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Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up July 3 - July 9, 2022



AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - July 10, 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 July 9, 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.

* We're half way through 2022 and microchip shortages and other supply chain constraints continue to hamper the auto industry. Vehicle sales declines for the first half of 2022 are down double-digit percentages for nearly every brand. GM says it has just shy of 100,000 vehicles that have left the assembly line with parts missing and are being held in storage to be completed. Cox Automotive puts the 2022 annual sales forecast at 14.4 million units. At the start of the year Cox forecasted 16 million.

* reports we're in the midst of one of the steepest declines (what goes way UP! must come down) in gas prices ever. The national average tied for its second largest single day drop in the last decade on Friday. The national average is now $4.699/gal. Every day Americans are spending $125 million less on gas vs 25 days ago.

* Toyota has exhausted its U.S. tax credits for EV purchasers. Toyota said it sold 3,876 plug-in hybrid and electric cars in June. The U.S. allows automakers to offer a $7,500 tax credit to buyers of fully or partly electric cars, but only up to 200,000 per company. The Japanese manufacturer becomes the third automaker to hit the limit, joining General Motors and Tesla.

* U.S.DoE factoid of the week: Mass market plug-in vehicle sales began in the United States at the end of 2010 with just a few models available to consumers. As new plug-in models have been introduced and production volumes have increased, sales have accelerated accordingly. It took nearly eight years to reach one million cumulative sales but just two and a half more years to reach two million cumulative sales. Just 10 months after reaching two million in June 2021, cumulative sales climbed to 2.6 million as of April 2022.

* TikTok's Top Motors: These are the cars racking up over 10 million views on TikTok: New research by analyzed the number of views on TikTok using hashtags mentioning each vehicle brand and model, revealing the most popular car models and brands on the app. The most viewed car on TikTok is the Ford Maverick, with 10.9 billion views. Closely following in second place is another Ford model, the Ford Mustang, with 10.7 million views. The most-viewed non-Ford vehicle on TikTok is the Toyota Supra, with 9.4 billion views. Despite each of the top 2 vehicles being Fords, looking at car brands themselves, it's BMW that claims the top spot with 49.2 billion views.

* A week ago we reported on a traffic jam created by a number of Cruise autonomous vehicles blocking an intersection in San Francisco. Most recently, a Cruise LLC report filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicle informs of a collision in San Francisco between an autonomous Cruise vehicle and a Toyota Prius. Occupants of both vehicles received minor injuries from the collision.

* A growing number of consumers are eager to buy a battery electric vehicle, especially if certain concerns related to EV ownership are addressed, such as creating greater access to charging, extending vehicle range, and lowering purchase prices, according to findings from the largest-ever nationally representative survey from Consumer Reports. 36% of Americans are planning to buy or lease an electric vehicle, or are seriously considering to do so. Read more on this survey: HERE

* According to Mopar Insider, the last of the Dodge Hellcat models could run on E85 and have more power than a Demon. The supercharged 6.2-liter won't be going out without the proverbial bang. The SRT team is apparently working on a modified version of the V8 to run on E85 fuel in a bid to extract even more power. How much? It is believed the engine will push upwards of 850 hp in what will be a limited-edition Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody.

* From our fiends at The Detroit Bureau we read that Matthew Sidney Geourge was convicted in federal court for selling so-called “defeat devices” that can override the emissions systems built into Ford F-Series trucks using the 6.4-liter Power Stroke diesel, violating the U.S. Clean Air Act. The case means he is facing one year and a day behind bars. His company Spartan Diesel Technologies has been hit with a $2 million fine. The case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice also accused Geourge of tax evasion. Three associates at Spartan will face home confinement of six months each, along with probation, community service and penalties — though they avoided jail time. The federal government has been cracking down on both tuners and individual diesel owners who have adopted a political stand opposing federal regulations and contesting the concept of global warming. Beware to those into the “rolling coal” movement.

* Due to potential fires in 2020-2022 Ford Escape, Lincoln Corsair, and 2022 Ford Maverick models equipped with the 2.5-liter I-4 hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrain, Ford is recalling about 100,000 vehicles. The problem is, in the event of an engine failure, there might be enough oil and fuel vapor accumulated to cause a fire near ignition sources.

* Le Mans hero, driver, team manager, huge character and long-time motorsports editorial contributor Alain de Cadenet has died at age 77. Alain de Cadenet was a television presenter and racing driver. After a career in sports car endurance racing, he hosted numerous shows and broadcasts for the Speed Channel, ESPN, the Velocity Channel, and the Petrolicious website. Alain's stories in person, on stage and in his regular columns were always hugely entertaining, reflecting a life lived at the sharp end – and often on a shoestring – during a golden era of motorsport.

Stay safe. Be Well.