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Latest Auto News Digest, Week Ending August 4, 2018 Edited By Larry Nutson


AUTO CENTRAL, CHICAGO - August 5, 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 August 4, 2018
Executive Editor Larry Nutson

* July new vehicle sales saw declines from Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Hyundai-Kia. Fiat Chrysler, Mitsubishi and VW recorded increased sales as did Subaru. Overall sales fell an estimated 3.7 percent in July as the auto industry lost speed. The second half of the year is expected to be weaker. The SAAR fell to 16.73 million, as forecasted. SUV and pickup demand rose while car deliveries dropped 18 percent.

* The EPA has reversed an order issued by Scott Pruitt in his last days as agency administrator that allowed manufacturers to equip new semi-trucks with old, high-polluting diesel engines. New EPA acting chief Andrew Wheeler concluded Pruitt improperly issued the rule for so-called “glider trucks,” the EPA said in a statement. The rule allowed truck manufacturers to rig new tractor-trailer trucks with older, dirtier diesel engines built before tighter pollution rules. The EPA’s own calculations estimated the glider trucks would cause an extra 1,600 premature deaths yearly because of pollutants.

* GM President Dan Ammann speculated this week that without an exemption from the Trump administration's threatened tariffs his company may no longer import the China-made Buick Envision mid-size crossover. Envision made news as the first mainstream vehicle made in China to come to the U.S. market. While it is a high-volume vehicle in China it remains low volume in the U.S. Envision is made at Shanghai GM, a partnership with Chinese SAIC Motot Corp. The Envision accounts for 19 percent of Buick sales in the U.S. amounting to 42,000 vehicles. Buick sold 210,000 of the model in China last year.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Mahindra's Jeep Look-alike?

* Fiat Chrysler Automobiles filed a complaint this week against Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra’s plan to import a small off-road vehicle that looks remarkably like iconic Jeep products. The Mahindra Roxor is unmistakably a styling copy of the original Willys Jeep. Mahindra opened a U. S. headquarters in the Detroit area in 2017 and plans to manufacture the Rotor in India then ship it in kit form, assembling it in a $600 million facility here.

* Audi plans to reveal a new electric supercar at the prestigious Pebble Beach Car Week in California on August 23rd based on the R8 supercar. In honor of its reveal venue it will be called PB18 e-tron. Much of the powertrain technology, Audi spokespeople said, is “inspired” by the company’s Le Mans-winning R18 e-tron hybrid racer. Like most other high-end car makers, Audi has committed to electrifying its fleet including many full-electric vehicles.

* Iconic American motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson is leading the electric motorcycle market by launching its first electric motorcycle, LiveWire, in 2019. It will be the first in a broad, no-clutch “twist and go” portfolio of electric two-wheelers designed to establish the company as the leader in the electrification of the sport. LiveWire will be followed by additional models through 2022 to broaden the portfolio with lighter, smaller and even more accessible product options to inspire new riders with new ways to ride.

* The North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) awards have announced the list of vehicles eligible for the 2019 year awards. This year, a total of 23 cars, 20 SUVs and three trucks are eligible. Following comparison evaluations, finalists will be announced at the LA Auto Show and the three winners at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. NACTOY is made up of an independent jury of approximately 60 Automotive Journalists from the Unites States and Canada. You can see the finalists here:

* Tesla recorded another huge loss last quarter and burned through hundreds of millions of dollars in cash as it ramped up production of its first mass-market model. Tesla produced more than 5,000 Model 3s per week in June and expects to reach 7,000 per week later this year. But the electric-car maker intends for that loss to be its last. Tesla is about to turn the corner, CEO Elon Musk told analysts and investors after the company announced its quarterly results.

* The Trump administration moved to revoke California's authority to set its own strict tailpipe emissions rules and mandate the sale of electric vehicles, as it proposes weakening Obama-era federal fuel efficiency standards. The proposal to roll back anti-pollution efforts is in line with President Donald Trump's decision last year to abandon the 2015 Paris deal aimed at slowing climate change. It will escalate the administration's legal battle with California and about a dozen other states that have adopted California's emission rules, and account for about a third of the U.S. auto market. Trump officials are falsley arguing that cleaner cars are less safe. Go figure?

* The United States Attorney’s Office charged 25 people in connection with a classic car scam ring that allegedly swindled millions of dollars from victims. The attorney’s office said the scammers allegedly posed as legitimate classic dealers or collectors between November 2016 and July 2018 and would list a fake car on well-known auction and trading websites. Once a deal was made for the price of the car, the scammers would tell the victims to contact faux shipping companies who could accept payment for the vehicle and coordinate its delivery.

* At the 2018 Concours d'Elegance of America held at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan the Best in Show Winners were a 1935 Duesenberg SJ claiming the Founder Trophy Best in Show--American and owned Bill and Barbara Parfet of Hickory Corners, MI and, a 1937 Bugatti T57S winning the Founder Trophy Best in Show--Foreign from the Rare Wheels Collection of Windermere, FL.

* The first round of “Automotive Heritage Awards” were presented during the Concours d’Elegance of America last week, an effort to honor and replace the former International Automotive Media Competition that went away with the untimely death of it organizer, Tom Kelley. Along with 10 categories of journalism awards, the AHA presented a Concept Vehicle of the Years award to the Mercedes Maybach 6 Cabriolet, a Future Collectible Vehicle of the Year award to the Corvette Z06 and a Lifetime Achievement award to popular columnist for Road & Track and Cycle World, Peter Egan. See:

* Volkswagen is recalling 33,168 Golf and Golf Sportwagen vehicles from the 2015 through 2018 model years because in some cases, the ignition key can be removed even though the vehicle is not in Park.

* Fiat Chrysler recalling more than 1.2 million Ram pickup trucks in the U.S. and Canada, warning that tailgates could unexpectedly open while driving. The recall, which includes approximately 1.15 million pickups in the U.S., covers Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 models from 2015 to 2017. The affected vehicles are equipped with power-locking tailgates and either a 5-foot, 7-inch bed or a 6-foot, 4-inch bed.