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Nutsons Weekly Auto News Wrap-up - November 1-7, 2020



AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO November 8, 2020; Every Sunday Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy and Executive Producer, with able assistance 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 Wrap-up - Week Ending November 7, 2020; The past week's important, relevant, semi-secret, or snappy automotive news, opinions and insider back stories presented as expertly crafted easy to digest news nuggets.

* Toyota, Hyundai, Subaru and Mazda racked up October U.S. sales gains behind crossovers and other light trucks, signaling the market continues to claw back amid the pandemic. Toyota division pickup deliveries jumped 22 percent. Volume dropped at Ford and Honda. Based on those that report monthly sales, the auto industry showed in October a steady recovery from a low point in sales back in the spring.

* Ford is restarting monthly U.S. sales reports, or so it seems. Reuters reports Ford dropped a report on October U.S. sales and production into the Election Day news maelstrom, telling those who noticed (including Bloomberg) that October sales were down nearly 6%. The impact of the F-series model changeover was evident. Ford's Dearborn factory built more than 36,000 F-150s in August, and only 8,112 in October as the plant changed over to the new generation truck.

* Uber and Lyft won a California bid to keep drivers as contractors. The ride-hailing companies heavily backed an effort to pass a ballot measure that largely exempts gig-economy companies from a state labor law requiring them to classify drivers as employees.

* Massachusetts voters approved a measure requiring car manufacturers to let people access vehicle data for repairs. The measure amends a landmark 2012 “right to repair” law in the state. After it’s adopted, manufacturers will have until car model year 2022 to install a standard open data platform. The platform will let vehicle owners and independent mechanics access telematics, wirelessly transmitted data that is typically sent directly to a remote server.

* Here's a tidbit from the U.S. DoT. In 1970 cars were responsible for more than 80% of all vehicle miles of travel (VMT). In 2018 light trucks (pickups, vans, and SUV) had the largest share of VMT and combination trucks (tractor-trailers) had 5.7%. In 1970 the total VMT was 1.1 trillion miles compared to 3.2 trillion in 2018.

* Kandi America, the U.S. subsidiary of Kandi Technologies Group Inc. an international automotive manufacturer, announced its certification by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for meeting the state’s stringent emissions standards. With this approval in hand, Kandi is preparing delivery of the model K27 – the most affordable electric vehicle (EV) on the U.S. market. With special promotional pricing, as well as the state’s $2,000 incentive coupled with the $7,500 federal tax credit, eligible buyers in California can drive off with the K27 for just $7,999.

* Volkswagen unveiled the 2022 Golf with 315-horsepower, all-wheel drive, and a 6-speed manual transmission. A 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is optional. VW says the new Golf R can accelerate to 100kph (62mph) in 4.7 seconds. Arrival at dealers is targeted for late 2021.

* Audi is recalling 94,000 vehicles over C-pillar padding. The recall affects certain Audi Q7 crossovers from the 2018-20 model years built between July 2017 and April 2020.

* Ford is recalling 2013 to 2017 Explorer SUVs for a steering control issue involving a rear suspension part failure. The recall covers 375,200 vehicles.

* Instead of a gathering of around 150,000 people at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the annual SEMA Show, the automotive aftermarket product showcase and trade show, for 2020 has become an online experience. The show began November 2 with the first unveilings under the SEMA360 format. The show ran from November 2-6.

* The Jessi Combs Foundation (JCF) announced the winners of The Jessi Combs Foundation Scholarship program for 2020. In addition to the two previously announced scholarships for $10,000 each, continued fundraising efforts allowed the foundation to add five additional $2,000 scholarships. In total, $30,000 worth of scholarships have been awarded.

* Matt Hagan and his Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye have earned the 2020 National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Drag Racing Series Funny Car World Championship title and the national event win at the season-ending Dodge NHRA Finals Presented by Pennzoil in Las Vegas. It is Hagan’s third championship crown after title wins in 2011 and 2014 and the sixth Funny Car class victory for the Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) team in 18 years. Hagan earned his third Wally trophy of the year in a season dominated by the DSR stable of HEMI-powered Funny Cars. The DSR foursome of Hagan, Tommy Johnson Jr., Jack Beckman and Ron Capps finished 1-2-3-4 atop the Funny Car standings and combined for a NHRA season "sweep" in which a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat won every national event to extend the team’s undefeated streak to a record 14 consecutive victories since October 2019.

* Kevin Harvick’s nearly perfect season came to a spinning and sudden halt last Sunday when a mediocre run bounced Harvick from the playoffs in a stunning upset at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. Chase Elliott won the high-stakes race to earn his first career berth in the championship four. It stopped Harvick one race short of the title round in a stunning collapse to a season spent as the favorite to win the Cup crown. Elliott driving a Chevrolet, Brad Keselowski in a Ford and Denny Hamlin in a Toyota will race Joey Logano driving a Ford, who had already clinched his berth, in today's finale at Phoenix. (AP)

* Congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Get in America! This is going to be a great road trip.

Stay safe. Be Well.