Old Bluebird plant in LaFayette

The old Bluebird plant in LaFayette is being used to store several hundred recalled Volkswagen diesel vehicles.

Rather than a sea of big yellow school buses, the former Bluebird plant in LaFayette has become an impound lot filled with multi-colored high-end German automobiles.

The plant at 1198 Shattuck Industrial Blvd. in LaFayette, now owned by the Walker County Development Authority, has been leased as a storage site for Volkswagen diesel vehicles.

The Labrie Group has signed a two-year lease for use of the property, county spokesman Joe Legge said.

"We are currently leasing that site to The Labrie Group," he said. "They asked to sublet some of the property to Volkswagen, so the automaker could store their diesel vehicles awaiting an emissions retrofit."

Last year Volkswagen's board of directors agreed to spend up to $10.3 billion to buy back more than 480,000 2.0-liter automobiles that violated emissions standards and recently agreed to pay at least $1.22 billion to either buy back or correct nearly 80,000 3.0-liter Audi, Porsche and Volkswagen 6-cylinder diesels that used software to evade pollution detection.

The property is being used to store cars leased or purchased cars resulting from the court-sanctioned buy-back.

There is not a total number of vehicles currently at the site, but Legge said there are several hundred.

Josh O'Bryant is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He can be reached at the Walker County Messenger office at 706-638-1859 and by email at jobryant@npco.com.