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Nutson's Auto News Weekly Wrap-up June 18-24, 2023



Auto Central June 25, 2023; 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.

Here are Larry's picks among 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 Week June 18-24, 2023.

* Made In US Yea! For the fourth time in its 18-year history,’s American-Made Index ranks all qualifying vehicles built and bought in the U.S. for 2023. For the third year, Tesla holds firm atop the list; for the second year in a row, its Model Y SUV leads the way; and for the first time, the Texas-based automaker has swept the index, with its entire lineup locking out the top four. Behind Tesla’s quartet lies the Honda Passport SUV, dropping one spot from 2022; a fresh face to the list in the form of the Volkswagen ID.4 all-electric SUV at No. 6; and four vehicles from parent automaker Honda to close out the top 10: the Odyssey minivan and Ridgeline pickup truck at Nos. 7 and 9, respectively, and the MDX and RDX SUVs from Honda’s luxury arm Acura at Nos. 8 and 10, respectively. The highest ranking "Detroit-brand" vehicle on the list is the Lincoln Corsair at No. 16. Of note: research says if a car keeps jobs in the US, 70% of car shoppers are willing to pay up to 30% more. Ford Motor Co. gets 77.5% of its sales from domestically assembled vehicles. There are over 5.3 million Americans working in jobs in the automotive industry.

* Economic Impact Of "Foreign Cars" Autos Drive America and the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) released their 2023 Economic Impact Report, highlighting the ongoing commitment and contributions international automakers and nameplate dealers are making across the U.S. According to the report, international automakers and dealers have significantly expanded their footprint in the U.S. auto industry, with $107 billion invested in U.S. operations and 156,000 Americans directly employed —an increase of 16,000 from 2021.

* Gasoline prices are expected to be lower this summer. AAA reports a gallon of regular is now averaging $3.58. Recession fears, China's economy, and an uninterrupted flow of Russian crude have presssured global oil prices to around $75 per barrel. GasBuddy expoects gasoline prioces to be around $3.40 to $3.80 this summer. A year ago they were $5.00 per gallon.

* Pedestrian Deaths Rising, Walking Is More Dangerous Now The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) provides a first look at national and state-level pedestrian fatality data and trends through a Spotlight on Highway Safety report. During the past 11 years, federal data show that U.S. pedestrian fatalities increased from 4,302 in 2010 to an estimated 7,624 in 2021. These fatalities represent nearly 18% of all traffic deaths in 2021, the highest annual proportion during this more than decade-long period. Based on state data, GHSA projects 7,508 pedestrians were killed in 2022 among the 49 states (Oklahoma did not report) and D.C. included in this analysis. This is a projected 1% increase from the 7,443 pedestrian fatalities reported by the same states in 2021, representing 65 additional lives lost. Not since 1981 have this many pedestrians been killed on U.S. roads.

* Initial Vehicle Quality Declines, Too Much Digital Stuff? The 2023 U.S. Initial Quality Study by J.D. Power results show Dodge, Ram and Alfa Romeo as rhe the top three brands. General Motor received seven individual model awards, Hyundai got five and Toyota Motor got four. Chevrolet and Kia each had the most vehicle segment awards with four. Quality is down as it relates to features, displays and contols, and infotainment.

* Rivian is trying an unusual tactic to sell off excessive inventory of its R1T electric pickup. A one-day event held in its Normal, IL factory parking lot allowed customers to browse a few dozen pickups. They could buy one and drive it home the same day. Rivian said it had excessive inventory due to last-minute customer-order changes. It also had built up a stock of the most requested version of the R1T. The vehicles on sale were four-motor versions with a large battery pack priced at $87,000 to start.

* And Rivian, joining GM and Ford, is now collaborating with Tesla to open charging for Rivian vehicles at more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers across the United States and Canada. Starting as early as Spring 2024, Rivian will offer an NACS adapter that allows charging at Tesla sites. In 2025, Rivian will incorporate NACS charge ports as standard in R1T and R1S and offer a corresponding CCS adapter.

* Stellantis and Hyundai are both evaluating to use the Telsa NACS plug for its EVs. No matter what, Americans should have only one plug type so they can charge their EV or PHEV anywhere, just like buying gasoline from any pump.

