Students Are Among First To Experience Volkswagen: An Education in Chattanooga’s Most Anticipated Industry.
By Michael Barker
Has anyone heard that VW is coming to town? If you haven’t, you probably need to remove yourself from the black hole time-warp you are living in and pay attention. The Volkswagen Motor Group has closed the biggest manufacturing deal Chattanooga has ever seen and they are looking to make their presence known. Enter the Volkswagen Student Drive Event. As a student of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, I participated in a day long series of events started off with a mock press conference that actually took place in Atlanta on stage at Chattanooga State. This conference was not without the help of everyone’s favorite black 50’s beetle, “Max”, with a delectable German accent made famous by the new VW ad campaign launch. These commercials include interviews by Max with several celebs and educate the world on the benefits of owning a Volkswagen. The press conference really helped students understand what goes on at a real automobile launch and what entails with getting one started. The students acted as the press and asked interesting and actual questions about the launch of VW’s newest product, the CC, which stands for comfort coupe. Following the press conference and the obligatory picture taking session with Max (how could you stand not to?), students from UTC and well as Chattanooga State got our turn at testing the all new, yet to be released CC’s. The drive yielded a good time by all while we paraded our cars that are set to hit the VW lots later this month in a row over to UTC. The drive exposed the students to the cars and all their features, and one by one the students arrived at UTC for a sponsored lunch in which VW pronounced their delight in being partnered with both schools, as well as pleasure to be associated with the Chattanooga community. Students were then giving a chance to network and rub shoulders with the likes of the Chattanooga mayor and commerce officials, college leaders, VW executives, as well as a host of other local individuals closely involved with the Volkswagen campaign and the terrific effect that having such a company will have on Chattanooga. Afterwards, I was among the other group of students privileged to drive the cars back to Chatt State and test the handling and performance of the 4 door sports sedans. (All traffic laws were of course obeyed). After parking the cars and hopping back on the bus to UTC, all of us were given a chance to reflect on the day’s events and mentally store our own respectable stories that we will be able to tell for a long time about how we were the first to get a taste of when Volkswagen came to Chattanooga, Tennessee.