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Nutson's Auto News Nuggets- Week Ending November 16, 2019


LA Auto Show Alive and Showing; E-Mustang Unveiling; MTCoY; CR Most Reliable List; Green CoY; Trump-Iffs; UAW Love Ford; GM and Ford Drop The Ball With Small Cars; (Execs To Give Back Salary - Not); New Ferrari Model; Hyundai Opts To Build New Model In Alabama; Ford and Nissan Recall; Formula One To Go Carbonless; NASCAR Final Four Finally Chosen; Jerry Hirshberg RIP


AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - November 10, 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 to digest news Nuggets.

LEARN MORE: Links to full versions of today's news nuggets along with the past 25 year's automotive news, articles, reviews and archived stories residing in The Auto Channel Automotive News Library can be found by just copying and then inserting the main headline into the News Library Search Box.

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Nutson's Automotive News Review - Week Ending November 16, 2019; Important and Interesting automotive news and back stories in expert-created easy to digest news nuggets.

* The Los Angeles Auto Show, AutoMobility LA, is coming up this week. We expect to see the new Mazda CX-30, the MINI John Cooper Works GP with 302 HP and the Mini Cooper SE battery electric car plus the Land Rover Defender, BMW M8 Gran Coupe, M2 CS and 2 Series Gran Coupe as well as the X3 Plug-in Hybrid Sports Activity Vehicle and the 330e Plug-in Hybrid Sedan.

* Ford's all-electric Mustang Mach-E will makes its debut tonight, Sunday eve, at 9PM EST streaming live on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Ford is calling the Mach-E a crossover. What do you think?

* On Monday, tomorrow, Nov 18, the winners of MotorTrend Awards “Golden Calipers” for 2020 Car of the Year, Truck of the Year, and SUV of the Year will be announced. The three finalists in each category are: Car - Chevrolet Corvette, Kia Soul and Tesla Model 3; Truck - GMC 3500, Jeep Gladiator and RAM 1500; SUV - Kia Telluride, Lincoln Aviator and Subaru Outback. What are your picks?

* Green Car Journal has announced their 2020 award finalists. The two winners will be announced next week at AutoMobility LA. For Green Car of the Year it's the Ford Escape (yes, in the car category), Hyundai Sonata, Kia Soul, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla. For Green SUV of the Year it's Ford Explorer Hybrid, Honda CRV, Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid and Toyota RAV4.

* Consumer Reports released its 2019 Annual Auto Reliability Survey. Japanese brands, led by Lexus, Mazda, and Toyota, in that order, continue to be the best for new car reliability in CR’s survey. Another Japanese brand, Subaru, ranked seventh overall. But three Korean brands also made it into the top 10—Genesis, Hyundai, and Kia, in that order. Overall, there was a lot of reshuffling among the brands in CR’s latest predicted new-car reliability rankings, with mixed results for domestics. Of all the individual vehicle models the Mazda MX-5 Miata is ranked the most reliable....and it's the most fun. Follow this link for more details:

* The NY Times reports that the Trump administration, in a move that could forestall potentially devastating tariffs on foreign automobiles, is in discussions with European carmakers about increasing their investment and employment in the United States. The talks come ahead of a deadline for President Trump to decide whether to make good on his threat to impose tariffs on foreign cars and car parts, which his administration has declared a national security threat. Mr. Trump is widely expected to delay the tariffs for several months, because there is little appetite in the administration to move ahead with them now, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

* After two weeks of voting with little drama or controversy, UAW workers ratified their four-year contract with Ford by 56.3% of the vote, the UAW announced Friday evening. Ford has more UAW members than any other automaker in the U.S. An estimated 55,000 workers are covered by the deal. Now the UAW begins the process to finish its pattern bargaining with Fiat Chrysler.

* Electric Vehicles are now outselling stick shifts in the U.S. EVs now make up 1.9 percent of cars sold in the U.S., while stick shifts account for 1.1 percent. A new study released by J.D. Power shows that vehicles with fully electric drivetrains outsold those with manual transmissions by nearly two to one over the third quarter in the U.S.

* in a new study says the decision by Ford and GM to drop small cars may have been a bad idea. Analysts at Edmunds found “that instead of jumping on the SUV bandwagon, 42% of Cruze and Focus owners are choosing to stay in the passenger car segment." This year, 23% of Cruze owners and 31% of Focus owners who traded in bought another car from a competitor.

* And now this. The Toyota Camry and Toyota Avalon are both getting all-wheel drive, joining the ranks of other sedans such as the Mazda3, Subaru Legacy and Nissan Altima. Will crossover/SUV drivers switch back to driving a car?

* Fiat Chrysler and Ferrari Chairman John Elkann hinted at Pebble Beach this summer that Ferrari had a modern version of its classic 1960s grand touring cars in the pipeline. Ferrari unveiled the car, called the Roma, on Thursday - in Rome, of course. The sleek 2+2 coupe is getting raves - and some comparisons to Aston Martin.

* Hyundai said it will build its Santa Cruz pickup in Alabama, spending $410 million to expand an existing factory there. Hyundai said the Santa Cruz is for those who want all the traditional attributes of a compact utility vehicle, but need the day-to-day versatility of an open bed. Expect to see it in 2022.

* Ford is recalling 2019-20 F-150 vehicles for improperly secured positive battery-terminal fastener. This action affects 135,725 vehicles in the U.S. and federal territories, 30,073 in Canada, and 2,257 in Mexico. Another recall affects 2016-17 Lincoln MKX vehicles with 3.7-liter engines where the battery cable harness may have substandard clearance. This action affects 54,411 vehicles in the U.S. and federal territories and 5,253 in Canada.

* Nissan is recalling over 394,000 vehicles in the U.S. because a brake fluid leak could cause them to catch fire. The recall covers the Nissan Murano SUV from 2015 through 2018, and Maxima sedans from 2016 through 2018. Also included are Infiniti QX60 and Nissan Pathfinder SUVs from 2017 through 2019.

* Formula One set out its first ever sustainability plan this week with the aim of achieving a net zero-carbon footprint for the sport by 2030. The Liberty Media-owned championship, which will have a record 22 grands prix next year with the 10 teams flown around the world, said carbon reduction projects would start immediately. It also promised that all Formula One events would be sustainable by 2025. McLaren were certified as Formula One's first carbon-neutral team as long ago as 2011, but the sport has also struggled to shrug off a gas-guzzling reputation dating back to the long-gone days of V12 engines. Unfavorable comparisons have been made to the all-electric Formula E series, which now has a significant manufacturer presence.

* In NASCAR, Denny Hamlin won the Phoenix race last Sunday. That puts him in the final four with Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex, Jr. Kyle Busch joins them having gained a slot on points. Of the four drivers there are three Toyotas all from Joe Gibbs Racing with Harvick in a Ford from Stewart-Hass Racing. Toyota clinched the manufacturer championship with the Hamlin win. Watch what happens at Miami Homestead.

* Jerry Hirshberg, the creative force behind Nissan's first design hub outside Japan, has died. Hirshberg, hired to liven up Nissan's car designs, first worked at GM helping design the Firebird and later heading studios for Pontiac and Buick. In 1979 Nissan recruited him to oversee the Japanese automaker's new design center in San Diego, where he created the Pathfinder, Xterra and revived the famed Z car. Hirshberg was 80 years old.