Nutson's Weekly Automotive News Recap June 29-July 5, USYea!; Sales HOT!; U.S. Made; Hey NYC Taxi; H2 Toyota; Top Your Engine Oil And More
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
Auto Central Chicago IL, July 5, 2015 Every Sunday, along with 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.
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Nutson's Weekly Automotive News Digest-June 22-July 5, 2015
* Half a year is over and U.S. auto sales are hot as summer starts. June sales are up 3.9 percent over last year with a total of 1.47 million vehicles sold. The SAAR is at 17.16 million. Trucks and SUVs continue to drive the big increases. Luxury brands are doing very well. June sales numbers were good for all major automakers except GM whose sales were down 3 percent in spite of strong truck sales.
* FCA US LLC advised approximately 65 SUV owners in the U.S. to stop driving their vehicles. The SUVs, assembled earlier this month, are being recalled because they may have been inadvertently equipped with improperly heat-treated suspension components. FCA US phoned those customers who have taken delivery to arrange on-site vehicle inspections. Included in the recall are model-year 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durango SUVs assembled from June 12 through June 20.
* The results are in, and Cars.com has named two Toyota models as most American-Made. The Toyota Camry and the Toyota Sienna have claimed the top two spots, respectively, in the annual Cars.com American-Made Index. This marks Toyota’s return to the American-Made pinnacle for the first time in three years and the fifth time overall that Camry has been ranked number one on the index. According to Cars.com, the “American-Made Index rates vehicles built and bought in the United States. Factors include the percentage of parts considered “domestic” under federal regulations, whether the car is assembled in the U.S. and U.S. sales.
* The Taxi of Tomorrow will become New York City’s standard taxi. The state’s Court of Appeals ruled on that the city had the authority to pick a model for the taxi, ending a long legal battle over the vehicle. The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission will soon start to phase in the boxy Nissan NV200 model. Hundreds of NV200s are currently on the road as taxis, and the model could eventually make up as much as 80 percent of the fleet.
* The 2016 North American Car and Truck of the Year final list of nominees has been confirmed. There are 19 vehicles in the Car category and 21 for the Truck category. This will be reduced to a ten-vehicle shortlist for each category. Each vehicle will then be tested and three finalists will be determined for each category. The winners will be announced at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show in January. See the complete article here: http://www.inautonews.com/2016-nactoy-nominees-announced
* Customer loyalty to automotive brands reached a 10-year high during the first quarter of 2015, according to analysis from IHS Automotive, a global provider of critical information and insight to the automotive industry and part of IHS Inc. Brand loyalty during first quarter 2015 was 52.8 percent, the analysis found. Several brands also experienced 10-year highs in loyalty rates, including Chevrolet, GMC, Infiniti, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru and Volvo.
* CarGurus released a study identifying which U.S. cities shop the most for American, Asian, and European brand cars. As in previous studies, Detroit, MI tops the list with the most interest in American cars, with 69.5% of car listing inquiries directed to American brands. San Jose shoppers showed more interest than other cities in Asian brands (43.7% of total inquiries), and San Francisco led the field for European brands (27.7% of total inquiries).
* The new Toyota Mirai hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle will offer an EPA-estimated 67 miles per gallon equivalent (mpge) city/highway/combined when it hits dealerships in California this fall, and an EPA-estimated driving range rating of 312 miles on a single fill of hydrogen. Mirai is the only zero emission electric vehicle on the market that tops the 300 mile range milestone.
* Consumer Reports’ 2014 Annual Auto Survey found that several auto manufacturers are building engines—available in a number of widely sold models—that require frequently topping off the oil reservoir between recommended oil changes. CR focused on 498,900 vehicles from the 2010 to 2014 model years, many of which are still under their powertrain warranty. Several engines emerged as the main offenders: Audi’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and 3.0-liter V6, BMW’s 4.8-liter V8 and twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8, and to a lesser extent Subaru’s 3.6-liter six-cylinder and 2.0- and 2.5-liter four-cylinders.
* Ford Motor Company is issuing a safety compliance recall for approximately 433,000 vehicles in North America, including certain 2015 Focus, C-MAX and Escape vehicles, for an issue with the body control module. In these vehicles, it could be possible for the engine to continue to run after turning the ignition key to the “off” position and removing the key, or after pressing the Engine Start/Stop button. This is a compliance issue with FMVSS 114 regarding theft protection and rollaway prevention.
* Legendary car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, whose work includes the original Volkswagen Golf and first Fiat Panda, has resigned from Italdesign Giugiaro SpA, the styling and engineering company he founded in 1968. The move comes roughly five years after Giugiaro, 76, sold a 90.1 percent stake in the company to Volkswagen Group subsidiary Audi, retaining a 9.9 percent stake for himself and his son, Fabrizio, 50. That stake was sold to Audi on June 28.
* The National Safety Council estimates 409 deaths and 49,500 injuries requiring medical attention will occur on our nation's roadways this Fourth of July holiday weekend. This is the highest predicted number the Council has released for a three-day Independence Day holiday since 2008. Hope you had a safe and happy weekend!
* Waive your American flag this Independence Day weekend. Confederate flags should be left at home in following NASCAR's newest policy.