The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up - November 21-27, 2021



AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - November 28, 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 thousands of pages of relevant news and opinions, information stored in a million page library published and indexed on The Auto Channel during the past 25 years. Complete information can be found by copying a bold headline and then inserting into any Site Search Box.

Nutson's Automotive News Wrap-up - Week Ending November 27, 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.

New Vehicle November 2021 Sales * New-vehicle retail sales for November 2021 are expected to decline when compared with November 2020, according to a joint forecast from J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. Retail sales of new vehicles this month are expected to reach 933,700 units, a 12.6% decrease compared with November 2020 when adjusted for selling days. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for total new-vehicle sales is expected to be 13.6 million units, down 2.2 million units from 2020.

New Car Prices Hit All Time High * Average transaction prices are expected to reach a November record of $44,043, a sixth consecutive month above $40,000, and 18.1% higher than November 2020 when prices hit $37,284. This is partly due to record-low manufacturer incentives. The average manufacturer incentive per vehicle is on pace to be a November low of $1,612, a decrease of $2,089 from a year ago.

Pickups Pose Most Danger For Smaller Vehicles* SUVs no longer pose outsize risk to car occupants, but pickup compatibility lags. It may feel uncomfortable to be a car driver surrounded by taller vehicles, but today’s SUVs aren’t a major threat to occupants of smaller vehicles, new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. Pickups, on the other hand, still represent an outsize danger when they crash with cars, and the weight imbalance is a likely reason.

Pew Research: EV's, To Know Them Is To Like Them More * A Pew Research Center survey of more than 13,700 adults conducted in April 2021 found that overall, 39% of those surveyed were very or somewhat likely to consider purchasing an EV, while 46% were not at all likely to consider an EV, and another 14% had no plans to purchase a vehicle. Breaking those numbers down by how much people had heard about EVs reveals that more knowledge of EVs translates into greater consideration of EVs. Of those who reported knowing nothing about EVs, only 13% would consider purchasing an EV. Those who had heard a little about EVs were more than twice as likely to consider purchasing an EV as those who had heard nothing. Those who had heard a lot about EVs were the most likely to consider purchasing one. There are also differences among the age groups surveyed, with Millennial's being most likely to consider purchasing an EV. See the report data at this link. the report data at this link.

UK EV Fairy-tale* Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out plans for a dramatic expansion of the UK’s electric-vehicle charging network by 2030 when the government will ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars. The aim is to add up to 145,000 new charging points a year to the system until the end of the decade, building on the 250,000 already installed in homes and workplaces. The UK will require new homes and buildings to have EV charging points.

Comfy (Heat and Cool) Seats To Return On GM Vehicles* GM figured out a way to resume offering heated and ventilated front seats. Starting late in the second quarter of 2022, GM dealers will be able to activate the highly desired feature on vehicles built without them due to a shortage of the computer chips that control them. Hopefully this will keep loyal customs of GM brands from defecting to others. Heated steering wheels are not part of this program.

Chevrolet Bolt Software Infusion* GM is starting installation of software on certain Chevrolet Bolts that removes restrictions owners have been told to use during a battery fire recall on the vehicles. Owners of 2019 Chevrolet Bolts who haven't yet received battery module replacements can get the software update that will remove parking and charging limitations. The new software limits the Bolt's maximum state of charge to 80%, which allows customers to resume: charging indoors overnight, using the car with less than 70 miles of range, and parking indoors after charging. 

Consumer Reports Truck Reliability* Truck shoppers looking for the most reliable pickups should consider the Ford Ranger, Ram 1500 and the heavy-duty trucks from Chevrolet and GMC, according to the annual auto and truck reliability rankings from Consumer Reports. Following behind the Ranger is the Honda Ridgeline and the Toyota Tacoma.

New Ferrari Icona-series – Real Cars* Ferrari's new high octane model, the Daytona SP3, ends a long wait by lovers of its Icona-series cars, although it may not be welcomed by those trying to curb carbon emissions. With an 840 horse power, 12-cylinder (V12) aspirated mid-rear-mounted engine, the Daytona SP3 pays tribute to the Ferrari 330 P3/4, which dominated the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1967. The Daytona SP3 will be produced in 599 units, with a not-for-everyone price of 2 million euros ($2.26 million) in Italy. Deliveries will start at the end of next year and are expected to be completed in 2024.

Gas Powered Dodge Hellcat Discontinued * The Dodge Hellcat is going away. Motor Authority reports there will be two more model years of Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcats, according to Dodge CEO Tim Kuniskis. Then, come 2024, Hellcats are gone. And, for 2024 Dodge will have an electrified muscle car for enthusiasts to want.

GM Goes ZERO Emission Boating* GM is getting into the boat outboard motor business and has acquired a 25% ownership stake by investing $150 million into Pure Watercraft. GM and Pure Watercraft, a startup based in Seattle that makes all-electric motors for boats of all different kinds, share a stated goal to expand zero-emissions mobility and promote EV adoption beyond cars.

US Floods Market With Three Days Of Oil Reserves – Ho Hummm* Joe White for Reuters reports the U.S. said it will release 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to drive down gasoline prices. Average U.S. pump prices at $3.41 a gallon - up 61% from a year ago - have been deemed a political emergency. The long-term impact on global petroleum markets is uncertain. The planned release is equivalent to less than three days of U.S. oil consumption. But lower gas prices would be good news for a nation that has bought a lot of large pickup trucks and SUVs over the past couple of years. PS - I’m in SoCal and all I see is $5+ gas!

SCORE Really OFF ROAD Championship Ends

* Race Champions WedNASCAR Hall of Fame legend Tony Stewart and NHRA Winner Leah Pruett are officially married. Stewart, 50, and Pruett, 33, were engaged to be married in March 2021 and will continue to work together from a professional standpoint, as Pruett was named one of the founding drivers of Tony Stewart Racing’s program in the NHRA. Pruett is a 12-time NHRA main event winner, while Stewart is a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, which currently operates in the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. Stewart is also a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

We hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving holiday weekend... Stay safe. Be Well.