impossible happen. We have put another crucial pillar into place for our future success and the benefits of this expansion will impact the community for years to come.”
Currently Volkswagen uses press shops in several states to provide all the stamped metal parts for the award-wining Passat built in its Chattanooga facility. This new expanded partnership will allow all of the external sheet metal stamping and a majority of the structural parts to occur at or near Enterprise South, greatly reducing the cost of transportation.
Gestamp Chattanooga will offer for the first time hot stamping technology, in which Gestamp is a global leader. This state-of-the-art process allows the metal to become lighter, but harder, contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions while improving the occupant’s safety inside the car. Chattanooga’s new hot stamping line will become the 13th of its kind in Gestamp’s U.S. footprint.
“We are delighted with Gestamp’s continuing commitment to Hamilton County with this expansion. This is the continuation of a relationship that began in 2009 when Gestamp became Enterprise South’s first Tier 1 supplier,” Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said. “Now, Gestamp is the first company to expand in anticipation of the increased needs at Volkswagen. We thank you for your investment in Hamilton County and the new family wage jobs you will create.”
“I am excited about Gestamp’s decision to expand their operations in Chattanooga and create more middle-class jobs,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said. “Chattanooga provides a significant advantage for automotive suppliers, and the company’s decision to further invest in our community reinforces our commitment to become a destination for automotive companies and high-quality jobs.”
“TVA and EPB of Chattanooga congratulate Gestamp on its decision to invest in its Chattanooga operations and create more than 500 new jobs,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “We are pleased to work with the state of Tennessee, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County officials to assist existing companies like Gestamp to thrive and add more jobs in Chattanooga.”
Gestamp Chattanooga is a Tier 1 supplier to Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz and produces cold-stamping components for automotive body frames. The company began its Chattanooga operations in 2009 and was the first Tier 1 Volkswagen supplier to build its own freestanding facility in Enterprise South Industrial Park.
The new facility will be Gestamp’s seventh facility in the United States.
Chattanooga and Hamilton County are represented by Rep. Gerald McCormick (R – Chattanooga), Rep. Patsy Hazlewood (R – Signal Mountain), Rep. Marc Gravitt (R – East Ridge), Rep. Mike Carter (R – Ooltewah), Rep. JoAnne Favors (D – Chattanooga), Sen. Bo Watson (R – Hixson) and Sen. Todd Gardenhire (R – Chattanooga).
About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
Tennessee was named 2014 and 2013 “State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. The department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: tnecd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.