Nutson's Nuggets - Automotive News Factoids July 15-21, 2013 Just In You Were Dozing


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Auto Central Louisville, KY July 21, 2013; Each week Larry Nutson, Senior Editor, New York Bureau of The Auto Channel, along with Steve Purdy and Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau give you easy to digest nuggets of the past week's automotive news you may have missed.

If you are a car nut like we all are, you can easily "catch up" on these stories as well as the past 17 year's 1,412,769 automotive news, automotive stories, articles, reviews, rants and raves by just searching for the subject you are interested in The Auto Channel's Automotive News Archive. Hey South Florida TV viewers, I know you are enjoying watching The Auto Channel's TACH-TV on channel 44 WHDT-TV Palm Beach (Cable 17 and 438, channel 9 Miami and channel 32 Fort Meyers-Naples, and thanks for the positive feedback....See you next week, LN

Automotive News July 15-21, 2013

* The city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy this week but that will not effect the North American International (Detroit) Auto Show according to the executive director of the Detroit Auto Dealers Association, Rod Alberts. Cobo Center, venue for the show which was owned and operated by the city until 2009, is now part of a regional authority.

* Another big anniversary this week - Chevy's "bow-tie" logo. It first appeared in 1913 on the 1914 Chevrolet H-2 Royal Mail and the H-4 Baby Grand according to a press release issued by Chevy. It is certainly one of the most recognized brand symbols in the world and stories of its origin are mostly matters of speculation, one of which involves GM founder William Crapo Durant sketching at the breakfast table.

* Ford is responding to complaints that its gasoline-electric hybrids are not delivering advertised miles per gallon (the EPA test ratings) by offering 77,000 owners a free software upgrade that should improve their real-world fuel economy. The new Fusion hybrid has an Environmental Protection Agency test rating of 47 mpg for combined highway and city driving. The new C-Max hybrid also has an EPA test rating of 47 mpg. Ford did not say how much better mileage owners will get but did say the software changes will not change the EPA test ratings and the government agency is aware of the program. Remember, your mileage may vary!

* The Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne, Australia reported this week that Ford will include a right-hand-drive version of the Mustang in the car's major redesign scheduled for next year allowing it to be marketed for the first time in the UK, Australia and other countries. We expect to see the new Mustang, celebrating its 50th anniversary, at next spring's New York Auto Show. Could this be related to Ford's recent decision to close all its Australian manufacturing facilities soon? Ford also closed its last remaining assembly plant in the UK this week.

* Chrysler and Fiat boss, Sergio Marchionne, has made no secret of his lack of enthusiasm for electric cars, but this week seems to be a bit more positive. The new Fiat 500e (electric micro car) will be sold in California at a considerable loss on each vehicle according to the boss. But Chrysler's global director of electric vehicles, Mike Duhaime, said this week that "There are more battery-electric vehicles in our future."

* In Munich, BMW showed auto writers its i3 electric car, which will come to market in Europe in November and the United States next year. It can travel 186 miles when equipped with an optional range extender, a motorcycle-like gasoline engine that helps maintain the charge when the battery runs low. Otherwise, the car will be able to travel about half that distance, or about 93 miles, on a single charge.

* Auto writers including The Auto Channel's Henny Hennes drove production versions of the all-new BMW 4-series coupe in Portugal. Henny's review and first impressions are posted on The Auto Channel.com.

* The launch of the next generation Chevy Cruze is being pushed back by a year for additional engineering changes, according to many media reports. The new Cruze might arrive in 2015 as a 2016 model.

* The third and last trailer for Ron Howard's movie about Formula One racing went up this week. You can see it at Autoweek's site: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130408/f1/130409858. The film is due out this fall and has gotten rave reviews from those who have seen the first cut, including F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone. The film is about the competition between Niki Lauda and James Hunt in the 1976 F1 season.

* Speaking of Mr. Ecclestone, he was indicted in Germany this week in a bribery scandal. He is accused of paying off a German banker to the tune of $44 million. Ecclestone insists he did "nothing illegal."

* Motorcycle racer Bill Warner, 44, of Wimauma, Fla., in an attempt to top 300 mph died after losing control and zooming off a runway at a former air base in northern Maine. He was clocked at 285 mph before he lost control but it was unclear how fast the motorcycle was traveling when it veered off the paved runway and crashed, said Tim Kelly, race director the Loring Timing Association, which hosted "The Maine Event" at Loring Air Force Base. Riding his modified turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa, Warner previously hit 311 mph on the same course in 2011, using 1.5 miles of pavement. That's considered to be the world land speed record for a conventional motorcycle.

* Chrysler Group is recalling more than 45,000 2013 Ram 1500 pickup trucks due to a problem with their electronic stability control system.

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