Volkswagen and its premium Audi division announced today that the company is relocating its U.S. corporate headquarters from its Michigan offices to Herndon, Va. in metropolitan Washington D.C. Below is a letter sent to Volkswagen employees this morning from Stefan Jacoby, president and CEO of Volkswagen of America: Dear Colleagues:
Good morning. Today we are announcing a new strategic direction for our Company that will allow us to grow our U.S. business by fostering a culture of fresh ideas and bold thinking — and connecting better with our customers. This new strategic direction requires us to make dramatic changes in how and where we operate. I know many of you have speculated on what those changes might be, and we recognize there has been much uncertainty as we finalized this strategy. I personally apologize to you for this and want you to know that today we hope to answer most of your questions.
Later this morning, we will make a formal announcement that we will relocate our U.S. corporate headquarters to Herndon, Virginia, in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In addition to our move, we are streamlining our workforce. Our current headquarters workforce is roughly 1,400. Of these, 800 are full-time employees and 600 are contractors or employees of service providers assigned to the Company. After the relocation and organizational changes, approximately 400 positions will be transferred to our new headquarters. Positions there will be filled with employees who relocate and new hires. Approximately 300 full-time positions and 300 contractors or service providers will remain in Oakland County. This was a difficult decision to make but one that is necessary to allow our Company to meet the needs of our customers and become more competitive in the U.S. market. Our top priority is making this as smooth a transition as possible, both for those of you whom we ask to relocate and who choose to do so, and equally for those of you whom we do not invite to relocate or who decide not to come. Beginning early next week and over the following ten days, we will hold individual meetings with every employee. At these meetings, your manager will discuss your future role with the Company. We understand the impact this announcement has for all of you, regardless of whether or not you will be asked to relocate. In light of the significance of this announcement and our new strategic direction, we have implemented several new programs and enhanced certain existing benefits to better meet your needs. For those of you who will be asked to join us in our new location, we know that moving is a difficult decision for any family. Our U.S. corporate headquarters has been part of the Southeastern Michigan community for 30 years. We have lived here, grown here, participated here. As we weighed our options regarding the location of our headquarters, we realized the changes our Company needed were too significant for our headquarters to remain in Michigan. Our decision to restructure and relocate our business is not one we took lightly, but it was ultimately one we felt had to be made. It is a decision that came down to what is in the best business interest of our Company and our continued success in the U.S. We had to take bold steps to drive our future.
I look forward to meeting with you this afternoon.
With my best regards,
Stefan Jacoby