The Weekly Automotive News Digest For Auto Enthusiasts and Shoppers, Edited By Larry Nutson
AUTO CENTRAL, CHICAGO - July 15, 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 The Auto Channel's "take" on this past week's automotive news, in easy to "catch up" with 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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The Auto Channel Automotive News Digest - Executive Editor Larry Nutson
* The Detroit auto show, also known as the North American International Auto Show, will likely move to June in 2020. The move is intended to separate the show from the rush of auto shows around the world every fall through spring. The Detroit show’s organizers have been working on a plan to take the show outdoors, expanding from Cobo Center into the streets and open areas in Detroit’s burgeoning downtown. A final announcement is expected on July 24.
* Nissan Motor Co., the Japanese carmaker that was embroiled in a vehicle-inspection scandal last year, has uncovered some instances of misconduct involving falsified data about exhaust emissions and fuel economy. The data falsification occurred on 19 models across five plants in Japan. The incident won’t lead to any recalls as the vehicles meet catalog specifications for fuel economy and emissions, according to the company.
* A $10 billion settlement between Volkswagen AG and diesel car owners involved in the emissions cheating scandal has been approved by a U.S. appeals court. VW will spend up to $10 billion compensating owners of about 475,000 Volkswagens and Audi vehicles with 2.0-liter diesel engines.
* Industrial espionage reared its head at Apple's autonomous car project as an employee who recently quit, Xiaolang Zhang, was arrested at the San Jose airport by the FBI. Xiaolang, who began working with the autonomous car project in 2015, resigned in April. He was a person of interest in an ongoing investigation of data theft at Apple. He admitted taking the data to study it.
* Mercedes-Benz and Bosch announced this week they will partner on a ride-sharing, self-driving service in Silicon Valley beginning next year. General Motors, Google and Uber are already in parts of that business space. During the initial phase, an operator will be on board in case of problems but, when proven, the the cars will be driverless. Some pundits believe that mode of transportation will account for a quarter of miles traveled by automobile in the future despite the occasional development glitch, like a recent pedestrian fatality in Arizona. Now you can rent a Lexus Or Toyota by the hour in Honolulu
* Tesla opened the sale of its Model 3 entry-level sedan to anyone who wants to go online and order one. Previously buyers needed an invitation to order the Model 3. A $2,500 deposit is required at the time the order is placed. Up to now the only versions of the Model 3 available sell for $49,000 and up.
* And, Tesla announced that it has sold a total of 200,000 EVs. That's the good news. The bad news is that the $7,500 federal tax credit on Tesla vehicles now starts to phase out. The federal tax credit of up to $7,500 per vehicle applies only to the first 200,000 BEVs sold by a manufacturer. The $7,500 credit will continue for Tesla buyers for two more quarters. Then the credit is cut in half to $3,750 for two quarters and then in half again to $1,850, before it ends.
* And of course, Turmoil at Tesla intensified this week as a former employee offered a tip to the Securities and Exchange Commission claiming the company was misleading investors by misstating production numbers and selling dangerous vehicles. The whistleblower was fired a month ago from the battery Gigafactory in Reno and charged with stealing company secrets. Company founder and CEO, Elon Musk, has been desperately trying to get production numbers up to appease investors.
* Raleigh, NC has been ranked the best city in America to drive in and Detroit, MI the worst, according to a report by WalletHub. It compared the 100 largest cities in the United States across 29 key indicators of driver friendliness, ranging from average gas prices to average traffic delays to repair shop access. WalletHub then broke it down into four dimensions: safety; traffic and infrastructure; cost of ownership, and maintenance and access to vehicles and maintenance. You can check out your city here: HERE.
* Stuttgart, Germany will bar the most polluting diesel vehicles from its streets next year. Vehicles meeting the Euro 4 or older emissions standards will be banned but newer Euro 5 vehicles will remain. Stuttgart with take other city-wide measures to clean up its air through the expansion of public transportation and electric mobility. Hamburg became the first German city to ban diesel cars that do not meet the latest Euro 6 standards. Bans on diesel vehicles from city centers are also planned in Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens by 2025, while the mayor of Copenhagen wants to bar new diesel cars from entering the city center as soon as next year.
* At Goodwood Festival of Speed, luxury British sportscar and supercar maker McLaren Automotive has announced its ambitious, wide-ranging business plan that will take the company to its fifteenth anniversary. Between now and 2025, 18 new models and derivatives will be launched. McLaren sportscar and supercar range to be 100 percent hybrid by 2025 with production to reach 6,000 units per year. Much of McLaren’s r&d is done on the race track with its Formula One teams. McLaren has made a strong transition from a purely race car maker to high-end, super-fast car maker.
* The car that presented itself to the pubic as the “cheapest car in the world,” the Tata Nano, is going away. Indian tycoon, Rajan Tata, wanted to save people from reliance on dangerous motorbikes by making a 4-passenger conveyance they could afford. Launched in 2009, after more than 6 years in development, Nano sold for as little as $1,700. Rather than luring 2-wheeler owners, reports Automotive News, the Nano’s image as “cheapest” won it no respect, and did it in. So far in 2018 they’ve sold only three.
* GM is touting its mid-year leadership in pickup sales over arch-rival Ford, in spite of Ford selling more F-150s than Chevy did Silverados. How can that be? Well, because Chevy also has the Colorado mid-size pickup. And there is also the GMC brand Sierra and Canyon. GM’s overall share of the truck market, they say, is 34% to Ford’s 32%. Analysts note that because of big incentives GM’s transactions prices are well below Ford’s, and Ford production during the first two quarter was hampered by a couple factory fires. Ford insists it will win this competition by the end of the year.