The new Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., will import containers of auto parts through the Port of Savannah.

The port already counts as customers other major automakers like Kia Motors, which has a $1.2 billion plant in West Point.

The first of the 2012 Passat sedans rolled off the line last month at the factory, which lies about 120 miles north of Atlanta. The diesel-powered cars are designed for the North American market and will get 43 miles per gallon, according to a news release.

The plant will eventually ramp up to full production of 150,000 vehicles per year. The German automaker will employ more than 2,000 people directly on a total investment of more than $1 billion. Related suppliers are expected to add 9,500 more jobs.

Volkswagen also uses the Brunswick port to import fully-built cars.

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As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...