Last time we checked, Europe was going through some pretty tough economical times. But that’s not stopping Volkswagen from reporting its best sales quarter in its history! In the first quarter of this year the company sold 1.36 million cars, with 536,600 cars alone in March.
However, much of VW's success isn’t because of Europe, even though they managed to gain 5% marketshare tgere. Volkswagen’s greatest markets come from Russia, China, South America, and America. Ever since the redesign of the Passat and Jetta, Volkswagen’s numbers have been climbing up the charts. You can read the full press release after the jump.
AT&T has revealed its first-quarter earnings, and things certainly smell like they're coming up roses for the carrier. That's probably expected considering it's destined to soon become the nation's largest wireless provider thanks to its recent move to acquire T-Mobile. But there was one part of the company's results that was a bit surprising: the debut of the Verizon iPhone appeared to have little effect on AT&T's iPhone subscriber base. Were there really that few people switching when AT&T finally lost its exclusive grip on the device?
AT&T said it activated 3.6 million iPhones last quarter, the first quarter the Verizon iPhone was available. It also said iPhone subscriber "churn," or the number of iPhone owners ditching AT&T for another carrier, was unchanged from the same period last year. During a call this morning, company executives said the impact was, "significantly less than many in the financial community and the media expected and, frankly, they were less than we expected."
After a close look at the numbers, an X factor becomes apparent: the iPhone 3GS. In January, AT&T reduced the price of the 8GB iPhone 3GS from $99 to $49, and it's been pushing the discounted phone hard. The 3GS is a very capable smartphone and looks extremely cheap next to the iPhone 4, which starts at about $200 on both Verizon and AT&T. Of course, Verizon doesn't offer the iPhone 3GS, so any iPhone cravers not willing to pony up a couple of C notes will be going to the AT&T store (or eBay where you can get them cheap without contract.)
During an earnings call, News Corp. COO Chase Carey indicated that "now is the right time" to place MySpace "under a new owner". The news is not a big surprise, as things have been going downhill for the social network. Its owner, News Corp., has attempted to revive the property last Autumn with a site redesign, and while the site is still popular with some niche crowds, there's no question that Facebook took its place long ago. Still, Carey stays positive on the outlook of MySpace, saying “the new MySpace has been very well received by the market and we have some very encouraging metrics, but the plan to allow MySpace to reach its full potential may be best achieved under a new owner.” Of course, it's still unknown whether anyone would be interested in buying it.
In a strange yet potentially devastating move for Indian companies and freelancers, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has introduced new directives which forces PayPal to restrict any payment for out-of-country services or goods to $500. This means companies and individuals from India wanting to sell services or products to customers outside of the country will have to keep it to a maximum price of $500 per transaction or do so using other means.
It's unclear why the restrictions were added. It's likely that this will impact the economy of the country, which is becoming very popular in several tech related sectors, especially over the Internet, where PayPal payments are common. The likely outcome is increased corruption, and alternative means of money exchange booming as a result of this.
Read More | PayPal Blog
Today is the day that Tata Motors debuts its Nano in Mumbai, India. The starting price of $1999.00 means that it is pretty basic. The car is 10.2 ft. long, has a 623cc rear engine, a very small trunk and only one windshield wiper. Power steering, a radio and air conditioner are optional. The fact that it doesn’t have airbags or antilock brakes tells us that it will undoubtedly not reach the States without some upgrading. Tata Motors has been having financial problems of late so we hope the mini-car can get them out of their difficulties.
Read More | USA Today
Moody’s Investors Service says that there may be 25 large company bankruptcies this year. Ratings from them and other sources came up with a list of those that are feeling the pinch. Sirius, Chrysler, Six Flags, Blockbuster, Rite Aid, and our beloved Krispy Kreme are all at risk of going under. Most of the companies have limited cash, large debts with huge interest payments and little chance of refinancing. While some of this may be inevitable, we suggest you go out and buy American. Treat your family or office to a dozen donuts or a trip to the amusement park.
Read More | Microblog Buzz
Movie Gallery, the parent company for brick-and-mortar game retailer/renter (and one of the few remaining chain competitors to GameStop/EB) received an extension on its $900 million restructuring loan as it continues to struggle in an increasingly difficult market. Movie Gallery also owns Hollywood Video and and eponymous stores. CEO Joe Malugen said, “Despite the challenging market conditions for Movie Gallery and the entire rental industry, we are continuing to work with our lenders and our outside advisors to help address the Company’s current financial situation. We plan to continue to operate the Company without interruption as we work through this challenging period.”
So clearly the word of the day is “challenging” but the company seems to be angling toward an acquisition or merger to overcome those challenges. So far they have had to close stores and reduce staff to try and meet financial obligations, and this new extension has given them until August 27th before the loan is considered defaulted.
This is just Grade-A stuff right here. John Moore decided to unbox the new version of the Wall Street Journal. You know - the one that features a more editorial approach along with a thinner profile? Thank you, John, for this hilarious unboxing video.
Read More | John Moore