Chattanooga-built Passat wins ‘cost to own’ award and more business news – Chattanooga Times Free Press


Chattanooga-built Passat wins ‘cost to own’ award

The 2021 Passat sedan, which is built in Chattanooga, has won Kelley Blue Book’s «5-Year Cost to Own Award» in the midsize car segment, according to Volkswagen of America.

The awards recognize new vehicles with Kelley Blue Book’s lowest projected ownership costs over the initial five-year period.

«Passat has long been a stalwart in the Volkswagen stable, providing midsize sedan buyers a great combination of comfort, amenities and VW-signature driving dynamics,» said Scott Keogh, president and CEO of Volkswagen of America. «This award shows Passat is also a terrific value.»

Eric Ibara, director of residual values for Kelley Blue Book, said the choosing a car with low ownership costs can help shoppers save a significant amount of money over time – often several hundred and sometimes thousands of dollars.

He said it’s worthwhile to research the cost to own details of any new car a buyer is considering.

Apple profits double on higher iPhone sales

Demand for the iPhone and other Apple products drove profits to more than double in the January-March period as the tech giant continued to capitalize on smartphone addiction.

Profits came to $23.6 billion, or $1.40 per share, while revenue climbed 54% to $89.6 billion in the fiscal second quarter, the company said Wednesday.

The iPhone, Apple’s crown jewel, hadn’t sold quite as well as usual over the past few years as people held on to their current phones for longer. But the release of four iPhone 12 models last fall has unleashed purchases, and iPhone sales rose 66% to $47.9 billion on top of a holiday-season quarter when iPhone sales jumped 17%.

The iPhone 12 is the first model that can connect to 5G wireless networks that promise higher speeds but are still being built out. Apple is trying to goose sales even more during the current quarter with a new purple iPhone 12.

Facebook profits up 94% in quarter

Facebook said Wednesday it earned $9.5 billion, or $3.30 per share, in the January-March period. That’s up 94% from $4.9 billion, or $1.71 per share, a year earlier, and well above what analysts who follow the company had projected for the first quarter.

Revenue for the social media giant grew 48% to $26.17 billion from $17.44 billion.

The average price of ads on Facebook grew 30% from a year earlier, while the number of ads increased by 12%.

Facebook had 2.85 billion monthly users, on average, in March. That’s up 10% from a year earlier.

Ford posts profits, chip shortage looms

Ford posted a surprising $3.26 billion profit in the first quarter, but the company says a worsening global computer chip shortage could cut its production in half in the current quarter.

Excluding non-recurring items, the automaker says it made 89 cents per share from January through March, trouncing Wall Street estimates of 22 cents per share.

Ford Chief Financial Officer John Lawler attributed the large profit to years of restructuring to make the company leaner, as well as higher prices for its vehicles due to tight inventories. He says the second quarter should be the low point for the chip shortage.

Boeing ‘s losses continue in 2021

Boeing is posting another loss as the pandemic continues to undercut demand for new planes and the company deals with more problems around its 737 Max jetliner.

Boeing Co. said Wednesday it lost $537 million in the first quarter. That’s less than the company lost a year ago but still more than analysts expected. Since the quarter ended, Boeing has suffered a new setback with its 737 Max jetliners, more than 100 of which are now parked again because of issues around electrical grounding of some parts.

Boeing CEO David Calhoun says 2021 is an «inflection point» for Boeing, with distribution of vaccines against COVID-19 picking up and helping the airline industry.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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