Thursday, September 01, 2005

VW of America Considers Arizona Proving Grounds Alternatives

Text from Volkswagen of America.
Urban sprawl encroaches site, causes concern

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. —Due to urban sprawl encroaching upon its Arizona Proving Grounds, located in Maricopa, Arizona, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is evaluating alternate plans for the site.

Options may include the relocation of the Proving Grounds, or some of the operations performed there. In connection with this evaluation, the Company is also taking steps to determine the level of market interest in, and the market value of, its current Proving Grounds. At the existing site, over 150 personnel, who are employed either by Volkswagen or an independent engineering staffing support firm, engage in the durability testing of vehicles manufactured by the Volkswagen Group worldwide.

“While the current location of the Arizona Proving Grounds is functionally sound, we are evaluating alternatives that may better suit our future needs,” said Len Hunt, executive vice president, Volkswagen of America. “A decision will be reached that will continue to guarantee effective vehicle testing.

The Arizona Proving Grounds consists of approximately 1600 acres and has been a testing site for the Volkswagen Group since 1993.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. Volkswagen of America and its affiliates employ approximately 3,000 people in the United States and are responsible for the sale and service of Audi, Bentley, and Volkswagen products through retail networks comprising in total more than 900 independent U.S. dealers

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