Auto News You May Not Know, Week Ending July 29, 2018 Compiled By Larry Nutson
AUTO CENTRAL, CHICAGO - July 29, 2018; Each 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 Week Ending July 29, 2018
Executive Editor Larry Nutson
* Dominating the automotive news scene this week was the untimely passing of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' CEO, Sergio Marchionne, who some call a miracle worker. He died at age 66 the result of an embolism after cancer surgery on his shoulder. For one of the best obits on Mr. Marchionne, see this story from our colleague Mark Phelan of the Detroit Free Press. One of Marchionne’s most significant achievements was saving Chrysler from going belly up during the Great Recession of 2009.
* Shortly before Marchionne’s death, when he was in an irreversible coma, he was replaced as CEO of FCA by Mike Manley who had been head of the profitable Jeep and Ram brands. He had previously been in charge of product planning. He is expected to share leadership, according to Automotive News Europe reporting. Marchionne was scheduled to retire in April of 2019.
* The Detroit Auto Show, aka the North American International Auto Show, is changing its dates to June starting in 2020. After over year of quiet planning and several months of intense discussions with more than 250 stakeholders the Detroit Auto Dealers Association made the change. It’s a total relaunch of one of southeast Michigan’s signature events, a new approach that DADA hopes will keep the show relevant in the face of rising competition and social media outlets.
* In what the EU chief called a "major concession," U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to refrain from imposing car tariffs while the two sides launch negotiations to cut other trade barriers, easing the threat of a transatlantic trade war. So it appears a truce, at least for now, has been agreed to with the goal to stop any increase in tariffs on automobiles which could lead to an out-and-out trade war. Along with the EU, the U.S. car industry is also against the tariffs. Automakers, suppliers and dealers argue that tariffs would drive up car prices for U.S. consumers. Tariffs would also cost American jobs impacting those who work for the over 300 plants in the U.S. owned by EU-based auto companies.
* The Trump administration is taking steps to revoke California's authority...a waiver, to regulate auto emissions. California is expected to take this to court to protect its 48-year old ability to regulate tailpipe emissions. Also involved are the 2025 fuel economy requirements which Trump wants to roll back and that will ultimately impact the need for EVs. The proposal would curb Obama administration rules intended to mitigate the production of greenhouse gasses due to automobile emissions. The same proposal would curb federal fuel mileage standards. Approval of this roll-back of standards would certainly start lengthy court battles, say pundits.California and 16 other states as well as DC filed a lawsuit on May 2 to block this action.
* Ford Motor Company announced it has created Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC, a new organization charged with accelerating its AV business to capitalize on market opportunities. Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC will include Ford’s self-driving systems integration, autonomous vehicle research and advanced engineering, AV transportation-as-a-service network development, user experience, business strategy and business development teams. The new LLC, which is structured to take on third party investment, will be primarily based at Ford’s Corktown campus in Detroit and will hold Ford’s ownership stake in Argo AI, the company’s Pittsburgh-based partner for self-driving system development. Ford expects to invest $4 billion in its AV efforts through 2023, including its $1 billion investment in Argo AI.
* GM has launched a new peer-to-peer car sharing program through its Maven mobility brand. It's an Airbnb for cars. The "Peer Cars" beta program allows owners and eligible lessees to rent their 2015 and newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac cars and trucks to Maven users for cash. The pilot is currently being offered in Chicago, Detroit and Ann Arbor—main hubs for Maven, which operates in 17 cities in the U.S. and Canada and already has 150,000 members.
* Results of J.D. Power's 2018 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study are out and were again dominated by luxury brands. Genesis, new in the top spot, was followed by Porsche, BMW, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volvo, Cadillac, Land Rover and Lexus. Mitsubishi, Dodge, Jeep, GMC and Toyota posted the biggest improvements. Chevrolet and GMC tied for top-ranked nonluxury brand. The six brands ranked at the bottom this year were Mitsubishi, Mazda, Jeep, Subaru, Nissan and Hyundai.
* Worthy of note is that the 2018 Lincoln Navigator has been ranked by customers as the most appealing vehicle in the entire industry, marking the first time an American vehicle has ever dominated the J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) study.
* The Automotive Heritage Awards were presented this weekend at the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s, Plymouth, Michigan, one of the most prestigious classic and collector car shows in the country. Under the AHA will be four separate awards programs, Future Collectible Vehicle of the Year, Concept Vehicle of the year, 10 categories of Automotive Heritage Journalism and, most important according to organizers, the AHA Lifetime Achievement Award. That one goes to long-time Road & Track columnist, Peter Egan. For all the results go to: www.autoheritageawards.com.