Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up August 21-27, 2022
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Nutson's Automotive Weekly Auto News Wrap-up - Week Ending August 21, 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.
* California air quality regulators voted to approve a historic plan to address climate change and harmful pollution by moving the nation's largest auto market away from the internal combustion engine. The regulation will phase out the sale of new gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs in the nation's most-populous state, culminating in a total ban of new sales of the vehicles by 2035. The plan is to have 100% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2035...that means all-electric vehicles. An exception will allow plug-in electric hybrids (PHEV) if they have 50 miles of all-electric range. The ban will not prevent people from using gas-powered vehicles or apply to the used car market. Thirteen other states typically follow California's auto emissions standards. Washington and Massachusetts said they would follow California with this new rule.
* U.S. DoE factoid of the week: Hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), and all-electric vehicle (EV) production increased in 2021, while gasoline vehicle production declined. The first HEVs entered the United States market in model year (MY) 2000 while the first mass-produced PHEVs and EVs arrived in MY 2011. There has been a noticeable increase in production of advanced technology vehicles in recent years. In 2021, the production share of advanced technology vehicles nearly doubled from the previous year, led by HEVs which accounted for 8.9% of all vehicles produced.
* Toyota Motor Corp. agreed to recognize California’s authority to set its own auto emission standards, ending a standoff stretching back to the Trump administration. The Japanese automaker, which once sued along with several other manufacturers to stop California from setting higher emissions standards than the federal government, said in a statement Aug. 23 that it has acknowledged in recent communications with the California Air Resources Board the agency’s “leadership in climate policies and its authority to set vehicle emissions standards under the Clean Air Act.” The statement is a reversal for a company that had joined peers, including General Motors, in a 2019 lawsuit challenging the state.
* From Reuters we read average new vehicle prices hit a record $46,259, up 11.5% from a year ago, according to the latest J.D. Power-LMC Automotive data. Production of new vehicles still cannot keep up with demand, though there are signs that semiconductor supply chains are starting to get sorted out. J.D. Power/LMC project the annualized U.S. light vehicle sales pace for August will be 13.3 million vehicles - down more than 3 million vehicles from pre-pandemic levels. This year is on track to be the weakest U.S. vehicle sales year since 2011, during the long hangover from the Great Recession.
* The 2022 Hyundai IONIQ 5 has been named Car and Driver’s EV of the Year. The publication put 20 top-rated EVs through rigorous testing over a three-week period. IONIQ 5 took the No. 1 spot. The EV award uses the same criteria as Car and Driver’s 10Best Awards.
* The J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Tech Experience Index (TXI) Study measures how effectively each automotive brand brings technologies to market, measured on a 1,000-point scale. The index combines the level of adoption of new technologies for each brand with excellence in execution. The execution measurement examines how much owners like the technologies and how many problems they experience while using them. Genesis ranks highest overall and highest among premium brands with an Innovation Index score of 643. In the premium segment, Cadillac (584) ranks second and Mercedes-Benz (539) ranks third. Hyundai ranks highest among mass market brands with a score of 534. Kia (495) ranks second, while Buick (482), GMC (482) and Subaru (482) each rank third in a tie. Learn more here: https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2022-us-tech-experience-index-txi-study
* U.S. News & World Report, publisher of Best Cars for Families and Best Cars for the Money, unveiled the Best Cars for Teens. "The Best Cars for Teens awards highlight the cars and SUVs that can help teens hone their driving skills and lower the risk that they'll be involved in an accident," said Jim Sharifi, managing editor of U.S. News Best Cars. "Each winner offers active safety features and strong crash test ratings, so there's a better chance of being protected if a collision occurs." Have a look here and have your teen drive the safest car possible. https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/advice/best-cars-for-teens
* Another warning to not park your car in your garage! Hyundai and Kia are telling this to owners of the Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride SUVs after a series of fires involving trailer hitch wiring have occurred. The vehicles are being recalled for a fix which affects 245,000 Palisade vehilcles and 36,000 Telluride vehicles from 2022 through 2022 model years. Oh, it's not just your garage. It's any parking garage.
* Autotrader is making it easier than ever for your dog to ride in comfort and style with the new 2022 Best Cars for Dog Lovers list—released just in time for National Dog Day on August 26. According to a recent Autotrader survey, more than 85% of dog owners think about transporting their dog when they are considering what vehicle to buy. https://www.autotrader.com/best-cars/best-cars-for-dogs
* A 1932 Duesenberg J Figoni Sports Torpedo shown by Lee R. Anderson Sr. was named Best of Show at the 71st Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. An array of 40 classic cars from 18 countries and 33 states pulled onto the competition field of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. An American car last won Best of Show in 2013, when a 1934 Packard Twelve took the top spot. Duesenberg has long been the winningest American marque at Pebble Beach, with six prior wins; this win brings its total to seven.
* Princess Diana's black 1985 Ford Escort RS Turbo sold for £650,000 or $764,000 at auction. Silverstone Auctions said the Escort had less than 25,000 miles on it and did not disclose the buyer. Diana preferred to drive herself with a member of her security team in the front seat.
* Autoweek reports Formula 1 will never return to Russia, the sport's CEO Stefano Domenicali says. The country, until now with an annual F1 Russian Grand Prix at Sochi and with future plans to relocate to St Petersburg, was kicked off the calendar as part of sweeping sanctions over the Ukraine conflict.
* Kurt Busch will miss the start of the NASCAR playoffs as he deals with concussion-like symptoms that have kept him off the track for six weeks. 23XI Racing, the team Busch drives under, withdrew his medical waiver. Busch’s injury stems from a crash during a qualifier at Pocono Raceway on July 23. The decision to pull Busch opened up two spots in the 16-car playoff field with the regular-season finale raced at Daytona. In Busch’s absence, 19-year-old Ty Gibbs has replaced him, driving his No. 54 Toyota
* The 2007 Formula 1 world champion Kimi Raikkonen made his NASCAR Cup rookie debut driving a Chevrolet for Project91. The program instigated by Trackhouse Racing is designed to integrate international drivers into NASCAR. Raikkonen's debut race on the Watkins Glen road circuit ended with a crash. Raikkonen had previously competed in the Xfinity and Truck Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, he has never competed in a Cup race. Overall, the intent pf Project 91 is to expand NASCAR's international reach by fielding a Cup entry for international racers.
* Audi has confirmed it will enter Formula One in 2026 as a power unit constructor. The news was announced following the sign-off of F1's new engine regulations for 2026, which will provide Audi with an opportunity to enter the sport on more equal terms with existing power unit manufacturers. The project will be based at Audi Sport's facility in Neuburg, Germany, near the company's headquarters in Ingolstadt, where Audi has already set up test benches for F1 engines. Reports are it is close to confirming a deal to buy into the existing Sauber F1 team, which currently races under the name of title sponsor Alfa Romeo. Alfa Romeo confirmed it would end its partnership with Sauber before the end of 2023.
* One of hot rodding's biggest voices, Pat Ganahl, died on August 19 in an incident at Riverdale Raceway in his Ike Iacono “inliner” front-engine dragster that he restored years ago. Ganahl was well known in the hot rodding world for hot rods, not race cars. Pat was editor at Street Rodder Magazine, Street Rodder, Rodders Journal, and Hot Rod magazine.
Stay safe. Be Well.