July 17, 2008 in Business

Volkswagen aims for No. 2 in world

 

Despite one of the worst downturns in U.S. auto industry history, Volkswagen AG is expanding its U.S. presence and looking to grab a bigger slice of the country’s market as part of its plan to become the world’s No. 2 automaker.

The company’s top U.S. executive says the automaker has the fuel-efficient yet sporty vehicles that Americans want as gas prices remain above $4 a gallon.

Volkswagen, which currently accounts for about 2 percent of the U.S. market, sold 230,000 vehicles in the U.S. last year and wants to increase that to 800,000 by 2018.

WASHINGTON

Pilots say airline seeks unsafe fuel cuts

The pilots union for US Airways is accusing the airline of pressuring pilots to use less fuel than they feel is safe to save money.

James Ray, a captain and spokesman for the 5,200-member US Airline Pilots Association, says eight senior pilots and the union have filed complaints with the Federal Aviation Administration.

They accuse the airline of trying to intimidate captains into flying with less fuel than they are comfortable with.

Ray said soaring jet fuel prices have sent all the airlines scrambling to find ways to cut the weight of airliners because heavier planes burn more fuel.

NEW YORK

EBay’s profit climbs 22 percent

EBay Inc. said Wednesday that its second-quarter profit jumped 22 percent, as the online auction company enjoyed growth in its e-commerce sites and its PayPal payments service.

But eBay’s outlook for the current quarter was softer than analysts had been forecasting, and the auction company’s shares fell 6 percent in after-hours trading. San Jose, Calif.-based eBay earned $460 million, or 35 cents a share, compared with $376 million, 27 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Meanwhile, fast-food company Yum Brands Inc.’s second-quarter profit grew 4 percent.

From wire reports

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