Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up Sept 19-25, 2021
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Nutson's Automotive News Wrap-up - Week Ending September 25, 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.
* Data from AutoPacific's recent EV Study shows that customer demand for pure battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids is expected to steadily rise whereas demand for traditional hybrids has continued to mostly plateau. In fact, 7% of current ICE vehicle owners intend to purchase an EV next time. Put in perspective, 7% of new gasoline vehicle owners in 2021 equates to approximately 1M consumers intending to buy an EV.
* Honda announced an initial annual sales target of 70,000 units for the Prologue SUV, Honda’s first new volume battery-electric vehicle (BEV), when it goes on sale in 2024. Following the launch of Prologue, Honda brand electrified vehicle sales will be boosted by the introduction of additional vehicles based on its new e-Architecture now being developed. This will take Honda to anticipated sales of 500,000 BEVs by 2030, and ultimately leading to 100 percent zero emission vehicles sales in North America by 2040.
* Just like VW, Toyota, Hyundai, and other automakers, Honda’s initial zero emission vehicle sales goals of 40 percent by 2030 are contingent upon fair and equitable access to state and federal EV incentives intended to encourage American consumers to purchase electric vehicles. Honda has urged Congress to ensure that all vehicles made in America are treated equally. Note: The Ford Mustang Mach-e is made in Mexico.
* Michigan was home to the first mile of paved road. Plans are now in place to build the first mile of wireless charging in the country. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the state's intention to oversee the design and construction of a roadway that will charge electric vehicles while they drive - enabling cars, trucks, and public transit options that carry batteries to recharge without stopping. With charging infrastructure sorely lacking, this Inductive Vehicle Charging Pilot is hoping to ease the adoption of electric vehicles.
* AP reports representatives of companies including IKEA, Nestle, Siemens, Etsy, eBay, Ben & Jerry’s and Unilever joined with environmental activists and investors to call for the wide adoption of the Advanced Clean Trucks rule. Transportation is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., with trucks being one of the top culprits, activists said. The rule requires manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles to increase sales of zero-emission models over time in states where the policy is put in place. The switch to zero-emission trucks also will help reduce pollution in lower-income neighborhoods, many of which border highways, major roads and shipping centers, and where residents often have health problems like asthma.
* The two-year eight-month auto show drought in Detroit is finally over. A scaled-down auto show, titled Motor Bella, opened this week in the Detroit suburb of Pontiac. This outdoor show, in lieu of Detroit’s traditional indoor auto show, allowed fans to take test rides on off-road courses and a race track as well as also test drive vehicles themselves on public roads. In person views of the new 2022 Toyota Tundra, the new Lincoln Navigator and the GMC Hummer EV were to be had. Ford showed the 2022 Expedition and confirmed there will be a Bronco Raptor in 2022.
* Unfortunately the drought for the Detroit show was literally ended by heavy rains. Two days of media activities were shuffled in the last minute due to rain. Outdoor press conferences were moved indoors. Continuing heavy rain with flooding and damage to exhibits caused the second day of media activities to be canceled altogether.
* The North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY) Awards organization announced its list of semifinalists at the inaugural Motor Bella event at M1 Concourse in Pontiac. This year, 23 new vehicles made the list of semifinalists for the 2022 awards following a vote of the organization’s jurors. The list includes eight cars, six trucks and nine utility vehicles that are all new or substantially new and are or will be on sale in showrooms across North America this year. The semifinalists were voted in from an initial list of 36 eligible cars, trucks and utility vehicles announced earlier this year. Click for the full list. https://northamericancaroftheyear.org/2022-nactoy-semifinalists/
* In case you were watching the Emmys last Sunday eve (brought to you by Kia) during the halftime of the Baltimore Ravens-Kansas City Chiefs clash on NBC Sports the all-new 2022 Toyota Tundra was show in its first official capacity, via a world premiere commercial. The long awaited (15 years) new Tundra has more features, more power, more towing capacity, and more versions. The big V8 is gone with a twin-turbo V6 with gobs of torque now doing the job.
* Motor Trend reports Volkswagen insiders are considering building an all-electric off-roader to go up against the Wrangler and Bronco, and they want to call it the Scout, reviving the classic International Harvester Scout name for the first time in decades. Volkswagen Group of America Chief Operating Officer Johan De Nysschen floated the idea during a conversation with the media at a recent press event. De Nysschen noted the larger Volkswagen Group now owns the rights to the Scout name through its commercial truck division and recognized the heritage and brand equity the name carries with off-roaders. Volkswagen only recently came to control the Scout name when its commercial truck subsidiary, Traton, merged with Navistar in July 2021.
* Reuters reports software Volkswagen AG used to alter pollutant emissions based on the temperature and altitude is illegal unless it prevents potentially dangerous sudden damage to the engine, an adviser to the EU's top court said. Austrian consumers have sued, arguing the software is meant to defeat pollution controls.
* Swedish carmaker Volvo Cars said that its vehicle range will go leather-free or 'vegan-friendly' by 2030, offering instead bio-based and recycled materials to a customer base that increasingly wants sustainably sourced products. This is a decision driven as much by reading and predicting market trends as from concern for the ethical treatment of animals.
* Joe White for Reuters says San Francisco transport officials said they are worried about Tesla's plans for a wider rollout of its next generation automated driving technology, aka Full Self Driving, or FSD. The executive director of the agency that regulates transport in the city said regulators are concerned about the safety record of Tesla's Autopilot system, and said the name itself is a problem because neither Autopilot nor the FSD upgrade can safely drive a car without constant human supervision. The California Department of Motor Vehicles weighed in saying, again, that Tesla does not make a self-driving car - ADAS is a Level 2 system - and that it is reviewing the use of the term "Full Self Driving" in the market.
* Ford has announced two recalls for its Mustang Mach-E electric car to address potential problems with the panoramic roof glass and windshield. Improper bonding during manufacturing is blamed for both flaws. The panoramic roof may separate from the vehicle while it’s in motion. This recall is for 13,544 Mustang Mach-Es. The windshields may not have been properly bonded to 17,692 cars, risking detachment.
* Hyundai is recalling 13,247 Sonata Hybrids and 82,268 Tucsons from the 2017 model year. Engine bearings may prematurely wear out, causing the vehicle to stall or, in some cases, to catch fire. If bearing damage is found the engine will be replaced.
* With one race left to go in the 2021 season, Honda has claimed its 10th IndyCar Manufacturers’ Championship — courtesy of Colton Herta, Alex Palou, and Romain Grosjean sweeping the podium at the Grand Prix of Monterey at Laguna Seca. This is Honda's fourth consecutive championship. The final races Sunday in Long Beach to determine the driver championship.
* Nino Vaccarella, a hero of the Targa Florio road race in his native Sicily, has died at the age of 88. Vaccarella won the Targa three times, first with Ferrari in 1965 and then driving for Alfa Romeo in 1971 and '75, during a racing career that included wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours, in addition to four world championship Formula 1 starts. Vaccarella won at Sebring in 1970, his last season with Ferrari. Mario Andretti sealed the victory after taking over the controls of the 512S in which Vaccarella and Ignazio Giunti had completed the majority of the race for the final 55 minutes.
Stay safe. Be Well.