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Nutson's Nuggets - Automotive News January 14-20, 2013 Just In Case You Were Dozing


Auto Central Louisville, KY January 20, 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 1,3697,044 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 January 14-20, 2013

* The North American International Auto Show in Detroit kicks off its public days this weekend after a full week of press and industry events and the Friday evening Charity Preview that is one of the biggest single-night fundraising events of all time. Without a doubt the hit of the show is the new-from-the-ground-up C-7 Corvette bearing the reborn name Stingray. Noteworthy though is that the entire show is one of the most optimistic and forward-looking shows in recent memory. See all the coverage and full-legnth video here at TACH.

* The first press event was the announcement of the Cadillac ATS and Ram 1500 winning North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year honors. And while automotive infotainment was newsworthy at last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, fuel economy technology and a touch of luxury will be in the news at this week's NAIAS

* The burning question now is: When do we see the new Corvette as a convertible? Chicago auto show; New York auto show? By the way, not every Chevy dealer will get the new Corvette to sell. If a Chevy dealer didn't sell four last year the C-7 will not be there's to feel this year.

* Fiat/Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed this week that their storied sub-brand Alfa Romeo will come back to the U.S. market later this year with the beautiful little 4C sports car of which we've seen previews over the past couple of years. Best known here for sports cars and sporty sedans, Alfa has a fairly broad, sometimes tepid, product line in Europe.

* In related Alfa news - we saw confirmation this week that Mazda will co-design and build a two-seat Alfa Romeo roadster along side the new generation MX5 Miata, expected to be on sale in the U.S. sometime in calendar 2015.

* Another recall from Honda gets them off for 2013 with a limp. Apparently, a missing rivet could effect the deployment of an airbag. The recall is for a total of about 3/4 million Pilot CUVs and Odyssey minivans.

* The brutal Dakar Rally is scheduled to finish with the last special stage this weekend. American, Robby Gordon driving a Hummer was in the lead on the last but one special stage when he paused too long and got stuck in a sand dune, dashing his chances for a win. This toughest of all rallies moved to the wilds of South America from its traditional routes in North Africa a few years ago because of political unrest and security issues.

* Bob Lutz' consulting arrangement with his former employer, GM ended at the end of 2012 but that doesn't mean he is out to pasture. During this week's North American International Auto show he was seen receiving the EyesOn Design Catalyst award and touting a new project he's in the middle of focused on putting supercharged LS9 engines into Fisker Karma sedans. The car is called Destino. The company VL-Automotive.

* announced that the Dodge Challenger is the winner of its Shoppers' Choice Award for the second year in a row. The Challenger was one of 10 award finalists which were each selected based on viewer actions taken on the site including searching through car listings, filling out consumer reviews and contacting dealers for more information about specific cars. The ultimate winner was determined through fan voting on the Facebook page.

* Ford Motor Co. earned top honors for the third consecutive year during the 17th annual Polk Automotive Loyalty Awards presented this evening at the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit. Ford was honored with awards for Overall Loyalty to Manufacturer and Overall Loyalty to Make. The Ford F-Series also won in the Mid-/Full-size Pickup category for the 15th time.Additional highlights from tonight's awards program included Volkswagen being honored for the first time in the Most Improved Loyalty to Make category.

* This past year 10 U.S. auto shows retained Foresight Research to perform studies at their shows. Each study included in-display and exit surveys as well as post-show research. The Foresight study concluded that Chicago sets a benchmark for others in creating awareness, show attendance and follow-up auto sales stating, “The attendees at the Chicago Auto Show appear to be more enthusiastic, more motivated, and more engaged in coming to and participating in the auto show than most cities.”