published Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Biz Briefs: Volkswagen wins Polk Loyalty Award

The VW logo is seen on the front of one of dozens of new Passats made at the Chattanooga Volkswagen assembly plant parked outside the plant.
The VW logo is seen on the front of one of dozens of new Passats made at the Chattanooga Volkswagen assembly plant parked outside the plant.

Volkswagen wins Polk Loyalty Award

Volkswagen of America Inc. was presented with the 2012 Polk Automotive Loyalty Award for Most Improved Loyalty to Make at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit.

Polk analyzed more than 5.9 million vehicle owners who bought new vehicles during the 2012 model year to determine the winners.

"Generally speaking, brand growth strategies are focused on conquesting new customers while retaining existing customers," said Brad Smith, director of Polk's loyalty management practice. Loyalty is determined when a household that owns a new vehicle returns to market and purchases or leases another new vehicle of the same model or make.


CBL developing Louisiana center

CBL & Associates Properties Inc. is joining with Stirling Properties to develop the nearly 600,000-square-foot Fremaux Town Center in Slidell, La.

Once complete, the 80-acre site will consist of two phases. Phase one will comprise about 295,000 square feet with anchors. Phase two will include up to 300,000 square feet of additional retail space. Construction is set to begin in March, with the grand opening scheduled for the second quarter of 2014.

"Stirling Properties has a solid reputation as a leading retail developer in southern Louisiana, and we are pleased to partner with them on this project," said Michael Lebovitz, CBL's executive vice president-development and administration.


Contractor cuts Anniston staff

A defense contractor has notified 139 of its roughly 400 employees at its Anniston Army Depot site in Alabama that they will be laid off in March and April.

General Dynamics Land Systems will employ fewer workers after April because of declining military orders for combat vehicles. The company builds and repairs combat vehicles.

Peter Keating, spokesman for General Dynamics Land Systems, said the layoffs were necessary because of a lack. The layoffs are the latest in a string of cutbacks in Anniston since last year from the drawdowns of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. General Dynamics announced 98 layoffs at the depot in November. BAE Systems in December closed its Anniston vehicle upgrade and overhaul facility, laying off 145 people.

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