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Nutson's Automotive News Review Week Of July 21-28, 2019


CAFE Alive And Well In California; Ghosn Suing Nissan Group; JD Power APEAL Study; ADAS Ubiquitous; Consumers Sue Ford; Cruise Taxi's Stalled; eF-150 Plugged In; Volvo RECALL; Nissan Layoffs; Simeone Collection Ranked #1 Auto Museum

AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - July 28, 2019; Every Sunday Larry Nutson, Executive Producer and Chicago Car Guy 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 summaries.

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Nutson's Automotive News Review - Week Ending July 27, 2019; Important automotive news and back stories in expert created easy to digest nuggets.

* Four of the world’s largest automakers have struck a deal with California to reduce automobile emissions, siding with the state in its fight with President Trump over one of his most consequential regulatory rollbacks. The Trump administration is expected to all but eliminate an Obama-era regulation designed to reduce vehicle emissions that contribute to global warming. California and 13 other states have vowed to keep enforcing the stricter rules, potentially splitting the United States auto market in two. With car companies facing the prospect of having to build two separate lineups of vehicles, they opened secretive talks with California regulators in which the automakers — Ford Motor Company, Volkswagen of America, Honda and BMW — won rules that are slightly less restrictive than the Obama standards and that they can apply to vehicles sold nationwide.

* Former auto titan Carlos Ghosn, currently under house arrest in Tokyo, is suing Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors in a Dutch court for "improper termination" of his contract, French newspaper Le Figaro reported. Ghosn is accusing the Japanese manufacturers of breaching his contract as an employee of NMBV, their joint subsidiary based in the Netherlands, and seeking up to 15 million euros ($16.8 million) in damages, it said. The former chief of both Renault and its Japanese partner Nissan is awaiting trial in Japan on charges of financial misconduct.

* Improvements in infotainment systems and increased availability of advanced driver assistance systems are making customers increasingly satisfied with their new vehicles, according to the J.D. Power 2019 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) StudyPorsche ranks highest in overall APEAL with a score of 891. BMW and Genesis rank second in a tie with 868, followed by Audi (867) and Volvo (863). Ram ranks highest in the mass market segment with a score of 851. Dodge (848)ranks second, followed by MINI (835), Volkswagen (829) and Ford (828).

* Over the next few years, most new vehicles sold in the United States will offer automated systems that can stop, steer and pilot vehicles with little human intervention. The market for such technology, known in the business as ADAS, is expected to grow by 10% a year and hit $67 billion by 2025. A group of 20 major automakers has committed to outfitting almost every new vehicle with collision warning and city-speed automated braking by 2020. But, insurance companies are going slow on offering discounts. They worry that ADAS may reduce the severity of accidents, but increase the cost of repairs because what was once a simple bumper fascia replacement now will involve sensors and electronics. 

* Consumers filed a new class-action lawsuit accusing Ford of falsifying tests related to the fuel economy of the most popular vehicle in the world, the Ford F-150, according to attorneys at Hagens Berman. Ford announced on Feb. 21, 2019 that its employees had raised concerns regarding how Ford was calculating road load, which are used to provide the EPA with vehicle MPG ranges. The lawsuit says Ford's false data is costing owners of the most popular vehicle in the world - the F-150 - an estimated $2,000 extra in fuel.

* GM and self-driving partner Cruise had planned to open a self-driving taxi service in San Francisco this year. Joe White writing for Reuters reports that General Motors' self-driving unit, Cruise, said it was delaying the commercial deployment of cars past its target of 2019 as more testing of the vehicles was required. Cruise Chief Executive Officer Dan Ammann said the company would expand testing in San Francisco, and added in a blog post that Cruise was working with Honda Motor Co and General Motors Co to develop purpose-built autonomous vehicles. Ammann did not say when the company now expects to deploy a ride-hailing service using self-driving vehicles. It had earlier hoped to deploy such a service by the end of 2019.

* Earlier this year, Ford confirmed it will bring an all-electric F-150 to market. This will be in addition to the all-new F-150 Hybrid that goes on sale next year. Ford released a video on youtube of Linda Zhang, F-150 All-Electric’s Chief Engineer, demonstrating the capability of the F-150 All-Electric prototype by towing 10 double-decker rail cars and 42 2019-model year F-150s, weighing more than 1 million pounds and the length of three football fields.

* Volvo Cars is recalling about half a million diesel powered cars worldwide (No USA) because of a faulty engine component that may in extreme cases cause a vehicle to catch a fire. The Swedish carmaker said the affected cars are two-liter, four-cylinder diesel engines manufactured between 2014 and 2019 in the following models: S60, S80, S90, V40, V60, V70, V90, XC60 and XC90.

* Nissan needs a cold reboot after the ouster of Carlos Ghosn. CEO Saikawa outlined plans to cut 12,500 jobs and close 14 facilities worldwide. Factories building compact cars Ghosn championed as part of his "Power 88" expansion plan are in the crosshairs. The overhaul comes as vehicle demand worldwide is slowing, competition intensifying and Nissan's profits are evaporating. 

* On June 26th in Paris, at a ceremony at the National Headquarters of the Automobile Club of France, the Classic Car Trust reported the results of its detailed analysis of over 200 car collections worldwide. Using data-based methodology, they evaluated and ranked the 100 best for the historical value of the collection, as well as its educational and charitable contribution to society. The Simeone Collection of Philadelphia was ranked number one with the highest score. The Classic Car Trust is a nonprofit organization based in Liechtenstein that studies the historic car world in terms of evaluating the cars, promoting interest in automotive history, and maintaining a continued passion for special automobiles. The Simeone Foundation collection started 50 years ago when the finest examples of important sports-racing automobiles were available.