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Nutsons Weekly Auto News Digest - Week Ending November 24, 2019


LA Auto Show Goes Bi E-Mustang E-Taycan Unveilings; MT Car of Year; Woman's Car Award; KBB Best Buys; US News Awards; Green Car Awards; CoTY Finalists; Tesla EV; CA Goes Tough; China Byton For Sale In California; UAW L4eadership Replaces; GM Sues FCA; Most Stolen Cars; ADAS Names; Tariffs; Car Movie Reviews, Chevrolet GMC Recalls; Jeep Recalls, Dodge Recalls; KB NASCAR Champ; Jimmie Johnson Retires; Happy Thanksgiving Drive Carefully, See You Next Week


AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - November 25, 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.

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Nutson's Automotive News Review - Week Ending November 25, 2019; Important and Interesting automotive news and back stories in expert-created easy to digest news nuggets.

* The LA Auto Show opened this week traveling down a fork in the road. On one side we saw a bunch of low-volume battery-powered vehicles (check out the Ford Mustang Mach-E) aimed to satisfy global governments. The other side is the big sales SUV market with new models from Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Buick, Land Rover and Mazda. It's also new-vehicle award time with many announced at the show.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

* Ford’s all-electric Mustang Mach-E crossover made its first public appearance last Sunday eve in a jet hangar just outside of LA. Ford hopes that enthusiasts who value American muscle cars will buy the Mach-E, buyers who also are no longer wed to internal combustion engines. The base “Select” trim level of the new electric Mustang Mach-E will start at $43,895. The Mach-E crossover goes on sale in late 2020 in two trim levels. A Premium trim will start at $50,600, the First Edition at $59,900. Three additional trim levels – Select, GT and California Route 1 – will follow through mid-2021. The Route 1 trim will start at $52,400, the GT at $60,500. A 75.7-kilowatt-hour “standard range” battery pack is standard in the Select and Premium trims. Ford expects it to deliver 230 miles of range in rear-wheel-drive configuration and 210 miles with the available electric all-wheel drive. Max range depending on which battery you get is 300 miles. Max power is on the GT with 459 HP and 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds.

* The Porsche Taycan all-electric, four-door sports sedan made its U.S. premiere at the LA Auto Show. More newsy is the announcement that after more than 30 years, Porsche is returning to formula racing. With the Porsche 99X Electric, the company is establishing a its works presence in the 2019/2020 ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

* Motor Trend announced its 2020 "Of The Year" winners. The 2020 Motor Trend Car OTY is the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Truck OTY is RAM Heavy Duty, and Utility OTY is Kia Telluride. Person of the Year winner is Peter Schreyer, President and Head of Design Management, Hyundai Motor Group.

* The Mazda3 has been named “Supreme Winner” of the 2019 Women's World Car of the Year awards. In addition to taking the top award, the model also won Women's World Family Car of the Year. Established in 2010, Women's World Car of the Year is voted on by a panel of female judges from over 30 different countries who are asked to vote according to criteria women use when buying a car.

* Kelley Blue Book announce their annual Best Buy Awards. KBB Best Buys identifies the top vehicles in categories that that resonate with the majority of new car buyers. KBB's Best new model is the 2020 Kia Telluride mid-size SUV. Look here for best buys by vehicle category

* U.S. News & World Report unveiled its 2020 Best Vehicle Brand awards. Mazda is the best car brand, Kia is the best SUV brand, Ram is the best truck brand, and Porsche is the best luxury brand.

* And the winners of the 2020 Green Car Awards are the Toyota Corolla in the car category, the Honda CR-V in the SUV category, the Ram 1500 in the truck category, and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the Green Family Car of the Year. So there, no EVs.

* The nine finalists that are vying for the title of 2020 North American Car of the Year, Utility of the Year and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) were announced at the LA Auto Show’s AutoMobility LA, after they were selected from a competitive field of 29 semi-finalists. The 2020 finalists are: Car of the Year - Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Supra; Utility Vehicle of the Year - Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Lincoln Aviator; Truck of the Year - Ford Ranger, Jeep Gladiator, Ram Heavy Duty. The winners of the awards will be presented on Jan. 13, 2020 at the TCF Center in Detroit in a partnership with the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and the North American International Auto Show (which will be in June).

* Capping off a week of electric vehicle announcements at the LA Auto Show, Elon Musk and Tesla stepped into the limelight, away from the show, with the reveal of a much anticipated EV pickup. The new $39,900 “cybertruck", as Musk called it, will push the Tesla brand into new territory. The weird angular shaped stainless steel truck looked very much sci-fi. Karl Brauer from KBB said "the Tesla truck won’t try to appeal to traditional truck buyers. Everything from its styling to its drivetrain will be a major departure from standard pickup trucks." Production is planned for 2021...the same time GM and Ford launch electric pickups. Tesla's lead designer, Franz von Holzhausen attempted to demonstrate the strength of the Tesla "Armor Glass" by throwing a solid metal, baseball-sized ball at the driver side window. The glass cracked! Oops!

