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Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up August 15-21, 2021



AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - August 22, 2021: 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.

LEARN MORE: Links to full versions of today's news nuggets along with a million pages of 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.

Nutson's Automotive News Wrap-up - Week Ending August 21, 2021; Below are 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.

* The Senate voted to place price and household-income caps on the federal EV tax credit, as part of the $3.5 trillion budget framework currently undergoing negotiations. The non-binding amendment introduced by Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) proposed no tax credits for vehicles costing more than $40,000, and for households with more than $100,000 of declared income. This and other budget measures must still be reconciled with the House of Representatives. But if this is a serious ceiling for many lawmakers, a $40,000 price cap could greatly limit the number of households able to claim the credit. However, a price cap also addresses one of the chief complaints about the EV tax credit—that it is a credit claimed mostly by the wealthy, as the lack of affordable options outside one or two vehicle type. The current Federal EV tax credit is a maximum of $7,500.

Editors Note, We believe that without misguided tax subsidies for EV's, the well to do suburbanites will quickly stop making noise about buying EVs in the manipulated sales numbers the politicians have been led to believe. The Auto Channel guarantees that the sales of boutique EV's will drop like a blown fuse...It happened in China and will happen everywhere...You can wave Buh-bye to the US Govt making THE CHOICE of your future's mobility. See Also The Inequity Of Electric Vehicles and Electric Vehicles Solution or Diversion?

* The scandal that saw millions of dollars in prohibited payments and lavish goodies flow from former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles executives to UAW officials had ended with a fine of $30 million and a requirement to submit to a compliance monitor for three years for its role in the years-long scandal, which prosecutors have said was an attempt to warp the labor-management relationship.

* The average transaction price (ATP) for a new automobile in July 2021 hit a new record high in the United States at $42,736, according to the analysts at Kelley Blue Book. Transaction prices were up $3,223 (8.2%) from July 2020 and increased $402 (0.9%) from June 2021. New-vehicle transaction prices have increased – and set new records – for four straight months. A tight supply of new vehicles and a market shift toward more expensive SUVs and pickup trucks are among the main drivers of higher ATPs. However, elevated prices may be cooling consumer demand; after robust sales in March, April and May, new-vehicle sales began to slow in June and July. The seasonally adjusted new-vehicle sales pace in July was the slowest in a year.

* In October 1969 the first Nissan (Datsun back then) Z was introduced in New York City. And this week returning to the city that never sleeps Nissan revealed the long-awaited all-new 2023 Z. It's very much like the Z Proto we've been seeing. Power is from a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 rated at 400-hp mated to a standard 6-speed manual or available 9-speed automatic with shift paddles. So yeah, no electrification. Nissan says that the pricing will start around $40,000.

* Lincoln showed us the 2022 Navigator with new grille and front end styling, standard adaptive pixel projector headlamps, new 3D taillamps plus new Lincoln ActiveGlide, the new hands-free driver-assist technology.

* Hyundai unveiled its all-new 2022 Elantra N for the North American market in a virtual debut. With the introduction of Elantra N, Hyundai has rounded-out its N brand line-up of "Everyday Sports Cars." The Elantra N is available with an eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission, delivering maximum output of 276 horsepower from 5,500-6,000 rpm and torque of 289 lb.-ft. from 2,100 to 4,700 rpm. It's also available with a standard, close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox.

* The all-new 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will be revealed on Oct. 26. Designed to amplify the thrill of driving, the Corvette Z06 is a supercar that performs – whether on backroads or the Autobahn or the world’s most recognizable tracks like Circuit de la Sarthe.

* General Motors is recalling all of its current electric vehicles worldwide because of a potential battery fire risk. GM expanded a previously announced recall of Chevrolet Bolt EVs and Bolt EUVs, adding 73,018 newer vehicles from model years 2019-2022 for "rare" battery defects that could cause the fires. The recall now covers 141,685 vehicles and is expected to cost $1.8 billion. A total of 10 fires have been confirmed by the automaker. No deaths were reported, but there have been some smoke inhalation injuries. Certainly not a good image in trying to convince folks to buy BEVs.

* The NHTSA has opened a formal investigation into Tesla's automated driving system after a series of collisions with parked emergency vehicles. The investigation covers 765,000 vehicles, almost everything Tesla has sold in the U.S. since 2014. The probe is another sign that NHTSA under President Joe Biden is taking a tougher stance on automated vehicle safety. The investigation covers Tesla's entire model range, the Model S, 3, X and Y from 2014 to 2021.

* The CES tech and autos convention will require anyone attending the show in Las Vegas to show proof of having a COVID-19 vaccine. CES aims to muscle back to life in January with a hybrid of in-person and virtual events.

* As reported by Autoweek, after an unprecedented hiatus in 2020, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance was back in full force this year, with robust attendance and an impressive show field full of worthy contenders. When the judges' votes were tallied, Best in Show honors went to the 1938 Mercedes-Benz 540K Autobahn-Kurier owned by by the Keller Collection in Petaluma, California.

* The inaugural Woodward Dream Show is scheduled for this weekend at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Michigan, in conjunction with the Woodward Dream Cruise, which takes place Saturday, August 21. The Dream Show begins August 20 with more than 200 hot rods and muscle cars as well as movie cars and award-winning show cars on display.

* Subaru Motorsports USA driver Travis Pastrana set a new record of 5 minutes, 28.67 seconds at last Sunday’s 2021 Mt. Washington Hillclimb on the way to an overall victory at the wheel of the Airslayer STI, his 862-horsepower Gymkhana 2020 Subaru WRX STI. The new mark cut more than sixteen seconds from his winning time from the 2017 race up the narrow, steep and treacherous 7.6-mile Mt. Washington Auto Road. Pastrana blitzed the mountain to set a time that was over 45 seconds ahead of the nearest competitor.

* Mercedes will exit the Formula E electric racing series, joining German rivals Audi and BMW in opting not to develop a new generation car for the series. The automakers said they are re-directing money and talent to Formula 1 and commercial EV efforts - which are expensive enough.

* The 89th running of the famed Le Mans 24-hour endurance race is this weekend. The Automobile Club de l'Ouest has held this race since 1923, aside from the years during World War II. Closed public roads comprise much of the 8.46-mile circuit know as Circuit de la Sarthe.

* Four-time Indy 500 winner Hello Castroneves was announced as headlining the nine-member 2022 class of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America. The rest of this year's class includes sports car racer Pete Brock, drag racer Dick LaHaie, NASCAR builder Banjo Matthews, auto journalist Denise McCluggage, NASCAR co-founder Raymond Parks, NASCAR owner Jack Roush, and motorcycle innovators Terry Vance and Byron Hines.

Stay safe. Be Well.