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Nutson Weekly Auto News Wrap-up December 26, 2021 - January 1, 2022



AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - January 2, 2022; 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 January 1, 2022; 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.

* Industry analysts report total new-vehicle sales for December 2021, including retail and non-retail transactions, are projected to reach 1,245,600 units, a 20.5% decrease from December 2020. Comparing the same sales volume without adjusting for the number of selling days translates to a decrease of 23.3% from 2020. The seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) for total new-vehicle sales is expected to be 13.0 million units, down 3.5 million units from 2020. New-vehicle total sales in Q4 2021 are projected to reach 3,302,700 units, a 19.9% decrease from Q4 2020 when adjusted for selling days. New-vehicle total sales for 2021 are projected to reach 14,958,900 units, a 4.2% increase from 2020 when adjusted for selling days.

* New York City is buying 184 Mustang Mach-E battery electric vehicles (BEV) for law enforcement and emergency response as part of the largest purchase of all-electric vehicles to date, city officials announced. The vehicles, which will arrive in the Big Apple by June 30, will replace gas-powered vehicles currently used by the New York Police Department, the New York City Sheriff's Office, the Department of Correction, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Department of Environmental Protection, NYC Emergency Management, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. The city will spend $11.5 million on initial orders, said a news release from the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

* We read in that Montreal-based electric off-road vehicle startup Taiga Motors Corp. announced that it had produced its first customer-ready electric snowmobiles and is working with governing agencies on final approvals to begin first deliveries to pre-order customers in early 2022. The sleds offer fast charging and a battery range of up to 140 km (87 mi). With automotive standard equipment, DC fast charging to 80% takes 20 min, but AC 240-V Level 2 destination and home charging are also offered.

* Who knew? On a typical weekday a transit bus idles for an average of 3.7 of the 9 hours that the bus is in operation. The analysis of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Fleet DNA data included 415 conventional heavy-duty vehicles with over 120,000 hours of operation from 36 states. Refuse trucks averaged 5.2 hours per day in operation but idled for 48% of that time.

* BMW, ZF and Panasonic have joined the list of companies going digital with presentations for upcoming CES in Las Vegas. The show was supposed to allow for a gathering of all but the pandemic continues to limit in-person gatherings.

* Tesla is recalling more than 356,000 Model 3s from the 2017 to 2020 model year because a coaxial cable for its backup camera can become worn and fail to translate images to the dashboard center display screen.

* The Dakar Rally 2022 commences on Saturday, January 1, 2022, and will run for 14 days until Stage 12 on Friday, January 14. The Dakar Rally 2022 will be held as the opening round of the new FIM World Rally-Raid Championship, which will be contested over five rounds. Dakar Rally 2022 will be followed by Round 2, the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge (March 5 - 10), Round 3, Rally Kazakhstan (April 24 - 30), Round 4, the Andalucia Rally (June 6 - 12) and Round 5, the Morocco Rally (October 6 - 12).

* reports that John Hennessey apparently was in a big hurry to get the family Christmas tree home, because in the process his Hennessey Performance team claimed a world record for the fastest station wagon drive with a tree on the roof. Hennessey had Spencer Geswein, senior instructor at the Ford Performance Driving School, behind the wheel of Hennessey’s wife’s Audi RS 6 for the record run. By the way, her station wagon is no mere grocery getter; Hennessey Performance of Sealy, Texas, has tweaked its engine to pump out 800 horsepower. The previous station wagon-with-tree record was 181 mph, also held by Hennessey Performance, and achieved in 2019 by its 1,000-horsepower Jeep Trackhawk. This year, the team upped that mark to 183 mph with the Audi.

* Martha Earnhardt, matriarch of the famed racing family, has died. She was 91. Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Dale Earnhardt Jr., two of her grandchildren, confirmed her Christmas Day passing in a statement. Martha Earnhardt was married to Ralph Earnhardt from 1947 until his death in 1973 at age 45. The couple had five children – daughters Kaye and Cathy and sons Dale, Randy and Danny. Dale Earnhardt followed his father’s legacy as a driver to become one of just three seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champions. Youngest son Danny Earnhardt died earlier this month, aged 66 on Dec. 10.

* Happy New Year to all.

Stay safe. Be Well.