Automotive News Digest; Week Ending November 24, 2018; Executive Producer Larry Nutson
AUTO CENTRAL, CHICAGO - November 24, 2018; Every Sunday Larry Nutson, Senior Editor and Chicago Car Guy along with fellow senior editor 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.
See Also: links to the past 25 year's millions of (Indexed By Bing) pages of automotive news, automotive stories, articles, reviews, archived news residing in The Auto Channel Automotive News Library.
TV viewers, you can now enjoy The Auto Channel TV Network On Amazon TV, Google TV, BOOKU, Tooku, SCHMOOKU; HULU, ROKU, Pookoo, Eyekoo and Old Fashioned "Free and Clear" Over the air TV in Boston and South Florida as well as local cable systems.
The Auto Channel Automotive News In Digest Format - Week Ending November 24, 2018
Executive Producer Larry Nutson
* Ghosn - For what is usually a slow news week we started off with a big boom. Dominating the world of automotive news this week was the arrest of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi boss Carlos Ghosn, age 64, by Japanese authorities on what amounts to tax cheating. The allegations range through under-reporting his income over multiple years, misusing corporate investment funds and abusing company expense accounts. The Yokohama-based company said the violations were discovered during an investigation over several months that was instigated by a whistleblower. Nissan’s board of directors ousted him as chairman after a plea from Renault partners to postpone the decision. That whole mess has triggered a divisive rethinking of the partnership arrangements.
* According to reports from multiple media outlets, dethroned Carlos Ghosn is being held in a notoriously austere jail in Japan while the charges against him are being investigated. He is said to be “taking the arrest and investigation very badly and does not know what has hit him.” Ghosn has engaged a well-known Japanese attorney to manage his case. The Tokyo District Court has extended his detention for another 10 days.
* Gas Prices: Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, U.S. retail regular-grade gasoline averaged $2.61 per gallon (gal), up 4 cents/gal from the same time last year. This year marked the highest gasoline price for the Monday before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend since 2014. AAA forecasted 54.3 million people would be traveling 50 miles or more for the holiday this year, 2.5 million more travelers than last year and the most since 2005. Of the 54.3 million total travelers, AAA expected that 48.5 million of them will drive.
* Automotive News reports that Volvo Cars will break with auto show tradition next week in Los Angeles, where it will not have a single car on its stand. Volvo's decision comes as a growing number of vehicle manufacturers are skipping auto shows -- the Swedish automaker says it won't attend the 2019 Geneva auto show -- or reducing their presence to focus on other kinds of marketing. Volvo's unorthodox plans for the Los Angeles show are for them to prominently display the following statement: This Is Not A Car. Volvo will use its display area for interactive demonstrations of connectivity services, such as in-car delivery; its vision for autonomous driving and its Care by Volvo vehicle subscription scheme.
* The Detroit Free Press reports that General Motors hoped at least 7,000 white-collar workers would sign up by noon Monday for a buyout offer, but managers told employees last week that it was likely to fall short, raising the prospect of significant layoffs. The number volunteering for the offer is likely be closer to 4,000 based on estimates by an actuary, some GM employees said managers told them. That means 3,000 or more salaried workers in North America could be terminated starting in January if the automaker in fact opts for forced job cuts, which it has said it would consider if buyouts fell short.
* Land Rover revealed the 2019 iteration of the award-winning Range Rover Evoque this week, adding both mild and plug-in hybrid models to the powertrain lineup while changing the styling a design little. With more than 100,000 units sold last year the compact SUV is the brand’s second most popular model. Evoque’s all-wheel drive models can be had with a 48-volt system that features an effective regenerative braking system.
* PSA and Toyota have decided to end their joint venture of producing small cars at the Kolin factory in the Czech Republic by 2021, according to reports by Automotive New Europe, but a spokesman for PSA said the final decision has not been made.. That project, initiated in 2002, involves building the Toyota Aygo, Peugeot 108 and Citroen C1 city cars. At the same time the two companies plan to expand their cooperative venture of producing light commercial vehicles in France and Spain.
* Bloomberg reports the Trump administration has invited three German automakers’ CEOs to the White House for talks in conjunction with negotiation for a new trade agreement. The meeting is said to be scheduled for sometime after the Thanksgiving holiday but details are sketchy about what are called “private” deliberations. The CEOs are now meeting with the German government in Berlin in preparation for the negotiations. The EU is already involved in trade negotiations with the Trump administration over free-trade and regulatory cooperation.
* Volkswagen announced this week its commitment to catch up with Waymo in the development of self-driving cars. CEO Herbert Diess acknowledged they are about two years behind in the race but “we are determined to catch up,” he said. VW has already committed about $55 billion for development of electric cars, autonomous driving and new mobility services by 2023. VW recently showed its I.D. Vizzion concept that can drive autonomously and has no steering wheel.
* America Honda is recalling 107,000 Odyssey minivans in the U.S. over a latch malfunction that may cause the power sliding door to open when the vehicle is in drive, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The recall covers certain 2018 and 2019 Odyssey vehicles.
* Irv Gordon, Volvo's 3-million mile man died while traveling in China; he was 78. This dyed-in-the-wool car enthusiast had a rare center-door 1923 Ford Model T, a 1929 Packard, a 1949 Crosley Hot Shot, and a Lincoln Continental convertible in his family garages, but the world knew the Long Island, New York native for the immaculately maintained 1966 Volvo 1800 S that he bought new on June 30, 1966, and which sat outside in the driveway through every season. Irv became a legend, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, for holding of the title of the most miles driven by a single owner in a non-commercial vehicle. The 1800’s odometer registered 500,000 miles by the late 1970s, and turned through 1,000,000 miles in 1987, then 2,000,000 in 2002, and ultimately, 3,000,000 in September 2013.
* NASCAR's 2018 Champion is Joey Logano, who clinched his first Cup Series title with a win in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway driving his Team Penske Shell Pennzoil Ford. Logano led the last twelve laps beating out Martin Truex Jt. last year's champ. All four Championship 4 drivers battled for the race victory and the title and finished 1-2-3-4 in the Ford EcoBoost 400.