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Nutson's Weekly Automotive News Digest - Featuring "Don't Miss" Car and Truck News Made April 14-20, 2019


NY Auto Show; World Car Awards; Ward's Inside Story; Lincoln Corsair; Autobrake Stops; Ford and Mahindra Developing; Dieselgate Continues; European Car Sales Sputter; Mazda and Dodge Recalls; Park For Off-roaders; 1000th F-1 GP; Dakar Back To Africa; Cars2Go Mercedes Went; Notre Dame Rebuild Fund Helped By Nissan

AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - April 21, 2019; Every Sunday Larry Nutson, Executive Producer and Chicago Car Guy along with 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.

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Nutson's Weekly Automotive News Digest - "Don't Miss" Car and Truck News Made April 14-20, 2019

* Design, technological innovation, energy efficiency, power and performance were just some of the features of the new cars and trucks unveiled by the world's automakers at the 2019 New York International Auto Show. The press preview days last week revealed lots of news, some important new model introductions and a few great concepts. Highlights include an update of the Mercedes GLC 63 high performance SUV, the new Lincoln Corsair replacing the compact crossover MKC, a concept Porsche 911 Speedster, Kia’s spicy HabaNiro concept small crossover, the long-promised Mazda CX-5 diesel, full redesign of the popular Toyota Highlander and a Genesis small electric city car concept called Mint.

* The 2019 New York Auto Show opened up with the World Car Awards. Named the World Car of the Year is the Jaguar I-Pace which was also named the Green Car of the Year and Design of the Year winners. This makes the Jaguar I-Pace the first ever triple winner. Also named were the World Urban Car: Suzuki Jimny, World Luxury Car: Audi A7, World Performance Car: McLaren 720S and the previously announced World Car Person of the Year: Sergio Marchionne.

* WardsAuto released its annual list of the 10 Best Interiors for 2019 with a broad range of brands and prices. It would be no surprise that the quarter-million dollar Bentley Continental GT would make the list but also on the list is the mainstream Toyota RAV4. Others on the list include: BMW M850i, Genesis G70, Hyundai Santa Fe, Jeep Gladiator, Lincoln Nautilus, Mercedes-Benz A220, Nissan Kicks and Volvo V60.

* The new Lincoln Corsair, replacing the MKC, introduced at the New York auto show this week will be the first Lincoln built in China for that market. Riding on the new front-wheel drive platform that underpins the new Ford Escape, it will likely be on sale this fall. The U.S. version will be built in Kentucky. The name comes from a WWII fighter plane. The MKC has been Lincolns top selling vehicle in China.

* Autobrake (automatic forward collision braking) reduces the frequency of property damage liability claims by 13 percent, rates of rear-end crashes by 50 percent and rear-end crashes involving injuries by 56 percent, studies conducted by IIHS and HLDI have found.

* The most recent product partnership news came from Ford and Mahindra this week with the announcement those two automakers will co-develop a midsize SUV for emerging markets around the world, including India. Ford was among the first global automakers to have a major presence in India partnering with Mahindra in 1995 to make small sedans. The deal will help Ford enhance its market share in India where Suzuki and Hyundai dominate.

* Fallout from the VW diesel emissions cheating scandal is not over yet. German prosecutors are charging VW Group former CEO Martin Winterkorn with fraud and violation of competition law in connection with the scandal. Essentially he is being charged with not acting appropriately when the cheating became clear, that is, not disclosing the misbehavior within the company to proper authorities and failing to stop the installation of the “defeat devices” in automobiles. Winterkorn resigned after the problems came to light. Four other executives are also being charged, the prosecutors' office said in a statement.

* European car registrations fell 3.6 percent in March with Nissan and Ford showing some of the biggest sales declines. Registrations in the EU and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries dropped to 1.77 million cars last month from 1.84 million a year earlier, the Brussels-based Association of European Carmakers said.

* Honda will idle one of its assembly lines at the Marysville, Ohio complex later this summer to update it for the production of electrified vehicles, the company’s senior VP Henio Arcangeli told journalists at the New York auto show this week. He cautioned that the move does not mean they are backing away from the sedan market as have other manufacturers. He said Honda’s car business is “very, very strong” and that two-thirds of Honda’s vehicles will be electrified by 2030.

* Mazda is recalling nearly 190,000 Mazda 3 compact cars in the U.S. because the windshield wipers can fail. The recall covers cars from the 2016 through 2018 model years.

* Fiat Chrysler is recalling more than 320,000 Dodge Dart compact cars in North America that could roll away due to defective shift-cable bushings. The recall covers 2013 through 2016 model year Dart car with automatic transmission.

* Will this be a new trend? Off-roading enthusiasts will have a new vehicle park in southeastern Michigan to take dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles and SUVs. State and local authorities have agreed to create a 235 acre off-road vehicle park for the public to enjoy.

* The 1000th Formula 1 race was the Chinese Grand Prix of last Sunday. Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Team finished P1 and took home the laurels in this historic race. Along with it being Hamilton's 75th Formula 1 win, this race marks the 90th win for Mercedes-Benz in Formula One.

* Dakar Rally organizers announced that the race will move to Saudi Arabia from South America next year. From the first race in 1977 to 2007, the Dakar Rally took place in Africa. The 2008 edition was cancelled because of terror threats in Mauritania, which led organizers to move the 2009 race to South America.

* Where there's a will there's a way. Twenty-one people have been charged in connection with a wave of rental car thefts across Chicago. They were all taken into custody after more than 100 Mercedes-Benz vehicles were stolen from the app-based rental service Car2Go, according to Chicago police. Car2Go offers Smart cars and Mercedes Benz vehicles in Chicago. By the way, all the cars have GPS trackers on them.

* Nissan is contributing $112,000 to the restoration of Notre-Dame Cathedral. Nissan’s contribution is “in recognition of and appreciation for Nissan Europe and Renault employees as well as the people of France,” the company said.

Happy Easter and Passover from Larry and Thom