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Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up - June 19-25, 2022



AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - June 25, 2022; Every Sunday Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy and Auto Channel 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: Complete 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 headline and inserting it into any Site Search Box.

Nutson's Automotive Weekly Auto News Wrap-up - Week Ending June 24 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-understand automotive universe news nuggets.

* President Biden asked Congress for a three month suspension of the gasoline tax, possibly saving consumers as much as 18.4 cents per gallon. Biden's team is meeting with CEOs of the major oil companies to discuss rising oil prices. States are being asked to also suspend their gas tax.

* Meanwhile--For the first time in nine weeks, the nation’s average gas price has declined, falling 4.2 cents from a week ago to $4.97 per gallon according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country. The national average is up 37.3 cents from a month ago and $1.92 per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has risen 2.6 cents in the last week and stands at $5.80 per gallon.

* SUVs, large or small, are here to stay, despite rising fuel prices. Automotive consulting firm AutoPacific, recently asked over 300 current SUV owners how high fuel prices would affect their next vehicle purchase decision. Findings reveal that current high, or higher, fuel prices would cause the majority of current SUV owners (45%) to consider a hybrid or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUV or Crossover, while 27% would consider an EV SUV or Crossover, and 29% would be unaffected. According to AutoPacific’s annual forecast of U.S. light vehicle sales, SUVs will continue to dominate the market, reaching over 60% market share in 2027. Additionally, AutoPacific’s most recently issued forecast shows SUVs will make up over half of alternative powertrain market share in 2023 and beyond, and alternative powertrain SUVs will account for over a quarter of the total market by the end of 2027.

* U.S. DoE factoid of the week: As vehicle manufacturers have pursued better fuel efficiency and performance, they have employed greater use of downsized, high-output engines that are inherently more efficient. Those engines often rely on higher compression ratios and turbocharging that can require higher-octane premium fuel. From 2012 through 2018 the number of new models requiring premium fuel increased from 16% to 29%. In recent years, however, manufacturers have been turning to greater electrification of their vehicles to boost performance and fuel economy, which has likely contributed to the leveling off and subsequent decline in the number of models requiring premium fuel since 2018. Vehicles that require premium gasoline should always be fueled with premium gasoline as stated in the owner’s manual. Vehicles that are engineered for regular gasoline would likely see little or no benefit from using premium fuel. Vehicles that specify premium recommended (but not required) may see some benefit to performance and fuel economy, but the fuel economy benefit is usually not large enough to offset the added cost of the premium fuel.

* Kelley Blue Book reports last month, the average price paid for a vehicle in the U.S. was the second-highest on record. New-vehicle average transaction prices (ATPs) increased to $47,148 in May 2022. Compared to May 2021, prices increased by 13.5%. The average price paid for a new luxury vehicle was $65,379, and the luxury vehicle share remains historically high at 17.3% of total sales in May. For comparison, luxury share in May 2021 was 15.9% and, pre-pandemic, luxury share in May 2019 was 13.1% of the total market. The average price paid for a new non-luxury vehicle last month was $43,338, up $709 from April. Car shoppers in the non-luxury segment paid on average $1,030 above sticker price.

* A report from says yellow might be the smart choice for your new car. Color plays an important role in reselling your car. iSeeCars looked at 650,000 3-year old vehicles that were recently sold. They found that the most popular new car colors, white, black and silver, didn't help in making the value of the vehicle depreciate less. However, some of the less popular colors helped a vehicle better retain its value. The top-five colors that depreciated the least were: yellow at 4.5%, orange at 10.7%, purple at 13.0%, and red and green both at 14%. The average 3-yr deprecation for new vehicles was 15%. White and black vehicles depreciated worse than average at 15.5% and 16.1% respectively.

* With the newfound enthusiasm for battery-powered vehicles, travel insurance comparison site InsureMyTrip examined relevant travel data for key road trip categories for the most popular road trip routes in the U.S to see which ones are best (and worst) equipped for electric vehicles. These categories include percentage of free chargers per stop, number of charge points per stop, number of level three chargers per stop, quality of national parks, quality of attractions and experiences and quality of restaurants. Of the 13 routes analyzed, California’s Pacific Coast Highway is ranked first overall (6.48), with Natchez Trace Parkway (5.91), Appalachian Trail (5.42), Atlantic Coast (5.38) and Oregan Trail (5.32) completing the top five road trip routes.

*’s American-Made Index returns to rank all qualifying vehicles built and bought in the U.S. for the third time in its 17-year history. The 2022 study follows the same guidelines as in 2020 and 2021, ranking 95 vehicles through the same five criteria: assembly location, parts content, engine (or, motor) origins, transmission origins and U.S. manufacturing workforce. Topping the 2022 index is Tesla, which not only retains its No. 1 overall ranking thanks to the Model Y, but furthers its presence on the list with all four vehicles of its current lineup placing in the top 10. The Model 3 drops one spot from 2021 to No. 2, the Model X comes in at No. 5, and the Model S follows at No. 6. The Lincoln Corsair and Honda Passport SUVs break the Texas-based automaker’s stranglehold at the top with Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, while the Jeep Cherokee and three more Hondas in the Ridgeline, Odyssey and Pilot round out the top 10. Have a look to find your vehicle:

* Meanwhile--Then there are the least American cars according to the index:

* Reuters reports a German government minister said Europe’s No. 1 auto producing nation will not sign up to ban combustion vehicle sales by 2035. The European Union Parliament backed a 2035 deadline to phase out piston-powered vehicles. But the EU’s big auto manufacturing nations are balking - against a backdrop of rising concern about the EU economy and its unreadiness to walk away from fossil fuels. One reason for Germany’s hesitation: Jobs.

