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While most car companies are just trying hard to produce low-emissions vehicles, Volkswagen is looking to make even their factories green. Or is that blue!
VW calls all their efficient models BlueMotion, and is taking the same approach to their factories. Their “Think Blue Factory” is an initiative they have launched to make all their factories more environmentally friendly by 2018. By way of using less energy and creating fewer wastes, VW hopes to clean their factories by reducing the environmental impact by 25%.
Hubert Waltl, a member of the board of management at VW said; “Through the growing efficiency and productivity of our plants, the Volkswagen brand is already making a key contribution to the achievements of Group strategic targets for 2018. However, we are going a step further: by 2018, we intend to make production at all our plants 25 percent more environmentally compatible.”
VW’s plant in Chattanooga, TN. was the worlds first plant to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification which means this factory meets the strictest of environmental standards. So say what you will about the new Passat, at least it is built in a modern, clean factory.
Volkswagen wants to produce the Tiguan SUV model in North America in an effort to slash production costs on the compact crossover. VW is already producing the Jetta and Passat in North America and is considering moving production of the Tiguan, according to a report by WirtschaftsWocke magazine.
Presently, the Tiguan model is only produced at the Wolfsburg plant in Germany.
The shift in production from Germany to North America will allow VW to guard against exchange rate fluctuations that can eat away at profits, analysts said.
Producing Volkswagens in the U.S will also allow the automaker to keep closer track of changing tastes in the world’s second largest auto market, where consumer trends often originate.
It is unclear whether the Tiguan will be produced at the Chattanooga, Tennessee plant (currently VWs only plan in North America), however, production is scheduled to rise to 150,000 vehicles annually by 2012.
If you want to work at Volkswagen, you’d better start hitting the gym. This is especially true if you work at the company’s Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, where new hires are required not only to take the usual job training, but also go through a fitness program.
In the attempt to build an “industrial athlete” – one who can lift, grip, bend and push without tiring –VW has opened its training academy at the $1 billion plant site. In preparation for the projected production start early next year, dozens of workers have already started pumping up before they start pumping out new cars.
In a region best known for its love of Little Debbie snack cakes, MoonPies and Krystal burgers, trainees are up to the physical challenge. In fact, some of the new hires have reportedly lost as much as 30 pounds after three weeks of training.
These workouts are also aimed at building better product quality when the plant starts rolling out midsized sedans. Volkswagen Chattanooga spokesman Scott Wilson says the time spent in the classroom, hands-on training and fitness training are all “focused on getting each and every one of us, no matter what our job is at the plant, prepared to show up and perform at the highest level of professional excellence.”
The lucky ones who have been hired have had the help of fitness trainers that put them through “on-the-clock” workouts. The workouts follow health testing and are individually tailored to their future production jobs that include the paint shop, body shop and assembly.
Workouts are done daily and last about two hours. Exercises are directly linked to movements plant employees will have to do every day and include stretching, cardiovascular strength, endurance, grip and how much they can push and pull.
[Source: USA Today]