Auto News Digest, Week Ending August 18, 2018 Edited By Larry Nutson
AUTO CENTRAL, CHICAGO - August 18, 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 18, 2018
Executive Editor Larry Nutson
* Elon Musk got himself in trouble recently with an impulsive tweet about a plan to take Tesla, Inc. "private" causing jitters among investors and bristling by various government agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission. At a press conference this week, he blamed it all on the sleep aid Ambien. He said he was in a fog and had been thinking about his recent talks with Saudi Arabiaâ€™s Public Investment Fund. The Tesla board has not taken a position, though efforts are underway to find some executive help for him that he apparently does not want.
* VW paid for an ad featuring Chevy's Bolt. As part of VW's diesel emission scandal settlement it must now fund an ad campaign pushing electric vehicle awareness that highlights competitors' products. The ad is part of the first national campaign by Electrify America (With Chines Cars and Batteries WTF), a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America. Along with the Chevrolet Bolt EV, the ad shows the Honda Clarity, the Nissan Leaf, the BMW i3, the Hyundai Ioniq and VW's e-Golf.
* The latest number to be made public about how much Ford expects to spend renovation the old Michigan Central Station near downtown Detroit emerged at a meeting of community leaders - $740 million. The nebulous figure of $4 billion was bandied about earlier in the process referring to the amount to be spent on the whole project including the buildings infrastructure. About 5,000 staff will be working there when it is completed.
* Chinese EV startup, Nio, is nearly ready for its announced $1.8 billion initial public offering, the largest U.S. market IPO by a Chinese automaker, according to Chinese reports. It will go on the New York Stock Exchange with symbol NIO. An electric sports car made by the company recently earned the fastest EV lap time at the famous Nurburgring. In its home market Nio is now selling a 7-seat, high-end, electric SUV and is nearly ready to launch a low-priced SUV as well.
* You'll soon be able to pay for your Shell gas in your GM vehicle without the need for swiping your credit card at the pump as the companies roll out this new function called "Pay and Save" an app embedded within GM's Marketplace app suite that will find the nearest Shell station and process the payment based on the credit card on file. The Marketplace app also allows ordering food, making reservations and purchasing a variety of other goods.
* German owners of VW and Audi diesels affected by the emissions scandal are now facing consequences if they don't get them fixed. The German motor vehicle bureau said it will de-register these vehicles. The government-approved fix has been available for about 18 month, enough time, say officials, to get cars fixed. According to the government, as of June about 95% of affected vehicles had gotten the software update.Â
* EPA has spilled the beans on the Mazda CX-5 equipped with the new 2.2-liter turbodiesel I-4 with a six-speed automatic transmission. The two-wheel drive is rated at 28/31/29 mpg city/highway/combined. With all-wheel drive, that rating drops to 27/30/28 mpg. These ratings are not much better than the gasoline engine CX-5. No word from Mazda on when the CX-5 diesel will come to market.
* What color do I get? Volkswagen announced the Volkswagen Spektrum Program for the 2019 Golf R. The program will allow customers to choose from 40 custom order colors; in addition to the five standard colors; ranging from Nogaro Blue Pearl and Violet Touch Metallic, to Caribbean Green and Copper Orange Metallic. These options make the Golf R stand out, from the highway to the driveway, while also highlighting the owners "personality". The MSRP for one of the custom colors is $2,500 and takes two to four months for the car to be produced.
* Continuing a flurry of news about Ford's Mustang this year came this week's unveiling of the 50th Anniversary Mustang Cobra Jet, their ready-for-racing, mid-8-second quarter miler, honoring the car that dominated drag strips in the late 1960s. It comes with an NHRA-certified roll cage, FIA-certified racing seats and lots of badging. Only 68 cars will be built and they'll cost about $130,000 each. Racing Red or Oxford White are the color choices; it has a supercharged 5.2 liter V8; it's not street-legal and has no VIN. Unofficially, we peg the engine output at around 1,100-horsepower.
* Kasey Kahne announced he will retire from full-time racing in NASCAR and plans to focus on the sprint car team he owns. Kahne, 38, has 18 NASCAR victories, including a playoff-clinching win last season at Indianapolis.
* Toyota has pulled the plug on its sponsorship of the Long Beach Grand Prix after forty-four consecutive years. Event officials announced in a formal statement that Toyota will not renew its backing for next season's trip to the SoCal streets, ending what has been a long-serving relationship with the hallmark race.