Volkswagen of America will go to a 3-crew operation at its Chattanooga, TN, assembly plant this year, as it announces plans to fill 800 new jobs in order to meet demand for the Passat sedan.

VWA says the additional workers will allow it to cut down on the daily and Saturday overtime that has been needed to fill orders for the car. Through February, the plant has built 18,800 Passats this year and days’ supply stood at just 46 at the end of the month, WardsAutodata shows.

“This is a clear sign that the plant ramp-up has been successful and is a validation that the Passat is of the highest quality,” Frank Fischer, CEO and chairman of Volkswagen Chattanooga, says in a statement.

“Our plant was designed to be flexible in order to respond to market demand, and I'm proud that we've achieved this so quickly. This is a good day for Volkswagen and for the people of Chattanooga.”

The additional hires, plus the 200 new jobs VW announced earlier this year, bring total employment at Chattanooga to about 3,700 workers by the end of 2012. That includes 500 onsite positions through job-recruiter Aerotek.

The new positions will be a combination of production and support functions and include supervisors, quality engineers and other professionals, VW says. Some workers currently contract employees of Aerotek will be hired for the new fulltime jobs.

A VW spokesman says it is unclear how quickly the third crew will be in place. Once it is, Chattanooga will operate two 10-hour shifts Monday-Saturday.