Volkswagen Reports Historic Sales Year
Volkswagen of America reported 77,524 Volkswagen Passat sedans sold year-to-date, making 2012 the best year of Passat sales ever in the United States, according to a company news release. This number surpasses the previous total year sales record, established in 2001.
Passat by the numbers
2001: In 2001, the Volkswagen Passat, a niche player in the mid-size sedan segment, has its best year ever selling 77,523 vehicles for the year.
2011: In January 2011, the all-new Passat makes its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This was followed up with the award-winning commercial “The Force” which premiered during the Super Bowl in February of 2011. The first Passat was delivered in September of 2011. The all-new Passat is the only midsize sedan that offers German engineering at an accessible price. The Passat also began its long list of accolades when it was named a 2011 IIHS Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the highest possible rating from the non-profit safety research organization. The year ends with the announcement that the Passat received the coveted Motor Trend 2012 Car of the Year award.
2012: The Passat continues a year of accolades and bests as it starts off the year receiving many honors including Kelley Blue Book’s Family Car of the Year, and Cars.com’s “Best of 2012.” Most recently, the Passat was awarded top-rated premium mid-size car in the Autobytel and AutoPacific 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, and was recognized as the Most Ideal Premium Mid-Size Car for 2012 as part of AutoPacific’s New Vehicle Satisfaction Survey.
1626.1: In May 2012, a new record of 1626.1 miles is achieved on one tank of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel under real world driving conditions. Over the course of three days and driving through nine states, John and Helen Taylor averaged 84.1 miles per gallon, spending only 4.65 cents per mile. The Passat’s 2.0-liter TDI Clean Diesel inline four-cylinder engine produces 140 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque and with a manual transmission delivers an EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 43 mpg on the highway. The TDI engine is equipped with a Selective Catalytic Reduction System (SCR) that fulfills emissions requirements in all 50 states.
100,000: In May 2012, Volkswagen Chattanooga achieves a significant production milestone with the completion of the 100,000th Passat just nine months after start of sales in September 2011. As the only manufacturing facility in the world to be certified as LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council, the plant is considered the most environmentally friendly automotive plant worldwide. In 2012, Volkswagen Chattanooga also announced it was hiring an additional 1,000 employees in order to keep up with the growing demand of the Passat.
77,524: On September 19, 2012, the 77,524th Passat is sold at Quirk Volkswagen, a dealership, in Braintree, Mass. In just nine months, 2012 officially becomes the best-selling year for the Volkswagen Passat surpassing the previous total year sales record, established in 2001.
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Last Update on August 29, 2014 17:14 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer spending fell in July, with a drop in auto purchases accounting for most of the weakness. Income growth also slowed in July.
The Commerce Department says consumer spending edged down 0.1 percent last month after a 0.4 percent increase in June. It was the first decline in spending since January. Income growth slowed to a 0.2 percent rise in July, the weakest showing in seven months.
The fall in spending came primarily from a decline in auto sales, which took a breather in July after posting big gains in recent months, although spending in other areas was also weak.
Consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, so it needs to recover for the economy to keep its momentum in the second half of the year.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumer sentiment ticked up in August, driven by greater optimism about jobs, rising incomes, and increasing wealth. The increase largely occurred among higher-income groups.
The University of Michigan says its index of consumer sentiment rose to 82.5 from 81.8 in July. Still, it has barely risen in the past year.
Consumers have sent mixed signals in recent months. The Michigan index has fluctuated between 80 and 82.5 since December. A measure of consumer confidence by the Conference Board rose this month to nearly a seven-year high. And yet Americans cut back their spending in July.
Nearly 60 percent of households in the top third of income earners say they are financially better off this month, the Michigan survey found, compared with only 36 percent in the bottom two-thirds.
DETROIT (AP) -- U.S. investors should soon be able to buy stock in Chrysler for the first time in seven years.
Italy's Fiat and Chrysler are merging to form Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Fiat says Friday that an ongoing tally of investors suggests there is not enough opposition to derail the deal.
Earlier this month, Fiat shareholders approved combining the companies. But Italian law gives dissenters the right to cash out. Fiat has said that if investors offered more than 500 million euros ($650 million) in shares, the merger would be off.
Fiat SpA will announce the final tally by Sept. 4. So far the maximum number of shares to be cashed is below the cap.
Shares of Chrysler haven't been publicly traded since 2007 when it was still combined with German automaker Daimler.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Federal regulators are putting Reynolds American Inc.'s planned $25 billion takeover of rival cigarette maker Lorillard Inc. under the microscope.
The nation's second-biggest tobacco company said Friday that the Federal Trade Commission has asked for additional information as part of an antitrust review of the deal.
In July, Reynolds announced the deal to combine two of the nation's oldest and biggest tobacco companies, creating a formidable No. 2 to rival Altria Group Inc., owner of Philip Morris USA.
Reynolds markets Camel, Pall Mall and Natural American Spirit cigarettes. Lorillard sells Newport, Maverick and Kent cigarettes.
The companies plan to sell the Kool, Salem, Winston, Maverick and blu eCig brands to Imperial Tobacco Group for $7.1 billion to ease regulatory concerns about competition.
HEALTH OVERHAUL-TAX FORMS
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal agency that brought you the glitchy HealthCare.gov website has a massive new project.
If the Health and Human Services department has trouble this time, that could delay tax refunds for many people.
Complicated connections between the new health care law and income taxes will start to surface in 2015.
HHS has to send millions of people who got health insurance tax credits this year a new tax form that's like a W-2 for health care. It's called a 1095-A.
If they're delayed beyond Jan. 31, people who got coverage through the new insurance exchanges may have to wait to file their taxes -- and collect their refunds.
Some tax preparation companies are worried.
The Obama administration says it's on task, but won't provide much detail.
BRUSSELS (AP) -- Inflation has fallen to an annual 0.3 percent in August for the 18 countries that use the euro, underlining the shakiness of the continent's economic recovery.
Eurostat, the EU statistics agency, says the figure is down from 0.4 percent in July, as expected by market analysts.
Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, sent a modestly brighter signal as it rose to 0.9 percent from 0.8 percent.
The eurozone economy showed no growth in the second quarter as fears about the Ukrainian crisis weighed on consumers and investment decisions.
The European Central Bank has warned that inflation expectations are worsening and says it will add more stimulus if needed. Many analysts are predicting the bank will launch large-scale purchases of financial assets to pump more money into the economy.
SAO PAULO (AP) -- Brazil's government says the country's gross domestic product contracted 0.6 percent in the second quarter compared with the previous three months, sending the country's economy into a recession.
The government's IBGE statistics bureau said Friday it was the second consecutive quarterly contraction of the economy.
In the first quarter of the year, GDP was reported as having grown 0.2 percent. But that figure was revised downward to minus 0.2 percent.
The IBGE says the country's GDP stands at 1.27 trillion reals ($567 billion).
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