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.