VW Headed for Nation's Capitol

Posted by: David Kiley on September 4, 2007

Since last I blogged, it has come to be known that Volkswagen of America on Thursday is expected to announce a move of its American headquarters from Auburn Hills, MI to the Washington DC-Northern Virginia area.

That will effect some 1,500 U.S. staff, the majority of whom will likely not make the move. This is probably part of the VW plan. Besides escaping what many Germans think of the “Big Three mindset,” it will enable VW to drastically reduce size of staff. The Detroit area has probably been hit hardest in the country this year with white-collar job losses and plummeting real estate values. And within the Detroit area, probably no market has been hit harder than the I-75 corridor where many GM, Chrysler and VW workers live. Those that wanted to move to VW’s new headquarters would face a huge housing deficit between I-75 and the Beltway, and unless VW comes up with huge housing offsets (which they will do for the execs they deem most valuable)few VW execs would even be able to sell their homes.

There is no doubt that the Beltway has an international population to draw from for both research and executive talent. VW is hoping to draw talent from think-tanks, tech companies like AOL, as well as government.

Reader Comments

Axel R.

September 4, 2007 11:06 AM

As a former VWoA employee, I am glad I left such crazy company.
Good luck to the current employees in finding a new job in MI.

Steve M.

September 5, 2007 7:19 AM

As an east-coast consultant who worked with VW for years, I always felt that the Big 3 mindset was a killer there. People would transition in from jobs at EDS or Compuware and bring that GM/Ford mentality of rigid heirarchy and NIH ("not invented here") with them. In addition, in Michigan you see only Big 3 cars and trucks... the only VWs you saw were in the VWoA parking lot. Here in the east, VW will be able to find more people who love (and drive) VWs, and whose families and neighbors drive them. Great move -- just wish they'd come back to the NY area like MB and BMW.

B. Michaels

September 5, 2007 10:27 AM

While I do understand that there is no need any longer to be housed in the historical home of the American auto industry, as sad as that may be, I do question the move to the Washington, DC area. Is VW hoping to have some impact on the federal government? There are a whole host of problems in the capitol region -- livability, traffic, etc. I don't see the reasons behind it. Why wouldn't VW move to where the car truly is king -- California? If they want to be on the cutting edge and anticipate customer needs that is where they would go. But then again this is VW who seems to be content with its designation as a "girl" car with little innovation and even less reliability.

GnR

September 5, 2007 10:50 AM

news flash: EVERY car company has insane and ever-changing ethics. My father worked for Ford for 20 years and was subjected to the same type of treatment: complete disregard for employees (the little man) at the bottom line. There are no pasty-eyed Norman Rockwell-type values in this industry!!

Andrea

September 5, 2007 8:19 PM

I work for Volkswagen now, and I can't believe that they have kept us in the dark about all of this. I'm contracted through a staffing agency and now I dont if im even allowed to move with the comonay. I'm devistated. I hope they stay, but I know its unot happening.

chagrin2

September 5, 2007 9:53 PM

Sounds political.. HMmmmmmmmm

TDR

September 6, 2007 7:30 AM

Hey Alex,

What made working for VWoA so crazy?

As for the move, interesting that they are moving to the East coast, but quite a few car companies have moved operations from California. Nissan moved all operations to Tennessee from California and most manufacturing is in the south now.

detroit9000

September 6, 2007 5:49 PM

Smart move. Detroit is mostly occupied by people too stupid to see that the ship is sinking. Those are not the people you want heading up your NAO.

german silva

September 10, 2007 7:13 AM

I bought a 2007 VW BORA IN VAS CARACAS VENEZUELA LICENSE PLATE # DCZ93C, AND AFTER 148 KM OF BEING PURCHASE AS BRAND NEW VEHICLE BELIEVE IT OR NOT THE FRONT AXLE SHAFT (FRONT WHEEL LEFT SIDE) CAME OFF, I WAL LUCKY THAT IT HAPPEN ATY VERY SLOW SPEED. IN VW VENEZUELA NO BODY TOOK MY CASE LIKE AN IMPORTANT ONE, BY THE WAY THIS CONDITION OCURRED ON SEPT 06 2007, I WISH I COULD CONTACT AFTER SALES DIRECTOR FOR THE LATIN AMERICA REGION.
REGARDS,
GERMAN SILVA

Tjake

September 11, 2007 6:22 PM

VW is leaving Detroit as an excuse to wipe out and blame mid-level employees for their dismal sales performance. Most of the execs. that continue to run this company into the ground will get the boondoggle pass to Herndon. Wake up VW it's about reliability, quality and customer service not where you're headquarters are located.

Nathan

November 8, 2007 10:23 PM

Its not a comment but a question. im interested in the 09' scirocco. how would i go about getting one and how much would it cost? please let me know.

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