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Gadget show down 75%

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 7, 2022

LAS VEGAS – Attendance at this week’s CES gadget show in Las Vegas fell more than 75% compared to its previous in-person event two years ago, its organizer said Friday.

The Consumer Technology Association said on the show’s closing day that more than 40,000 people attended the multiday event on the Las Vegas Strip.

That’s less than a quarter of the more than 170,000 the CTA said were there for its 2020 convention.

The COVID-19 pandemic led the CTA to take 2021’s conference online, but the trade group decided eight months ago to bring a physical CES 2022 back to Vegas.

That proved challenging amid a global spike in infections caused by the fast-moving omicron coronavirus variant that emerged late last year.

VW gives 10% raise to workers

Volkswagen is giving workers at its assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a 10% pay raise as the COVID-19 omicron variant stretches an already-tight labor market, the head of its U.S. business said.

The German automaker on Friday reported U.S. sales of 375,030 vehicles for 2021, a 15% jump from the prior year.

The performance was led by the Atlas, its three-row SUV made in Chattanooga, and the Tiguan midsize SUV. VW delivered 16,742 units of its electric ID.4 SUV, which it plans to begin building in the second half of 2022.

Across the industry, U.S. auto sales will likely be stuck at 15.5 million this year because of tight supplies of semiconductor chips, Scott Keogh, chief executive officer of VW’s U.S. unit, said on a call with reporters Friday.

At the same time, the auto industry is grappling with higher rates of absenteeism because of the spread of the virus.

From wire reports

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