U.S. helps drive VW sales up

The United States helped propel Volkswagen brand sales 10.4 percent higher worldwide in the first seven months of the year, the German automaker reported Wednesday.

VW delivered over 3.26 million vehicles in the period, with sales in North America up 23.4 percent to 346,700, the company said in a news release.

Sales of 245,700 in the U.S. were 34.1 percent above the prior-year period, according to VW.

The company reported earlier that the Chattanooga-made Passat accounted for nearly a quarter of all sales in the U.S. in July.

CBL closes loan for Atlanta plan

CBL & Associates Properties Inc. and U.S. Bank announced Wednesday they have closed on a $70 million construction loan to finance The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta.

The 370,000 square-foot outlet center will feature more than 80 retail outlet stores. Construction is under way and expected to be complete in the second half of 2013.

John N. Foy, vice-chairman and chief financial officer for CBL, said The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta "is sure to become a favored retail destination for residents and tourists alike."

Ceramaspeed moves to Blount

Electric radiant heater manufacturer Ceramaspeed plans to invest $3.5 million and add 40 jobs in Blount County, Tenn.

The company bought the German company Isphording and will relocate it to the former Klote International facility in Maryville, Tenn., according to the state Department of Economic and Community Development.

Ceramaspeed will produce gas burners at the new facility. Hiring will begin in the first quarter of 2013. Applicants should contact Ceramaspeed at customer

UPS purchase of TNT delayed

NEW YORK - United Parcel Service Inc. is extending the offer period for its $6.77 billion acquisition of Dutch delivery company TNT Express.

Since the two companies are similar and share some common business, European regulators said last month they need to look at the deal more closely.

UPS' offer period will now extend to Nov. 9. The previous deadline was Aug. 31.