Business Briefs: Volkswagen unveils ID.3 at Frankfort show

Volkswagen is rolling out what it bills as the breakthrough electric car for the masses, the leading edge of a wave of new battery-powered vehicles about to hit the European auto market.

The cars are the result of big investments in battery technology and new factories driven by environmental regulation and concerns about global warming.

Volkswagen is betting that the ID.3, with a roomy interior, brisk acceleration and battery range of up to 550 kilometers (340 miles) for the top model, will change things. It argues that the base price under 30,000 euros ($33,000) makes the ID.3 "an electric car for everyone." A key competitor, Tesla's Model 3, starts at 36,800 euros ($40,000) in Europe, but the company's website indicates it can run to well over 40,000 euros, depending on options.

The ID.3 went on display Monday ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show. Both moves are aimed at underlining the company's transformation since its 2015 diesel scandal, in which Volkswagen was caught using software to cheat on emissions testing and paid more than 30 billion euros ($33 billion) in fines and penalties.

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said that the launch is "a decisive moment" for the company and that the ID.3 will "bring the electric car from its niche into the middle of society."

Uber plans to open a new office in Chicago and add 2,000 people to its area workforce over the next three years.

The office will officially house the company's freight business and a related engineering hub.

Uber already has a significant presence in the city. It has about 1,300 workers in Chicago, some with the ride-hailing unit but most working on Freight.

Uber Freight uses the company's app technology to link shippers with trucking firms, with Uber getting a fee in return.

The unit had been divided between San Francisco and Chicago. Uber wanted to consolidate it in Chicago because of the transportation logistics expertise in the area.

Uber said Monday that it signed a 10-year lease for the office in The Old Main Post Office in the Chicago River area. It said in a statement that it plans to spend over $200 million a year in the Chicago region on personnel, real estate and other expenses.

"Chicago is the heart of American's transportation and logistics industry, and there is no better place to open our dedicated Freight HQ," Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said.

Fiat Chrysler is adding more than 693,000 Ram pickup trucks to a series of recalls to fix tailgates that can open while the trucks are being driven.

The expansion covers certain Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups from the 2013 through 2018 model years that have power locking tailgates. Affected 2015 through 2017 trucks have 8-foot beds, and the affected 2013, 2014 and 2018 trucks have beds of other sizes and were built before April 1, 2018.

Fiat Chrysler says it's not aware of any injuries or accidents caused by the problem.

The company recalled about 1.1 million trucks in the U.S. in 2018 for the same problem, and added 410,000 in May of 2019, for a total of just over 2.2 million.

A tailgate tab can fracture and cause the tailgates to unlatch, increasing the risk of cargo spilling onto the road.

Dealers will repair the tailgate latch. Owners of the latest batch of recalled trucks will get letters starting around Oct. 18 notifying them to take their trucks to a dealer for service.

Fiat Chrysler says the recall expansions came because of reviews of customer data as it monitors vehicles in the field. The company says that all loose cargo in the bed should be secured before driving.

Consumer borrowing surged in July at its fastest pace since late 2017, driven by a big jump credit card use.

Consumer borrowing increased by $23.3 billion in July after a $13.8 billion advance in June, the Federal Reserve reported Monday. It was the biggest monthly gain since a $29.9 billion jump in November 2017.

The large July gain was led by a sizable increase in borrowing in the category covering credit cards, which rose by $10 billion in July after having fallen by $186 million in June.

Borrowing in the category that covers auto and student loans also posted a sizable gain, rising by $13.3 billion in July following a $14 billion June increase.

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