Business Briefs: New Passat will be 'a big step'

Business Briefs: New Passat will be 'a big step'

April 24th, 2014 by Associated Press and Staff Report in Business Around the Region

Next Passat is 'a big step'

Volkswagen of America's chief says that the Chattanooga-made Passat, slated to be refreshed for the 2016 model year, will be "a big step" for the midsize sedan, according to Motor Trend.

Michael Horn, the company's U.S. head, said he has seen the car and the Passat face-lift will be "very strong."

He told the magazine that the new Jetta is "a decent step's nice, makes it more sporty, makes it more dynamic. But it's on the lower end of what we can do. But the Passat [refresh] is very strong. We go much further."

Passat sales have slid about 6.3 percent in the first three months of the year compared to 2013.

Cornerstone income dips

Cornerstone Bancshares Inc., the parent company of Cornerstone Community Bank, said Wednesday it earned $412,000 in the first three months of 2014, or 8.8 percent less than in the same period a year ago.

The Chattanooga bank said it has been profitable for 13 consecutive quarters and continues to improve its balance sheet. During the winter quarter the bank cuts its foreclosed asssets by 40.6 percent while boosting its loans 7.5 percent.

"We continue to make great strides in strengthening the bank and its solid earnings footprint," said Frank Hughes, CEO of the $430 million-asset bank, which operates five branches in Chattanooga and a loan production office in Dalton, Ga.