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Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up September 18-24, 2022



AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO - September 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 September 25, 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.

Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up September 18-24, 2022

* LMC Automotive estimates U.S. new light-vehicle sales reached a cumulative total of just over 9 million units between January and August 2022, representing a decrease of 15% from the same period last year. Due to factors including economic uncertainty and ongoing supply constraints, LMC adjusted its full-year 2022 light-vehicle sales forecast to 13.8 million units, for a decline of 7% from 2021 volumes. Demand erosion is occurring at the low end of the market due to high prices, high interest rates and low incentives.

* US DoE factoid of the week: Per capita transportation energy use across the 50 states and the District of Columbia ranged from 25 to 225 million Btu in 2020. There was a wide range in per capita transportation energy use across the 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2020. DC had the lowest transportation energy use per capita at 25 million Btu. New York had the lowest use of any state—just under 46 million Btu per capita—while Alaska’s per capita use was nearly five times higher at 225 million Btu. Thirty-nine states had transportation energy use per capita of between 50 and 100 million Btu. The states with the lowest transportation energy use per capita tended to be in the more urbanized Northeast where population densities are higher, while larger, less populated states like Alaska, Wyoming, and North Dakota had the highest per capita transportation energy use.

* Just over half of passenger cars sold in the US will be electric vehicles by 2030, according to a report from BloombergNEF, thanks in part to consumer incentives included in the $374 billion in new climate spending enacted by President Joe Biden. Prior to passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August, projections for EV sales by 2030 came in at 43% of the US market. With the climate-spending measure in place, that estimate was revised upwards to 52%. In 2021, electric vehicles accounted for less than 5% of sales in the US, below the global rate of nearly 9% and well below the adoption rate in countries like China, where plug-ins currently account for roughly 24% of new car sales. Norway became the first country to see electric overtake combustion engine vehicle sales last year. Under the revised forecast from BloombergNEF, the US will surpass the global average in 2026 instead of 2028.

* Joe White writing for Reuters informs: For years, EV advocates and automakers have talked up the virtues of charging electric vehicles at home during off-peak night-time hours. A new study by researchers at Stanford argues this approach is 180 degrees wrong for a grid that relies more and more on solar power. Sticking to the night-time charging model will require huge increases in electric generation capacity to manage peak charging loads, the researchers conclude. Instead, the Stanford researchers argue that EVs should be charged during the day at workplaces and public charging stations. Daytime charging takes advantage of peak solar power generation, the researchers write.

* South Korea envisions becoming the third country after Japan and Germany to have Level 3 autonomous vehicles on roads this year and having completely self-driving buses and cabs by 2025 and passenger cars by 2027. Under the Mobility Innovation Roadmap unveiled by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Monday, half of new cars would be fully automated by 2035 and “seamless” travel within the city and country via unmanned vehicles in the sky and on grounds will become possible. Autonomous vehicle-exclusive lane will be run on highways by the first half of next year, and at least one test driving zone will be established in each city and province across the country by 2025.

* Reputation, a global leader in reputation experience management, unveiled findings from its annual automotive industry report, which looks at key industry trends from the past year and ranks the top auto brands and dealer groups. Analysis comes from 5 million customer reviews, as well as surveying buyers about how they shop for cars and service their vehicles. Subaru, Lexus, AutoNation and Hendrick took the top spots. Read more: here

* Hertz and General Motors announced an agreement in which Hertz plans to order up to 175,000 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and BrightDrop EVs over the next five years. Hertz is investing to create the largest rental fleet of EVs in North America. Compact and midsize SUVs, pickups, luxury vehicles and other vehicle types will be offered. Deliveries of Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV expected to begin in the first quarter of 2023.

* The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released its early estimates of traffic fatalities for the first half of 2022. An estimated 20,175 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes, an increase of about 0.5% as compared to 20,070 fatalities NHTSA projected for the first half of 2021. However, NHTSA projects that the second quarter of 2022, from April to June, had the first decline in fatalities after seven consecutive quarters of year-to-year increases in fatalities that began in the third quarter of 2020.

* The National Transportation Safety Board is recommending that all new vehicles in the U.S. be required to have blood alcohol monitoring systems that can stop an intoxicated person from driving. The recommendation, if enacted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, could reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes, one of the biggest causes of highway deaths in the U.S. NHTSA said that roadway deaths in the U.S. are at crisis levels. Nearly 43,000 people were killed last year, the greatest number in 16 years. The recommendation also calls for systems to monitor a driver’s behavior, making sure they’re alert. She said many cars now have cameras pointed at the driver, which have the potential to limit impaired driving. Editorial note: The combination of a blood alcohol monitor with Intelligent Speed Assistance technology, now required in all new cars sold in Europe, could bring about significant reductions in auto crashes and injuries.

* Nissan has put a stop-sale order on 2023 Nissan Z sports cars equipped with nine-speed automatic transmissions. An internal problem with the transmission can prevent the parking pawl from engaging, which could lead to a runaway condition. The situation appears similar to the current recall on nine-speed-equipped Nissan Frontier and Nissan Titan trucks. Nissan Z with manual transmission remains for sale.

* Mercedes-Benz is recalling 2020-22 GLE and GLS models, including AMG and Maybach variants because of a manufacturing error. The rear door window exterior trim bars may detach and cause a road hazard or increase the risk of a crash. About 161,000 vehicles are affected.

* Tesla is recalling nearly 1.1 million vehicles in the U.S. because the power window automatic reversal system may not react correctly after detecting an obstruction, increasing the risk of injury. Tesla told the National Highway Traffic SafetyAdministration (NHTSA) that it would perform an over-the-air software update of the automatic window reversal system. The recall covers some 2017-2022 Model 3, 2020-2021 Model Y, and 2021-2022 Model S and Model X vehicles.

* A 1937 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet by Chapron was chosen as this year’s Best of Show winner at the inaugural Detroit Concours d’Elegance, held at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Built upon the Concours d’Elegance of America’s four decades of excellence, the reimagined concours welcomed more than 5,000 participants across four events located in the middle of the thriving design, music and sporting heart of the Motor City. Central to the weekend's festivities was former General Motors VP of Global Design and 2022 Detroit Concours d’Elegance Honoree, Ed Welburn.

* Jeep, coming off a clean sweep of the podium at the 2021 Rebelle Rally, is back in force this year, supporting three teams in this year's competition. Established in 2015, the Rebelle Rally is the first women’s off-road navigation rally in the United States. It covers more than 1,500 grueling off-road miles over eight days in the harsh deserts of Nevada and California. Jeep is sending three Wrangler 4xe SUVs to compete in its seventh consecutive Rebelle Rally and defend its coveted 2021 titles in the Overall, Electrified and Bone Stock classes. The Rebelle Rally will take place October 6-15, 2022.

Stay safe. Be Well.