Nutson's Weekly Auto News Nuggets March 19-25, 2018; Self-Driving Killer; Used Car Color Does Matter; New Chrysler Museum; Exclusive Cadillac 550 HP V8 Coming; MB Diesel Plug-in; BMW Dieselgate?; 2019 NAIAS Sans Many Europen Brands
AUTO CENTRAL, CHICAGO - March 25, 2018; 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 "catch up" news nuggets. For More search the past 25 year's millions of (Indexed By Google) pages of automotive news, automotive stories, articles, reviews, archived news residing in The Auto Channel Automotive News Library.
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Nutson's Weekly Auto News Nuggets March 19-25, 2018
* A woman in Tempe, Ariz., died after being struck by a self-driving car operated by Uber, in what is said to be the first known death of a pedestrian struck by an autonomous vehicle (AV) on a public road. The Uber vehicle was in autonomous mode with a human safety driver at the wheel when it struck the woman, who was walking her bicycle across the street outside of a crosswalk, the Tempe police said in a statement. The NTSB is investigating and Uber has suspended all testing in Tempe and also in Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto. Video of the actual event taken from inside the car has many experts saying the AV car did not function as it should.
* Following this, Toyota halted tests of its “Chauffeur” autonomous driving system on U.S. public roads. Other companies such as GM, Waymo and Apple have not announced any changed AV testing plans. One industry expert suggests companies are going to rethink their plans to test autonomous vehicles in real-world situations. There is also discussion to require regulations to test prototype AVs in advance of allowing them to test on public roads to determine their capability.
* Car Color Matters. A car's color may seem irrelevant to its resale value, but car search engine iSeeCars.com's new analysis of over 2.1 million used car sales found that retained value actually varies widely across car colors. While the average car depreciates 33.1 percent in the first three years of ownership, yellow cars hold their value the best and depreciate by only 27 percent. On the other hand, gold cars depreciate the most by 37.1 percent. Other top colors for resale are: orange, green, white and red.
* Is gridlock worse in your city? Studies done in some large cities like New York and Chicago say Uber and Lyft are part of the problem. Their drivers sit idling, don't know their way around and therefore drive slowly and make sudden moves, and of course they simply put more cars on the road. We may see change, such as restricted driving of private cars in certain parts of big cities. There is a change in the making.
* Volkswagen has named its latest motorsport project the I.D. R Pikes Peak. This all-electric prototype racing car will compete in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 24 in Colorado. The four-wheel-drive racing car points to the sporting potential of the I.D. family of all-electric vehicles and is also the first step towards a closer relationship between Volkswagen R and Volkswagen Motorsport. The automaker previewed the race car via computer-generated images.
* Auto history buffs everywhere groaned with disappointment when Chrysler closed its Auburn Hills, Michigan museum, one of the finest car museums in the country, a couple years ago promising to keep the collection and find a way to display them in the future. That future will be soon. FCA's former Viper Plant will become the new home of its U.S. Car Collection. Renamed Conner Center, the former manufacturing facility, tucked in a Detroit neighborhood, will have space to exhibit 85 of the nearly 400 concept and historic vehicles that will now be stored onsite under one roof. Previously, the Company’s extensive collection was housed in several locations.
* Another major player is bowing out of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, still considered the most important motor show in the U.S. and among the top 5 in the world. BMW is joining German rival Mercedes-Benz and pulling out of the Detroit auto show for 2019. The decision by another major European brand to pull out of the annual January show comes as the Detroit Auto Dealers Association contemplates moving the show to October starting in 2020, and recasting it as a less-expensive show that is more focused on products and technology. Jaguar, Land Rover, MINI, Porsche, Volvo and Mazda and most major exotic sports car makers and ultraluxury brands also skipped the 2018 Detroit show this year.
* We learned this week that Cadillac will get an exclusive, all-new V8 engine for the upcoming CT6 V-Sport displacing 4.2 liters and making 550 horsepower and an impressive 627 pound-feet of torque. The twin-turbo engine, called Northstar 2.0, will be built alongside other specialty engines at the Bowling Green plant. The CT6 V-Sport will come with standard all-wheel-drive and the 10-speed automatic transmission co-designed with Ford. We expect to see the new car in the first half of 2019.
* Mercedes-Benz is planning to introduce plug-in hybrid diesel versions of both C- and E-Class sedans this summer. Diesel engines from a variety of manufacturers have come under fire for emitting more pollutants than allowed by cheating on testing and all that bad press has resulted in many diesel products and plans going away as many manufacturers give up on diesels. Because of the massive torque of the diesel engine, development boss Ola Kallenius said, “This takes us right into performance car territory.”
* One of the main sticking points in talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has been the Trump administration’s demand that vehicles built in Mexico and Canada for sale in the U.S. contain 50% U.S. content. Negotiators have now dropped that demand putting the talks back on track. During the presidential campaign Mr. Trump said if the higher levels of U.S. content were not agreed to he would consider walking away from the $1.2 trillion trade pact.
* German authorities said this week they have searched BMW facilities in Germany and Austria for evidence of suspected defeat devices aimed at cheating on emissions testing, according to a story in Automotive News Europe. Prosecutors indicated "an early suspicion that BMW has used a test bench-related defeat device” is behind the search. BMW officials said the government was investigating “erroneously allocated software” potentially installed in about 11,400 diesel powered 7-Series sedans and M550d models.
* There's no shortage of story lines heading into this weekend's F1's 2018 opening circuit, the Australian Grand Prix. With the addition of Halo devices to cockpits, driver changes and the return of ESPN coverage, it will be a big year for Formula 1. Can Lewis Hamilton earn a fifth driver's championship? Will Sebastian Vettel or 20-year-old Max Verstappen stand in the way? Does anyone have a chance of stopping Mercedes?
* And in late news, NASCAR officials have postponed today's scheduled Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race and conclusion of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway to Monday following persistent snowfall throughout the night. Snow and NASCAR don't mix.