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Nutson's Nuggets - Automotive News January 20-26, 2013 Just In Case You Were Dozing


Auto Central Louisville, KY January 27, 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 21-27 2013

* We've been watching the progress of Mazda's promise to bring a production diesel car to the U.S. and it is still slated for later this year. In the meantime a racing version of that production diesel engine will compete in the upcoming Daytona Rolex 24 hour race. Billed as SKYACTIVE-D, the 2.2-liter clean diesel engine makes 400 horsepower.

* Volkswagen confirmed this week they will be building the next generation Golf small hatchback at their sprawling factory complex in Puebla, Mexico. That production will supply North American demand. This is the seventh generation of the popular Golf and is expected to contribute to VW's ambitious sales goals for NA.

* Saab is still not dead. Bloomberg reports that a letter has gone out to suppliers promising that production of the new 9-3 will begin early next year at the shuttered Trollhattan plant in Sweden. The new Chinese owners still intend to produce an electric version of the car and will use sales of this conventionally-powered car to support that plan.

* Toyota and BMW are teaming up to develop and produce fuel-cell systems, further research lightweight technologies for vehicle bodies and advancements in battery technology. They may even combine talents on developing a new midsize vehicle platform. The Germans and the Japanese could jump ahead of everyone with this new deal.

* With the Detroit auto show winding down this weekend we're looking forward to the big Chicago Auto Show in a couple of weeks. Though there will be many fewer new vehicle launches, there will certainly be some important ones. Toyota, for example, will introduce the next Tundra pickup. All their competitors are newly redesigned with the Ram eating many accolades. Tundra will have to be mighty good to compete in with that bunch.

* The French team of Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret won the grueling Dakar Rally in their MINI ALL4 Racing car for the second year. The rally covers about 5,300 miles of some of the toughest roads imaginable and was moved to South America from North Africa a few years ago because of security concerns and political unrest.

* The biggest week of the year for classic and collector car investors, aficionados and observers wrapped up this week in Scottsdale with record sales. The five major auctions companies - Barrett-Jackson, Silver, RM, Bonhams and Gooding - sold a total of over $224 million worth of cars. Many analysts report that the collector car business is flat right now, but you wouldn't know it from these auctions.

* Also at the Arizona auctions, the original Batmobile from the wildly popular ‘60s TV series, Batman, sold for $4.2 million at the Barrett-Jackson Auction. The 19-foot, bubble-topped 2-seater was designed by the legendary West Coast customizer George Barris. Less than a week after the all-new, C-7, 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray made its debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, NASCAR team owner and Atlanta Chevy dealer Rick Hendrick bought Corvette Stingray number with a winning bid of $1.1 million. Intended as a charity fundraiser, the money will go to the College for Creative Studies in Detroit which runs one of the world’s most highly respected automotive design programs.

* Edge Products LLC, Ogden, Utah, has been fined $500,000 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for manufacturing and selling electronic devices that allowed owners of model year 2007 and later diesel pickup trucks to remove emission controls from their vehicles.

* According to a recent report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice, sales of PEVs in the largest 102 cities in the United States will total slightly more than 1.8 million from 2012 through 2020. "More than a quarter of all annual U.S. PEV sales will be in the top five metropolitan areas for PEV sales - New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland," says senior research analyst Dave Hurst. The report's analysis indicates that PEV acceptance is strongly linked to not only the availability of PEV models, but also the accessibility of charging infrastructure. Texas, for example, has seen a dramatic increase in the number of EV charging stations available in 2012.

* Continental announced a voluntary recall program involving approximately 1,700 motorcycle tires 180/60R16 M/C 74H ContiMotion. Market feedback indicates that under certain service conditions these tires may experience uneven wear, groove cracking and in some cases belt lift, which can lead to a loss of inflation pressure and a potential loss of control that could lead to an accident. These service conditions have been observed with Honda Gold Wing 1800 motorcycles rear tire fitment, particularly under conditions of overloading and/or under-inflation. Continental has not received any reports about accidents resulting from this condition. The affected tires were sold in the replacement market in 2011 and 2012, primarily in the United States.

* In the past week, five vehicles have been stolen in the city of Warren, MI. It's happening when people warm up their car in the morning, or when they make a quick stop for a hot cup of coffee on their way to work.“People are leaving their car running and unattended in their driveways and bad guys are driving around the neighborhoods looking for cars that are running. It’s a crime of opportunity,�?? according to the police.

* Ford Motor Co. is offering big discounts for leases on its slow-selling Focus electric vehicle. Ford is offering customers up to $10,750 off for three-year leases, according to the Dearborn automaker's website. It also has dropped the base price of the Focus EV by $2,000 for those paying cash. In addition, Ford is offering a $2,000 cash discount on the Focus EV and 1.9 percent financing if the electric vehicle is purchased through Ford Motor Credit.