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Nutsons Auto News Nuggets - Week Ending September 14, 2019


News Nuggets: UAW Picks GM; VW iD.3 Electrifies; Frankfurt Plugged In; Car Carrier Sinks; New VW Logo Placed; Head Nissan Exec Replaced; Mess O'Mustangs; Wards' !0 Best; Cox Goes Into Electric Pickup Biz; GM PU SUZ Recall; RAM Recall; States Charge EV Highway Tax Fees; NASCAR Cup Raceoff Field Fixed; F-1's Schumacher Repaired


AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - September 15, 2019; Every Sunday Larry Nutson, Executive Producer and Chicago Car Guy with help from senior editor Thom Cannell from The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, compile The Auto Channel's "take" on this past week's automotive news, condensed into easy news summaries.

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Nutson's Automotive News Review - Week Ending September 14, 2019; Important and Interesting automotive news and back stories in expert-created easy to digest news nuggets.

* The UAW has picked GM as the target company to focus on its negotiations for a new contract. GM's contract expired Saturday but workers are still on the job as negotiations continue. Auto workers did not strike Saturday night, but 850 Aramark Corp. janitorial workers represented by the UAW at five GM facilities in Michigan and Ohio did. The UAW extended the contracts with Ford and FCA while they negotiate with GM. Reports are that GM and the UAW are far apart on new terms so a strike may be in the making.

* Volkswagen presented the pioneering ID.3 on the evening before the IAA in Frankfurt. This vehicle is the symbol of a new era for the brand. The ID.3 extends the Volkswagen offering as the first model of a completely new generation of pure electric vehicles – featuring zero local emissions, outstanding efficiency, and full connectivity. At the same time, the ID.3 reflects the realignment of the Volkswagen brand, and is also the first model with the new Volkswagen logo. At present the ID.3 is not planned for the U.S. The first of at least three battery-electric vehicles for the U.S. from VW will be a compact crossover called ID.4. It arrives next spring.

* Automakers used this week's Frankfurt auto show to reveal new electric and hybrid models and strategies they hope can slash carbon dioxide emissions within months in European cities. Meanwhile, reveals at Frankfurt include the Land Rover Defender, Mercedes-Benz Vision EQS concept, Audi AI:Trail quattro, BMW Concept 4, and BYTON M-Byte, a premium smart Electric SUV.

* A South Korean cargo vessel carrying about 4,000 Hyundai and Kia vehicles bound for the Middle East capsized off the coast of Georgia, an official of operator Hyundai Glovis said. The U.S. Coast Guard said a pilot and 23 crew were aboard the Golden Ray when it overturned in St. Simons Sound. All of the crew has been rescued, including four trapped in the engine room. The Vessel Finder website said the ship had recently called at the Port of Brunswick and was headed to Baltimore.

* A crane recently lifted away the enormous VW logo that sat like a giant hood ornament atop Volkswagen’s 14-story headquarters in Wolfsburg. Sometime after dark last Monday, a crane lowered an updated one into place. On the evening before the first press day of the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt, the Volkswagen brand has unveiled its new logo and its new brand design. The new Volkswagen logo with its flat two-dimensional design is clearer and has been reduced to its essential elements. The brand design and the logo aim for high flexibility and are intended for digital applications. The rebranding will occur during 2020 starting first in Europe, then China followed by North and South America. All in all, 171 markets in 154 countries are concerned. At the 10,000 facilities of dealers and service partners throughout the world, about 70,000 logos will be replaced.

* Jill Disis and Sherisse Pham writing for CNN Business reported that Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has resigned. It's the latest in a mounting pile of problems at the Japanese carmaker. The company's board of directors announced Saikawa's departure, which is effective Sept. 16. It named Chief Operating Officer Yasuhiro Yamauchi as acting CEO while Nissan searches for a successor.

* Ford’s Lommel Proving Ground is claiming the world record for the most Mustangs gathered in one place when 1,326 Mustangs from all over Europe arrived at the test track in Belgium on September 7. That’s right, in Belgium, in Europe, not somewhere in North America. The previous record was 960 Mustangs that were together in Toluca, Mexico in December 2017.

* WardsAuto has unveiled the annual Wards 10 Best User Experiences list for 2019, and the German OEMs have a strong showing this year. The Wards 10 Best UX competition is dedicated to assessing the user-friendliness of technology such as smartphone pairing and charging, voice-control navigation, head-up displays and the effectiveness of driver-assistance technologies such as adaptive cruise control and blindspot monitoring. Find out the top ten right here.

* Rivian announced an equity investment of $350 million from global automotive services company Cox Automotive. In addition to the investment, the companies will explore partnership opportunities in digital retailing, service operations and logistics. This partnership marks Rivian’s third investment announcement of 2019, following a $700 million investment round in February led by Amazon, and in April, a $500 million investment from Ford Motor Company. Rivian will launch the R1T and R1S in the US in late 2020.

* GM is recalling more than 3.4 million full-size pickup trucks and SUVs in the U.S to fix a brake problem. The recall covers the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups from the 2014 through 2018 model years. Also included are the Cadillac Escalade from 2015 to 2017, and the GMC Yukon and Chevy Suburban and Tahoe from 2015 through 2018. GM says a pump in the power-assist brakes can put out less vacuum power than needed, increasing stopping distance and the risk of a crash.

* More than 2 million older Ram trucks have been recalled because of defects that could lead to their tailgate opening unexpectedly. This is an expansion of a recall from this spring, but the updated recall is larger, covering an additional 693,128 trucks and adding to a separate 1.1 million truck recall announced last year. The recall affects 2015-2017 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups equipped with an 8-foot bed and a power locking tailgate, all 2013-2014 and 2018 Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups built before April 1, 2018, with a 6- or 8-foot bed and a power locking tailgate.

* A number of states are charging electric vehicle owners fees that experts and consumer advocates say are higher than what the drivers of equivalent gas-powered vehicles are paying in gas taxes, potentially discouraging an important environmentally friendly technology. Almost all states have gasoline taxes to help pay for transportation projects, and electric vehicle owners avoid them because pure EVs don’t use gasoline. But many legislatures are looking at extra fees to make sure all vehicle owners pay for roads. A new Consumer Reports analysis shows that of the 26 states that currently impose EV fees, 11 charge more than the amount owners of similar gas-powered cars pay in gas taxes, and three charge more than twice the amount.

* After last Sunday's NASCAR Indy Brickyard 400 the field is set for the Cup playoffs with the 16 top points leaders. In the mix are 7 Fords, 5 Chevrolets and 4 Toyotas. Toyota is the leader in manufacturer points. Jimmy Johnson failed to make the Cup payoffs for the first time in his career.

* Former F1 driver Michael Schumacher, a seven-time champion, was admitted to a Paris hospital to be treated with cutting-edge stem-cell therapy, Le Parisien reported. The 50-year old German, who suffered a near-fatal brain injury in a 2013 skiing accident in the French Alps was expected to be discharged Wednesday.