Volkswagen’s Partnership with Virginia Yields Early Success

Company Doubles Sales Volume Since 2009

In September 2007, Volkswagen Group of America announced it would move its headquarters from Michigan to Fairfax County, Va., creating more than 400 new jobs. The $118 million investment included a new 185,000-square-foot facility that would be the home of a renowned portfolio of brands, including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Volkswagen and VW Credit Inc.

Volkswagen celebrated the opening of its new building just one year later. Since then, the company has experienced tremendous growth in Virginia’s pro-business environment. 2012 marked a banner year for the company—Volkswagen doubled sales volume since 2009, experienced its third year of double-digit growth and its best year since 1973. The company is well on its way to achieving an aggressive goal of one million U.S. car sales by 2018.

Why would Europe’s largest automaker and the world’s fourth largest car company move from Michigan to Virginia? The answer is simple—location, location, location.

Volkswagen’s move to Virginia marked a strategic shift. The company wanted to be closer to its customers and was looking for an innovative and progressive environment—the type of cosmopolitan area that was flush with upwardly mobile, trend-setting consumers. Located just outside of D.C., Northern Virginia’s Fairfax County proved to be just that.

The company also wanted to be close to top-tier talent, particularly in the engineering and high-tech sectors. The Dulles Technology Corridor offered close proximity to a highly-educated, world-class workforce. Virginia is consistently recognized for its strength in the technology sector, with the highest concentration of high-tech workers in the U.S., according to Cyberstates 2013.

As an international company with global headquarters in Germany, proximity to the Washington Dulles International Airport also factored into the decision process. The company’s location in the Woodland Park business campus is just minutes from the airport, as well as Tysons Corner and other amenities in the Northern Virginia region.

According to Volkswagen Group of America President and CEO Jonathon Browning, "We were seeking a strategic East Coast location that met a variety of important requirements—a highly educated and diverse workforce, access to national and international airports, and quite candidly, a market that was increasingly influential in setting the course of the American economy and culture."

The company has been so successful that it expanded its presence in Fairfax County in 2012 through a $2 million investment, creating 130 new jobs.

Global leaders, like Volkswagen, continue to locate their headquarters in the Commonwealth due to Virginia’s pro-business environment, highly-educated workforce, strong partnerships with R&D institutions and premier logistics infrastructure.

To learn why more than 580 companies have announced headquarters relocations or expansions in Virginia, creating more than $3.6 billion in capital investment since 2002, click here.


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