The local Volkswagen plant is getting a new leader. (Photo: Volkswagen of America)

Volkswagen Chattanooga officials announced that CEO Christian Koch is going back to Germany and Antonio Pinto will now be executive vice president of the local plant’s operations.

Since Volkswagen Chattanooga opened, the local heads have had the title of CEO and president. That includes Koch and his predecessor, Frank Fischer

But after the company’s emissions debacle, officials restructured the company and created the North American Region. Click here for more background on that.

With the new structure, Volkswagen Chattanooga doesn’t have a CEO/president. As executive vice president, Pinto will report to Volkswagen of America CEO Hinrich J. Woebcken and Andreas Hinrichs, chief production officer for the Volkswagen North American Region.

Officials said that Koch completed his assignment as the head of Chattanooga operations and will return to Germany to pursue his next assignment with the company.

During his tenure, the Chattanooga factory launched a face-lifted Passat and underwent a $900 million expansion to accommodate the addition of the seven-seat Atlas midsize SUV, which went on sale this past May, according to a news release. 

Pinto will take over in his new position Aug. 1. 

He has more than 30 years of production experience and joined the Volkswagen Group in 1994 as the head of assembly for Volkswagen Autoeuropa.

He spent two years at Volkswagen de Mexico and in 2014 moved to Volkswagen South Africa as the director of production, where he spent three years before moving back to Volkswagen de Mexico, where he has been serving as the vice president of production and logistics.