In Case You Missed It - Nutson's Weekly Automotive News Digest - Nov 7-13, 2016: Tesla and Ferrari Charging; LA Show; Audi Cheating?; Recalls Of Course, Chinese Knockoffs Knocked Out Of SEMA.
AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO, November 6, 2016; Every Sunday Larry Nutson, Senior Editor and Chicago Car Guy along with fellow senior editors Steve Purdy and Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, give you TACH's "take" on this past week's automotive news in easy to digest mega-tweet sized nuggets.
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Enjoy and thanks for the positive feedback and ratings. See You Next Week, LN.
Nutson's Weekly Automotive News Digest - November 13, 2016
* Donald Trump, the President-elect made many campaign promises related to the auto industry. The next four years certainly will be interesting as we watch and wait to see which ones really actually develop. Stay tuned!
* Meanwhile, President-elect Trump will have a new fleet of presidential limousines by the time he gets into office according to a report in AutoWeek. Bids went out two years ago to begin replacing the 2009 fleet. The new limos are 2017 Cadillacs that will probably not change much from the current version and, of course, most details of its design and content are classified. Presidents do not spend much time in the limousines, the story notes, as they are usually just used for short jaunts between Air Force One (be it plane or copter) and a destination.
* In spite of being a small part of the overall automotive vehicle market we continue to see more hybrids, plug-in hybrids and electrics being introduced by major automakers. Hyundai this week presented a new line of small sedans to a group of journalist this week at their Ypsilanti, MI tech center - a hybrid, a plug-in and a full electric. Their new line of green cars called Ioniq uses a new dedicated platform about the size of the existing Elanta and the first will be at dealers beginning at the end of this year. A fourth version will incorporate a fuel cell into the lineup and come later.
* We drove the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan around the LA area this past week at a media preview test drive program. It's the first and only hybrid minivan on the market and will travel 30 miles on battery power with a total driving range of 530 miles. It's expected to be EPA rated at 80 MPGe. We'll have a full review here later this week.
* Various media report that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) apparently found a new emissions cheat device in an Audi vehicle, potentially deepening Volkswagen Group’s diesel crisis. A lawsuit was filed accusing the company of using “defeat devises” to detect when vehicles were in a testing mode and vary transmission operation to emit less tailpipe CO2. The accusation effects 100,000 3.0-liter gasoline power trains across the Audi lineup. Previous issues have been with diesels only. The suit was filed by Hagens Berman, a law firm specializing in automotive class actions. Reports say Audi stopped using the device last May and has suspended engineers who were allegedly involved with the matter. Note: lower carbon dioxide, CO2, means there is lower fuel consumption or conversely, higher MPG ratings
* The 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public next week and the press will be in a few days early for previews. Get the highlights here at The Auto Channel. Organizers promise 50 new car introductions at the show and many manufacturers will be making news off-site as well. Test drives are part of the show with nearly 100 models to experience. Get all the details of the show at: www.laautoshow.com.
* We got some news courtesy of our friends at MotorAuthority regarding the condition of Michael Schumacher. The former Ferrari technical head Ross Brawn says the race car driver has shown some "encouraging signs" in his recovery. Previous updates on Schumacher's condition haven't been quit so positive, including not being able to walk, and more vaguely, his condition just not being good in general. He was discharged from the hospital back in September to continue his recovery at home. Brawn told BBC Sport: "There are encouraging signs and we are all praying every day that we see more of them... All I would say is there is a lot of speculation about Michael's condition. Most of it is wrong and we just pray and hope every day that we continue to see some progress and that one day we can see Michael out and about and recovered from his terrible injuries."
* Tesla Motors announced that it will no longer offer lifetime free charging at its Supercharger network for new buyers. Starting in 2017, new Teslas will only come with a limited amount of free charging every year. Up until now, every Tesla sold came with free, unlimited recharging at any Supercharger station. Tesla says any cars ordered after January 1st, 2017 will come with just 400 kWh of complimentary Supercharging per year, equivalent to roughly 1000 miles worth of range. After that, owners will have to pay a "small fee" to power up their cars.
* Cadillac and The Andy Warhol Museum announced a multi-year partnership and new global traveling exhibition titled Letters to Andy Warhol. The collaborative project between the brand and the cultural institution celebrates Warhol’s legacy and focuses on five letters to or from Yves Saint Laurent, Mick Jagger, the Museum of Modern Art, the New York State Department of Public Works and a mutual friend of his and Truman Capote that offer a glimpse into Warhol’s most personal experiences and relationships. The exhibition will be free and open to the public at Cadillac House, located at 330 Hudson Street in Manhattan, from Nov. 15-Dec. 2. The exhibitions will then travel to Los Angeles and Miami before going on a global tour.
* The greening of Ferrari! There will be a “fundamental shift” in Ferrari cars beginning in 2019, according to chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne. The Ferrari boss said most, if not all, of the famed Italian brand’s cars starting then will include some sort of hybridization. Aside from the economic-friendly benefits from hybrids, Marchionne said Ferrari will use a combination of combustion and electrification “to provide unique powertrain combinations that will yield even additional performance on these vehicles.” Marchionne also said they will increase production to around 10,000 cars per year from the current 8,000. The goal is to reduce the company’s carbon footprint without compromising performance. Ferrari’s share price jumped 7% after news of a profitable third quarter
* Green Car Journal announced its five finalists for the magazine's prestigious 2017 Green Car of the Year award. The 2017 models include the BMW 330e, Chevrolet Bolt, Chrysler Pacifica, Kia Optima and the Toyota Prius Prime. The announcement of the winner will take place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Thursday, November 17.
* Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) and Mercedes-AMG announced that it will compete in North America's premier endurance racing series for the first time. The Mercedes-AMG Customer Sports Program will enter the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with several top teams. For the upcoming 2017 IMSA season, Mercedes-AMG is partnering with the successful Riley Motorsports team, which will campaign two Mercedes- AMG GT3 race cars. One of the team's cars will run as "AMG-Team Riley Motorsports," and one car will run as WeatherTech Racing, with sponsorship from the series' title sponsor. The AMG Customer Sports team SunEnergy1 Racing will also campaign an AMG GT3 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
* Mitsubishi is recalling two SUV models to fix problems that could cause the windshield wipers to malfunction. One recall covers about 100,000 Outlanders from the 2007 to 2013 model years. The other recall affects about 95,000 Outlander Sport models from 2011 to 2015
* Volvo is recalling about 74,000 cars and SUVs in the U.S. because the front passenger seat belt may not hold people in a crash. The recall covers certain S60, S90, V60, XC60 and XC90 vehicles from the 2016 and 2017 model years.
* Last week’s huge Specialty Equipment Market Association show and convention in Las Vegas saw some unexpected excitement as Federal marshals shut down at least eight booths of Chinese companies that were allegedly selling knockoff parts that infringe on copyrights and patents. Manufacturer of aftermarket Jeep parts, Georgia-based OMIX-ADA, filed an emergency law suit. A district judge immediately issued an injunction and seizure order. Nearly 5,000 companies exhibit at SEMA and the associated Aftermarket Products Expo.