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Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up - October 17-23 2021



AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - October 24, 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: Full versions of today's news nuggets along with almost a million pages of the past 25 year's automotive content, news, articles, reviews and archived relevant stories residing in The Auto Channel Automotive News Library can be found by just copying a headline and then inserting into any Site Search Box.

Nutson's Automotive News Wrap-up - Week Ending October 23, 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.

* Foxconn, the Taiwanese company that makes smart phones for Apple and others, plans to produce electric cars for auto brands under a similar arrangement. Foxconn will produce cars and buses in China., North America, Europe and other markets. The auto brand clients can modify appearances and features for their markets. A Model E sedan that will be launched in 2023 will seat five and have a range of 470 miles. A bus called the Model T (oh yeah, that's a Ford name) will have a range of 250 miles.

* Joe White writing for Reuters reports one in five vehicles sold in Europe during Q3 was a battery electric or plug-in hybrid model, according to the latest figure from Europe's vehicle manufacturing association. The 57% surge in demand for battery electric vehicles contrasts with a 35% decline in sales of combustion vehicles. Diesel cars accounted for just 18% of total sales - continuing the collapse from nearly 50% share less than a decade ago. The shift to EVs is happening even faster for luxury brands, pushed by the popularity of Tesla's Model 3 and Y. BMW's head of production said the company's main factory in Munich will build its last combustion engine in 2024.

* MotorTrend announced the Genesis GV70 as the winner of its “Golden Calipers” for SUV of the Year. The Genesis GV70 was judged the winner from a field of 35 total all-new or significantly redesigned SUVs by excelling against the MotorTrend of the Year award’s six key criteria: safety, efficiency, value, advancement in design, engineering excellence, and performance of intended function.

* Michael Sivak of Sivak Applied Research has updated his monthly monitoring of key U.S. transportation indexes with several new data points. The population-adjusted changes for July 2021 compared with July 2019 show that: road vehicle miles are down 2%, air passenger miles are down 10%, rail passenger miles are down 33% and unlinked trips on public transit are down 50%. Changes for September 2021 compared with September 2019 show vehicle sales are down 21% and the price of gasoline is up 15%. The bottom line: People are driving more than flying, they are not using public transit, many are not buying new vehicles and gasoline costs more. Check it out here: HERE

* Long-distance driver Rainer Zietlow and photographer Derek Collins have concluded a record setting cross-country road trip in a Volkswagen ID.4 EV as the duo reached their final stop at Volkswagen Group of America headquarters in Herndon, VA. Upon their arrival at the last stop of the tour, Guinness World Records announced that the pair are awarded the title for the longest continuous journey by electric vehicle (non-solar) in a single country, bypassing the driven mileage set by the previous record by more than double. Almost 100 days ago, Zietlow and Collins took off from Herndon, VA with a mission to visit more than 600 Volkswagen dealers in the ID.4, Volkswagen’s first long-range EV for the U.S. market. Upon their return to Herndon, the adventurers amassed more than 35,000 miles and visited 628 Volkswagen dealerships across all 48 contiguous states. The travelers relied heavily on Electrify America’s network of chargers, making 208 stops at Electrify America charging stations by the time the tour ended. That averages 168 miles between charging stations.

* The Maserati Grecale world premiere is being delayed until the spring because of parts shortages, including the small semiconductors that have automotive plants idling around the world. The new SUV from Stellantis NV's luxury brand was set to make its debut on Nov. 16. The launch is being affected by interruptions in the supply chains for key components necessary to complete the car’s production process.

* Land Rover has given a first glimpse of the New Range Rover ahead of its world premiere. The New Range Rover will make its global debut beginning at 3:40PM EST on Tuesday October 26.

* The 2022 Ford Maverick pickup is the lowest priced vehicle offered by Ford with a base vehicle MSRP of $19,995. The Maverick's standard engine is a 2.5-L Hybrid. The Maverick has an EPA fuel economy rating of 42 city mpg.

* Many folks still have doubts the LA Auto Show will happen this year. However, it's looking like it is. Several highly anticipated vehicles are confirmed to make their debut at this year’s AutoMobility LA—LA Auto Show’s media and industry days—taking place on Nov. 17-18 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The list includes Fisker Inc. and Mullen Automotive as well as legacy automakers such as Hyundai Motor, Kia, Porsche, and Subaru, in addition to VinFast (the world’s first-ever Vietnamese automaker making its North American debut).

* Ford Motor Co. is bringing its own auto show to potential customers. This week in Austin, Texas Ford is showing its portfolio of new vehicles — including the electric F-150 Lightning, Bronco and Mustang Mach-E — for what it is describing as an "immersive" pop-up experience for consumers. The free 10-day event is yet another example of automakers finding new ways to get their product in front of prospective customers beyond reveals and displays at traditional auto shows.

* Quotewizard, a provider of insurance comparisons, analyzed over 2 million insurance quotes to find out which states have the worst drivers in America and which have the best. Drivers were evaluated on four factors to determine overall driving quality. Those factors include: Accidents, Speeding tickets, DUIs and Citations. The worst state is Iowa and the best state is New Hampshire. You can find your state's ranking here:

* A team of Honda engineers is taking the rugged new Honda Passport rally racing. Honda unveiled its 2022 Passport stage rally truck specially built for competition by the Honda Performance Development (HPD) Maxxis Rally racing team. The rally truck made its racing debut at the Lake Superior Performance Rally (LSPR) in Michigan on Oct. 15 and 16. It will compete in the American Rally Association (ARA) series of closed-course rally events through the 2022 season in the Limited 4WD class. With modified street vehicles reaching speeds of well over 100 mph on natural-terrain closed courses that include gravel, dirt, mud and snow over routes covering hundreds of miles, the ARA National and Regional Championship series are intensely competitive.

* Chevrolet Performance just introduced the ZZ632/1000 crate engine—the largest and most powerful crate engine in General Motors history. The 632-cubic-inch Big Block V-8 makes 1,004 horsepower and 876 lb-ft of torque. The ZZ632/1000 will be on display at the 2021 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nov. 2-5. It can be ordered through Chevrolet Performance dealers starting early next year.

* Toyota announced that Torrence Racing will join Team Toyota beginning with the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season. The addition of Torrence Racing’s two-team effort expands Toyota’s team partnerships to include five Top Fuel dragsters and two Funny Cars. Toyota provides its NHRA teams with tow vehicles, along with engineering, technology and trackside support through TRD (Toyota Racing Development). In addition to Torrence Racing, Toyota will continue to support Antron Brown’s newly established team – AB Motorsports, DC Motorsports and Kalitta Motorsports’ three-team effort in 2022.

Stay safe. Be Well.