***DO NOT POST, DUPLICATE*** Haslam expresses hope of luring VW headquarters to Tennessee

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is expressing hopes that Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal won’t hurt Tennessee’s efforts to lure the German automaker’s North American headquarters to the state.

Haslam said during a question-and-answer session at the Southern Automotive Conference in Nashville on Tuesday he has been in close contact with officials in Germany and at Volkswagen’s lone U.S. plant in Chattanooga. Haslam said he has conveyed the message that Tennessee stands behind workers and executives at the factory who “have done nothing wrong.”

Volkswagen last month announced the creation of a North American region to oversee operations in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Haslam has said the newly-named head of that region was scheduled to visit Tennessee before abruptly resigning last week.

Volkswagen of America is based in Herndon, Virginia.

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