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After workers reject union, Tennessee officials ready to talk SUV incentives with Volkswagen

February 16th, 2014 8:44 pm by By Mike Pare and Andy Sher, Chattanooga Times Free Press

After workers reject union, Tennessee officials ready to talk SUV incentives with Volkswagen

Gov. Bill Haslam said he hopes to start discussions as early as this week with Volkswagen about a new incentive package to help the manufacturer settle on the Chattanooga plant to produce a new line of SUVs.

Speaking a day after workers at VW's Chattanooga workers turned back a UAW bid to organize the plant, Haslam said "obviously having the SUV line there is still incredibly important to us for a couple of reasons. One, it's a lot of jobs and two, the more different vehicles they're producing down there the better it is for the future of the plant."

VW officials said they would "be in touch ... after the vote," Haslam said.

Putting assembly of the SUV in Chattanooga could lead to hundreds of new jobs and potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment at the plant. VW announced a midsize SUV concept called the CrossBlue at the Detroit auto show a year ago, and last month officials said they plan to build such a vehicle.

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