When President Obama said in January that American workers could out-build the competition, he might very well have anticipated the new Volkswagen Passat assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Volkswagen's commitment to U.S. workers and to putting down roots here demonstrates the economic value America brings to the table. That value is why Volkswagen has decided to put 2,000 Americans to work in Chattanooga manufacturing the cars of the future. The plant will also generate more than 9,500 additional indirect jobs by creating work for its suppliers and jump-starting a ripple effect through the production chain.
Because of President Obama’s leadership, we’re on the path to a smarter, cleaner energy future. And in the new kind of transportation system our nation requires, clean-diesel has an important role to play. The Passats being built in Chattanooga will emit 30 percent less carbon pollution than conventional diesel vehicles.
They can also get between 40 and 50 miles per gallon, returning between 700 and 800 miles on a single tank. This fuel-efficient technology will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. If one-third of all United States vehicles used this kind of fuel-efficient clean diesel, we would save 1.4 million barrels of oil a day.
And it's not just the right thing for America's energy security. It’s as clear as the new fuel economy labels we introduced last week that cars with better fuel mileage can save families thousands of dollars at the pump. Volkswagen's investment in the clean-diesel Passat will provide an economical, made-in-America option for car-buying families and businesses, and the technology American workers will be building into the Chattanooga Passats can really make a difference.
Of course, the other great success story under way is about jobs. The new plant will create more than 11,500 new direct and indirect jobs, and its cars will be built with 85 percent North American parts. That sets off a powerful ripple effect as suppliers start buying new goods and hiring new employees, as workers start spending more money and their families start shopping or going out to eat again, and as small businesses start purchasing more inventory and hiring additional staff.
Americans are going back to work building 21st century transportation that uses less oil, is cleaner, and sends fewer of our hard-earned dollars overseas. And at the same time, these new initiatives are spurring economic development, opportunity, and competitiveness.
That's a win for our partners, like Volkswagen; and it's a win for America.