* California said it will halt all purchases of new vehicles for state government fleets from GM, Toyota and Fiat Chrysler and other automakers backing President Donald Trump in a battle to strip the state of authority to regulate tailpipe emissions. GM, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and members of the Global Automakers trade association backed the Trump administration’s effort to bar California from setting tailpipe standards, which are more rigid than Washington’s proposed national standards. Starting in January, the state will only buy from automakers that recognize California’s legal authority to set emissions standards. Those automakers include Ford Motor Co, Honda Motor Co, BMW AG and Volkswagen AG, which struck a deal with California in July to follow revised state vehicle emissions standards.

* Joe White writing for Reuters reports that Chinese electric vehicle startup Byton got a license to distribute and sell vehicles in California, an important step for its plans to expand its reach into the U.S. market. Byton plans to launch its electric and highly connected SUVs in China next year and in the U.S. and Europe in 2021. The U.S. entry could depend on whether the trade war between China and the U.S. is resolved by then.

* Reuters reports that President Trump may have missed a deadline to impose so-called "Section 232" tariffs on imported vehicles and parts and no longer has authority to do so, trade law experts said. Under the process for declaring imported goods - vehicles in this case - a threat to national security, Trump was supposed to have acted last Thursday. He did not, and recent court rulings indicate he may have forfeited for now this weapon in his trade policy arsenal. Whether Trump and his aides agree is another element of the uncertainty around the administration's trade strategy.

* Another "wow" of the week. General Motors has filed a lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler, alleging the automaker bribed the United Auto Workers Union in an attempt to gain an advantage during labor agreements. In a filing, a 95-page complaint states that FCA engaged in unfair business by paying millions in bribes to UAW officials. The filing states that GM is seeking billions of dollars from FCA and the UAW. GM says the late Sergio Marchionne in 2015 bribed UAW leaders to become the lead in negotiations for the next CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement).

* Meanwhile, disgraced UAW President Gary Jones resigned his position as the union moved to oust him and Region 5 Director Vance Pearson in the fallout from the federal corruption probe.

* According to the latest "Hot Wheels" report released by the National Insurance Crime Bureau the most stolen vehicle in the U.S. in 2018 was the Honda Civic followed by the Honda Accord and the Ford F-150. According to the FBI, in 2018, a total of 748,841 vehicles were stolen in the United States, a 3% decline.

* A coalition of consumer and safety organizations urged automakers to adopt consistent names for various kinds of driver assistance technology, with the aim of making it clear to drivers that these technologies cannot really drive vehicles automatically without driver attention. From Autopilot to "Co-Pilot 360" and beyond, there can be as many as 20 names to describe the same basic advanced driver assistance technology, or ADAS, an acronym widely used in the industry.

* The movie ‘Ford v Ferrari’ had its first full week run and is getting lots of great reviews from both the car culture crowd as well as the everyday car driver. Matt Damon and Christian Bale star in James Mangold’s look back at the golden age of auto racing. You should see it and be your own judge.

* Kyle Busch, 34, is NASCAR's 2019 Champion having pushed his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota into the lead and winning the season finale race at Homestead Miami Speedway. This is Busch's second cup title, Gibbs fifth cup and 19th victory this season, and gave Toyota its third drivers' champion in five seasons. As an aside, Busch's win can in part be attributed to mistakes during pit stops by both the Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex, Jr teams....both Gibbs Racing teammates.

* NASCAR racing champion Jimmie Johnson announced that he will be retiring after the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series. Johnson has won seven NASCAR titles and is tied with Dale Earnhardt and Richard Petty for the most career victories. Johnson’s 83 race victories also ties him with Cale Yarborough for sixth on the all-time wins list. Johnson is 44 years old and currently the oldest full-time driver in the series.

* GM is recalling more than half a million Chevrolet and GMC light- and heavy-duty pickup trucks because of concerns that seat belt pre-tensioners, when deployed to tighten belts amid a collision, could lead to a fire. This recall covers certain 2019 to 2020 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500, and 2020 Silverado 2500, Silverado 3500, Sierra 2500, and Sierra 3500 trucks

* Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling more than 698,000 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs because of a potential electrical problem that can lead them to stall. The recall is for certain 2011-13 vehicles, and the suspect parts might have been installed during a previous recall, according to an FCA news release.

* The Thanksgiving holiday is coming up this week and we wish all of our readers a Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels over the mountains and through the woods.