published Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Biz Briefs: VW mini-Vader spot named best

The Volkswagen ad for Super Bowl XLV with a  pint-sized Darth Vader has been named the best Super Bowl car commercial of all time by Edmunds.com.
The Volkswagen ad for Super Bowl XLV with a pint-sized Darth Vader has been named the best Super Bowl car commercial of all time by Edmunds.com.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

VW mini-Vader spot named best

A Volkswagen ad starring a pint-sized Darth Vader using "The Force" on an all-new, Chattanooga-made Passat has been named the best Super Bowl car commercial of all time by Edmunds.com.

The company that provides car shopping and automotive information said the 30-second spot "captured America's heart."

The spot debuted in Super Bowl XLV with a 6-year-old dressed as the Star Wars villain miraculously starting the vehicle with his Jedi mind — and with a little remote assistance from his father. The ad received 8 million YouTube views in the days before the ad aired on television.


Law firm among best employers

The law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC was ranked as the 45th best company in America in Fortune magazine's 16th annual "100 Best Companies to Work For" list.

The Tennessee law firm, which operates an office in Chattanooga, has been included in the Fortune list for the past three years but has not previously rated so high.

Other companies with local operations on the new Fortune list included Edward Jones, No. 8; Men's Wearhouse, No. 50; Darden Restaurants, No. 65; Whole Foods Market, No. 71; CarMax, No. 74; Publix Super Markets, No. 77; Starbucks, No. 94; and FedEx, No. 98.


Coal cuts trim railroad profits

Weak coal demand is still weighing on Norfolk Southern Corp.'s profits, and executives at the railroad said Tuesday it's extremely difficult to predict when coal shipments will increase.

The Norfolk, Va.-based railroad said its fourth-quarter profit declined 14 percent to $413 million, or $1.30 per share. That's down from $480 million, or $1.42 per share, a year earlier. Quarterly revenue dipped to $2.68 billion from the previous year's $2.8 billion.

Despite the declines, the results still topped Wall Street profit expectations by 11 cents per share.

Norfolk Southern said 590 railroad employees are currently on furlough. The railroad said it plans to reduce costs this year by eliminating about 300 maintenance jobs because crews have become more efficient.

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