Nutson's Weekly Automotive News Recap
August 10-16, 2015
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
AUTO CENTRAL - CHICAGO - August 16, 2015; Every Sunday, along with fellow senior editors Steve Purdy and Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, I give you our "take" on this past week's automotive news in easy to digest nuggets.
If you are a car nut like we all are here at The Auto Channel, you can easily wish to "catch up" on these stories as well as the past 20 year's 1,922,187 automotive news, automotive stories, articles, reviews, archived news, video, audio, rants and raves just search The Auto Channel's Automotive News Archive.
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Nutson's Weekly Automotive News Review - August 10-16, 2015
* This weekend is best known as Monterey Car Week and culminates with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance classic and collector car show on Sunday, unquestionably the most prestigious show of its kind. The entire week before the Concours is flush with supporting events like the vintage races at nearby Leguna Seca/Mazda Raceway and the Tour d’Elegance on Friday where dozens of exotic, rare and beautiful cars, old and new, tour the Monterey Peninsula.
* The other big - and we do mean BIG - collector car event is the annual Woodward Dream Cruise where tens of thousands of special cars, trucks and motorcycles cruise up and down Woodward Avenue from Detroit north to Pontiac, the street lined with spectators nearly the whole way. It is billed as the largest single-day automotive event in the world with an expected 1.5-million spectators and participants. Like Monterey, the whole week preceding the Cruise is filled with related events.
* Gasoline prices keep dropping across the U.S. and they are forecasted to keep doing so over the next six weeks. Average prices across the country range from as low as $2.19 in South Carolina to a high of $3.59 in California. Now's the time to take that road trip.
* However, in the Great Lakes region, pump prices all of a sudden jumped in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. This because a BP refinery in northern Indiana unexpectedly shut down one of its crude distillation units because of a needed unscheduled repair to a broken pipe. It could take a month to fix the pipe. Really! I know a good plumber who probably can get it done in a day or so.
* Enterprise CarShare and Nissan are teaming up to make it even more affordable for college students, staff and faculty to drive around town. The companies announced a multi-year partnership that supplies Enterprise CarShare fleets on nearly 90 university campuses exclusively with Nissan vehicles.
* The General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan got a five-foot-tall, 1,200-pound granite marker to signify its designation as a National Historic Landmark. It is being honored by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service as one of the most significant works of famous architect, Eero Saarinen. The Tech Center was opened in 1956 and seen as the epitome of design and engineering prowess of its day. It is now slated for over a billion dollars in renovation partly triggered by epic flooding during a storm last year that did extensive damage particularly to the below-grade areas of the complex.
* Four auto manufacturers lost thousands of cars - 7,500 by some reports - in that Chinese factory explosion last week in Tianjin, a port city in northeast China. These cars from VW, Hyundai-Kia, Toyota and Ranault were stored nearby. Tianjin is a major shipping port for autos. You may have seen images in the news of burned out rows of cars. Toyota also announced that some of its people were injured in the blast.
* Our colleagues at The Detroit Bureau report that in an exclusive interview with BMW officials they learned the next generation of the high-performance M3 will have a plug-in hybrid powertrain. BMW has been developing and producing with great success hybrids and electric-powered vehicles both for racing and consumer applications. The new M3 will have an electric range of about 20 miles and the electric propulsion systems will enhance the already strong ICE engine.
* BF Goodrich Tires is recalling approximately 129,000 tires that were sold in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The recalled tires are primarily found on commercial light trucks, as well as full-sized heavy-duty vans, small RVs and some 3/4 and one ton pick-up trucks.
* GM is recalling 73,424 Chevrolet Cobalt small cars globally because improper wiring could prevent the roof-mounted driver's side air bag from deploying after a crash. The recall affects Cobalts from the 2010 model year.
* VW is recalling 670,000 cars and SUVs in North America for potentially defective air bags. The recall includes the 2010-14 CC, 2011-13 EOS, 2011-14 Golf and GTI, 2010-14 Passat and Tiguan, 2010-13 Jetta.
* Britax Child Safety Inc. said it will recall 213,000 child safety seats with buttons that could fail and allow the shoulder harness to loosen. The recall covers some Advocate ClickTight, Boulevard ClickTight and Marathon ClickTight child seats. The seats were built between August 2014 and July 29, 2015.
* NASCAR legend Buddy Baker died from lung cancer at his home on Lake Norman in North Carolina. He was 74. Baker was considered a master of NASCAR's fastest tracks, namely Talladega and Daytona. He scored 19 victories in NASCAR’s top series in a career that spanned 33 years and 699 starts.