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 January 30, 2015 18:13 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. economy slowed in the final three months of 2014 as a big burst in consumer spending was offset by weakness in other areas.
The Commerce Department says the overall economy grew at a 2.6 percent rate in the October-December period, down from sizzling gains of 4.6 percent in the second quarter and 5 percent in the third quarter.
Consumers did their part in the fourth quarter, pushing up spending by fastest rate in nearly nine years. But businesses investment, trade and government spending weakened.
For the year, the economy grew at a moderate rate of 2.4 percent. But economists believe 2015 could be a breakout year for growth, with consumer spending boosted by strong employment gains and falling gas prices. Many expect growth above 3 percent this year.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Wages and benefits rose at the fastest pace in six years last year, a sign strong job gains could be forcing companies to pay a bit more for workers.
The Labor Department says the employment cost index, which measures pay and benefits, rose 2.2 percent in 2014, up from 2 percent the previous year. That's the biggest gain since 2008. It's also ahead of inflation, which rose 1.3 percent.
Yet the increase is still sluggish by historical standards. In a healthy economy, the index usually rises at about a 3.5 percent pace.
The Federal Reserve is closing watching wages as it considers when to raise the short-term interest rate it controls. Fed Chair Janet Yellen considers rising wages a key sign that the job market is nearing full health.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. consumers are more confident than they've been since January 2004.
The University of Michigan says that its index of consumer sentiment rose to 98.1 in January from 93.6 last month.
Consumers say the prospects for the U.S. economy are the strongest in a decade, and half of consumers expect the expansion to keep going another five years.
The Michigan survey was the latest evidence that strong job growth and tumbling oil prices have lifted consumers' spirits. The Conference Board on Tuesday reported that its consumer confidence index climbed to the highest level since August 2007. And the Commerce Department reported Friday that consumer spending rose from October through December at the fastest pace in nearly nine years.
DALLAS (AP) -- Pilots at American Airlines and US Airways have approved a single labor contract. That's a step toward combining workforces at the two carriers, which merged in December 2013.
The multiyear deal gives pilots a 23 percent pay raise retroactive to Dec. 2.
The pilots' union said Friday that the contract was approved 66 percent to 34 percent, with 95 percent of eligible pilots casting a vote.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A jury of six men and six women is continuing deliberations in a case alleging a 1996 Toyota Camry had a design defect that caused a fatal crash.
Jurors received the case late Wednesday afternoon and deliberated all day Thursday without reaching a verdict. They returned to a federal courthouse in Minneapolis on Friday to keep working.
The jurors must decide whether Toyota's design of the 1996 Camry had a defect that was unreasonably dangerous. If they find there was a defect, they must decide if it directly caused injuries to those hurt or killed when Koua Fong Lee crashed into another car in 2006.
Lee spent 2 1/2 years in prison before being released after reports suggested some Toyota cars had sudden acceleration problems.
BERLIN (AP) -- German automaker BMW says it has fixed a security flaw that made 2.2 million of its vehicles vulnerable to break-ins.
The company says the problem affected BMW, Mini and Rolls Royce models equipped with its ConnectedDrive technology, which allows drivers to access certain car functions with a smartphone.
German automobile club ADAC, which discovered the flaw last summer, says hackers could have used a fake cellphone base station to intercept network traffic from the car and lower the windows or open the doors. There are no reports such a break-in ever took place.
BMW spokeswoman Silke Brigl said Friday that hackers wouldn't have been able to start or stop the engine.
Brigl said the problem has been fixed with an automatic update and customers don't need to take any action.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal appeals court says many advertising claims for POM Wonderful juice were deceptive in asserting that it curbs the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction and is clinically proven to work.
In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholds the conclusion that many of POM's ads made misleading or false claims. The conclusion was reached by the Federal Trade Commission.
The ads appeared in national publications, on Internet sites, bus stops, billboards, newsletters and on tags attached to the products.
POM Wonderful LLC produces a number of pomegranate-based products.
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia deputy sports minister Yuri Nagornykh says his country's economic crisis is forcing athletes to scale back their training plans for next year's Olympics in Brazil.
Training camps abroad can be crucial in acclimatizing athletes for Rio de Janeiro's tropical conditions, but they are rapidly becoming unaffordable after the ruble lost almost half of its value against the U.S. dollar in the last 12 months.
Nagornykh tells Russian agency R-Sport that, with the ruble's value low and the Sports Ministry's budget facing cuts, athletes should stay in Russia rather than train abroad "in order to spend less of the currency reserves."
Officials will select priority sports and athletes for scarce funding, Nagornykh said.
The measures affect athletes for the Rio Olympics, and the 2018 Winter Olympics, he added.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio State University is cashing in after the Buckeyes' national championship victory.
The Columbus Dispatch reports the university expects a $3 million increase this year in royalties from licensed merchandise sales as fans continue to buy national championship gear and keepsakes.
Retailers say the team's special story has helped boost sales. The Buckeyes, who defied naysayers in their 42-20 victory over the University of Oregon, earned the final playoff spot after losing two starting quarterbacks to injuries.
Licensing officials also attribute increased sales to the fact Ohio State hadn't won a championship since 2002.
More than half of each dollar that comes into the school's licensing office goes to academic affairs. The athletics department, alumni association and student life program also receive portions of the revenue.
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