* Electric vehicle sales could reach 33% globally by 2028 and 54% by 2035, as demand accelerates in most major markets, consultant AlixPartners said. In Europe, AlixPartners expects 83% of new vehicles sold to be electric by 2035.

* Tired of seeing yourself coming and going, Here's an idea. Europe’s “car” market is now 46% SUVs. But Stellantis’ Peugeot brand has a new car for the other 54% - a slick looking Peugeot 408 sedan for motorists who think an SUV is too “common.” And, the Volkswagen brand is looking towards the future and releasing exclusive design sketches of the ID. AERO concept vehicle, the first fully-electric sedan for the Chinese automobile market. BTW SUVs are 60% of the U.S. market.

* Washington DC wants big SUVs and pickups to pay more for road maintenance. The city is upping its vehicle registration fees. DC residents of vehicles weighing at least 6,000 lbs. will pay $500 per year. That's up from $155 for a vehicle weighing 5,000 lb. or more. Now vehicles in the 5,000 to 5,999 lb. range will pay $250; 3,500 to 4,999 lb. is $175. We hear other states are contemplating the same type of increases.

* Renowned auto journalist Matt DeLorenzo has a new book that could be of interest to many. "How To Buy An Affordable Electric Car: A Tightwad's Guide to EV Ownership" offers a wide ranging look at some less costly electric vehicles, both new and used as well as tips and pointers on buying, charging, maintaining and insuring an EV. You can find it on Amazon.

* A recent survey by CDK Global finds Gen Z, those born between 1997 and 2012, is much different than the stereotypes portrayed on social networks. In a recent survey, CDK Global asked over 1,100 people of all ages, including Gen Z shoppers 18–25, about the car-buying experience. The results found that Gen Z can be more thoughtful, spending more time weighing decisions, but they also found the car-buying process more difficult than any other age group and were least likely to recommend their dealership experience.

* Toyota Motor Corp said it would recall 2,700 of its bZ4X SUVs, its first mass-produced electric vehicle for the global market, because of a risk the wheels could come loose. A total of 2,700 vehicles are affected in multiple markets; 2,200 were earmarked for Europe, 260 for the United States, 10 for Canada and 110 for Japan. Wheel attachment? Not new tech!

* Honda is recalling more than 112,000 Ridgelines in the U.S. due to a fire risk. The recall affects 2006-14 Honda Ridgeline models sold or registered in the 'salt-belt' region of the country, locations where de-icing agents are applied to roads during the winter. Road de-icing agents and other debris on the rear frame, where the fuel tank is mounted, could cause the mounting bands to corrode and separate.

* The 100th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the Race to the Clouds, is today, Sunday June 26. Seventy-three cars are qualified to run up the mountain. The first day of qualifying included a qualifying record run by David Donner in the Exhibition class. Donner drove a 2022 Porsche 911 Turbo S up the mountain course in 4 minutes, 2.939 seconds to top Randy Pobst's time of 4:10.342 in a Tesla Model S Plaid in 2021.

* The Hemmings Motor News Great Race, Presented by Hagerty Drivers Club, kicked off in Warwick, Rhode Island this past weekend and will finish in Fargo, North Dakota today, June 26. The race is an antique, vintage, and collector car competitive controlled-speed endurance road rally on public highways. Day One saw the racers flagged off from the start by Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee and Warkick Mayor Frank Picozzi as competitors made their way to Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Along the way they made stops that included Wayne Carini’s F40 Motorsports in Portand, Connecticut. The race route takes the 167 competitors across New York to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and on into North Dakota.

* The annual Goodwood Festival Of Speed kicked off this week at the Goodwood House in West Sussex, England. In this four-day event, we saw all types of modern as well as classic vehicles sprint up the iconic hillclimb. Beyond the hill-climbers, a variety of automakers debuted an array of vehicles ranging from retro rally cars to all-electric sports cars.

* Bruton Smith, founder of Speedway Motorsports and one of the most forward-thinking track operators and promoters in motorsports, has died. Smith, a native of Oakboro, North Carolina, was 95. With Smith at the helm, Speedway Motorsports became the first motorsports company to trade on the New York Stock Exchange in 1995. The group’s holdings would eventually grow to include 11 racing facilities that currently host 15 NASCAR Cup Series events in 2022, including four of the series’ 10 playoff races. Smith was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2016 for his lifetime of achievement in the industry. In addition to his racing-related endeavors, Smith built Sonic Automotive, an automotive sales empire that encompasses more than 100 dealerships in 13 states.

Stay safe. Be Well.