Two local companies—McKee Foods and Volkswagen Chattanooga—got mentions in The New York Times this week, continuing a trend of what is becoming more regular media attention for the Scenic City.
Writer Jack Ewing had a piece Monday called "Bet on U.S. pays off for Germany's carmakers," which discussed Volkswagen's $4 billion investment in the United States since 2008, when the company created a Chattanooga plant that is now selling Passats nationwide.
Volkswagen of America leaders recently discussed Chattanooga's progress and the company's overall sales figures.
Volkswagen aims to be the largest automobile manufacturer by 2018, and Chattanooga's plant is an important part of the strategy.
And, although leaders still aren’t getting specific about changes to Chattanooga’s plant, the local factory will play a part in the company’s strategic plan.
“There is significant investment in Chattanooga,” Jonathan Browning, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, said. “All these pieces are putting building blocks in place for the long-term strategy. Chattanooga is an incredible part of the U.S. growth strategy.”
Although leaders haven't confirmed any new local manufacturing plans, some industry insiders said that Chattanooga's plant will eventually have to produce more than the Passat to get maximum profitability.
And local leaders, such as representatives from the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, have made it known that they would love to have another product built at the local VW plant.
Click here for more reading on Volkswagen.
On Tuesday, Steven M. Davidoff wrote a piece called "Corporate forces endangered the Twinkie, but may save it."
At the end of January, leaders with bankrupt Hostess Brands announced that Collegedale's McKee Foods Corporation was selected as the stalking horse bidder for its Drake snack cake brand, as well as certain equipment.
“This represents an opportunity for McKee Foods to complement our product line in a very competitive snack cake industry,” Mike McKee, president and CEO of McKee Foods, said in a prepared statement. “The Drake’s brand has its roots in a family baking business, much like McKee Foods and the Little Debbie brand. We believe that Drake’s will have a strong future within our family of brands.”
Collegedale's McKee Foods has agreed to pay $27.5 million for Hostess Brands' Drake snack cakes, such as Ring Dings, Yodels, Devil Dogs, Yankee Doodles, Sunny Doodles and Drake’s Coffee Cake, as well as some equipment.
A stalking horse bidder is selected by a bankrupt company. It allows the bankrupt company to avoid low bids on assets.
So McKee is setting the bar for other bids.
Other interested parties will be able to bid during a future auction process, but the bids must exceed the amount that McKee is offering, according to a news release from McKee.