Fight to Land Volkswagen Plant Went to Finish Line

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee has hoisted what seems to be 2008's top trophy for U.S. automotive development investment worth nearly $1 billion and 2,000 new jobs for a Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga.

But Michigan and Alabama proved to be tough contenders, and Tennessee came very close to losing in the final laps. Gov. Phil Bredesen tells The Associated Press that just 15 days before Volkswagen's board was to pick the plant site, it looked like "it was going elsewhere" - most likely Huntsville, Ala. That's when staffers in Tennessee's Department of Economic and Community Development started pulling all-nighters and working through July 4th vacations to address Volkswagen's concerns about an incentives package. Their effort got Tennessee back in the race in time for Chattanooga to be named the plant site on July 15.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)