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Nutsons Nuggets - Automotive News November 26-Dec 2, 2012 In Case You Were Dozing


Auto Central Louisville, KY December 2, 2012 Each week Larry Nutson, The Auto Channel's Chicago Bureau Chief, 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 16 years 1,358,359 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...Lot's of LA Auto Show News, see you next week, LN

Automotive News November 26-Dec 2, 2012

* Much of this week's news comes from the Los Angeles Auto Show, essentially the first of the new U.S. auto show season. Your tenacious TACH team has been there this week to be sure you don't miss a thing. The show opened to the public Friday, November 30 and runs through December 9th. The L.A. show is used by manufacturers around the world to introduce new products and present concept cars to tease us all. Much of what is being touted at the show is about fuel efficiency.

* After teasing us for about a year with hints that they'll bring a diesel to the U.S. Mazda announced at the L.A. show that the new Mazda6, due here next summer, will be available with clean diesel power. This will be the first time an Asian maker will offer a diesel here.

* For drama and panache, Bentley presented the GT3 Concept they showed in Paris earlier this fall, but it's one step closer to being ready to bring the storied brand back to racing. We don't know yet what race will see this beautiful brute next year. Most journalists were surprised to hear at the Bentley press event that China and the U.S. are neck-and-neck in Bentley sales.

* More interesting news from Mazda: the rotary engine is coming back. No, not to the U.S. nor in a sexy sports car like the RX8. Instead it will become a range-extender engine in a new hybrid vehicle for Japan that will be driven by electricity. Mazda first produced the rotary engine in a little coupe in 1968. In recent years, though, it became too difficult to increase fuel mileage and reduce emissions enough to comply with modern requirements.

* Get out your checkbook, you can buy Aston Martin. The iconic performance sports car maker is on the block according to a Bloomberg story. Top on the buyers list right now is Indian company Mahindra & Mahindra. Another Indian Company, Tata Motors, owns Jaguar and Land Rover, so why not move another classically British automaker to the former British colony. Quite an ironic situation, we'd say.

* Green Car Journal named the 2013 Ford Fusion "Green Car of the Year" at the L.A. auto show this week, beating out the Dodge Dart Aero, Ford C-Max,Toyota Prius C and Mazda CX-5. The award reflects the basic Fusion with 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine with manual transmission's achievement of 29-mpg and the Hybrid's 47-mpg. * The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) announced revised estimates for the number of vehicles damaged as a result of Super Storm Sandy as provided by the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), a subsidiary of Verisk Analytics. The current estimate of vehicles damaged as a result of Sandy hit the 230,000 mark as claims processed by insurance companies have been reviewed and analyzed.

* Fisker Automotive has hired Joel Ewanick, the former GM global marketing boss who was fired in July over the controversial sponsorship of the Manchester United English soccer team. Ewanick will be interim chief of global sales and marketing for the maker of luxury plug-in hybrids, replacing industry veteran Richard Beattie, who announced his retirement. Beattie, formerly of Ford, Mazda and Jaguar, has been with Fisker since last December.

* Sebastian Vettel, who will continue with Red Bull next season and not Ferrari, won his third consecutive Formula One championship. Speculation in Formula One after the successful U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas is that we may get two more races in the U.S., one on each coast.

* California is a good place for convertibles and two new models made their North American debut at the LA Auto show, the redesigned VW Beetle convertible and the all-new Jaguar F-type. Both have soft tops supplied by Haartz who says their toppings are engineered to dispel the misconceptions of soft top convertibles. Benefits of Haartz materials, including all-season driving, optimized top-down trunk space and superior acoustical and NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) performance, are on par with retractable hard tops. Haartz tops are also used on the Jeep Wrangler and the Fiat 500.

* The Chevrolet Volt topped Consumer Reports' Owner-Satisfaction Survey for the second straight year. Top-ranked cars feature great fuel economy, a fun driving experience and luxurious surroundings. In addition to the Volt, other fuel-efficient models that scored among the best were the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Prius, and Prius C, and Nissan Leaf. The Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche 911, the V8 Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang topped the sporty car category while the Audi A7, Lexus GS and Audi A6 were the leading luxury cars. But isn't it tough for many to admit they made a mistake?

* Perhaps the most interesting cars at this week's media preview at the Los Angeles auto show were from Lincoln. Lincoln didn't display any new or current models but only displayed seven classic Lincolns including Elizabeth Taylor's 1956 Continental Mark II. Also on display were the 1929 Lincoln L Dietrich Convertible Coupe, the 1932 Lincoln KB LeBaron Convertible Roadster and the 1937 Lincoln Derham Sport Sedan. The classic lineup also included the 1937 Lincoln-Zephyr Coupe-Sedan, the 1940 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet and the 1961 Lincoln Continental Sedan.

* Ford will recall 2013 Escape and Fusion models equipped with the 1.6-liter engine due to an engine overheating problem that may cause a fire.