* In a surprising move, Stellantis dealers in 14 states will only receive the Jeep Wrangler 4xe plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) for stocking on their lots. This decision is prompted by emissions standards adopted by the California Air Resource Board (CARB). Customers residing in the 14 states adopting CARB regulations will no longer have access to engine options such as the 3.6-liter V-6, the 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder turbo, or the 6.4-liter V-8. Instead, they will only be able to purchase the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder paired with an electric motor and a small battery found in the Wrangler 4xe. While customers have the option to special order a Wrangler with a different engine, the wait times for such orders have been known to be extensive.

* Electric Vehicle Consideration Report - Would You? The electric vehicle (EV) business is booming, and consumer interest in EVs has increased dramatically this year alone. EV sales grew from a share below 1% in 2018 to EVs representing 3.2% of sales in 2021, 5.8% in 2022, and 7.2% in the first quarter of 2023. According to a forecast by Cox Automotive, 2023 will be the year EV sales surpass the one-million mark in the United States. To help guide the ever-growing number of in-market EV shoppers, Autotrader, a Cox Automotive company, has named the Best Electric Vehicles of 2023.

* US DoE factoid of the week: For the 2022 model year, all-electric vehicles (EVs) classified as cars had EPA-estimated ranges from 100 to 520 miles. EVs that are categorized as sport utility vehicles (SUVs) fell into a narrower band of available ranges, from 180 to 350 miles. The span of electric pickup truck ranges is even narrower. There were so few electric pickup truck models available in 2022, however, that the small band of ranges is largely attributable to limited model availability. As additional electric pickup models enter the market, the available ranges will likely expand.

* Its A Sneak Preview Video Cadillac released a preview video of the all-new ESCALADE IQ ahead of its official reveal on Aug. 9 in New York City. As the brand’s first-ever all-electric full-size SUV, ESCALADE IQ represents the reinvention of Cadillac’s most iconic nameplate.

* Honda is recalling nearly 1.2 million vehicles due to a problem that could cause failure of the rearview camera. Affected vehicles include some 2018-2023 Odyssey, 2019-2022 Pilot, and 2019-2023 Passport vehicles.

* Hot Rods and Muscle Car PBS Documentary Detroit Free Press automotive editor Mark Phelan let us know about the upcoming documentary film “Detroit: City of Hot Rods and Muscle Cars” Following a sold-out June 19 debut fundraiser for six Michigan charitable organizations, filmmaker Keith Famie’s documentary — a tribute to Detroit’s car culture and relationships that stand the test of time, among other things — makes its broadcast debut on Detroit Public Television WTVS at 8 p.m. June 23 and will air on other PBS stations around the country. MORE: Tribute To Dick "Goldie" Guldstrand And Other Hot Rodders, SoCal Pioneers of Power & Speed; By Steve Ford, The Car Guy®.

* 2023 1000 Miglia The 2023 1000 Miglia has come to an end as the teams crossed Italy covering 2200 kilometers (1,365 miles), the longest in race history, over the five days of the race. Andrea Vesco won his fourth consecutive title (out of six in total), while Fabio Salvinelli equalled Giuliano Canè with a string of three victories driving their 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS Zagato. Two Lancia Lambda Spider Type 221 are also on the podium: Gianmario Fontanella and Annamaria Covelli preceded Andrea Belometti and Gianluca Bergomi. The best all-female crew was Silvia Marini and Irene Dei Tos in a 1929 Bugatti T 40, who took the Ladies' Cup by finishing 27th overall.

* Ford Performance is heading to the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with the electric SuperVan 4.2, an all-electric demonstrator vehicle redesigned from SuperVan 4 for optimal hill climb competitiveness. Ford vehicles have been competing at Pikes Peak since the first event in 1916, which saw a Model T racing up the mountain. For 2023’s effort, motorsports icon Romain Dumas will pilot SuperVan 4.2 with its 1400 horsepower. Pikes Peak International Hill Climb winds up 156 turns and 4,725 feet to a finish line sitting 14,115 feet above sea level.

* The 2023 Great Race of antique vehicles began in St. Augustine, Florida on June 24, 2023, and ends in Colorado on July 2, 2023. The Great Race is not a typical race, but a controlled-speed competitive endurance rally for vehicles that were built before 1975. The nine-day, 2,300 mile endurance event has around 120 vehicles entered.

* From Hemmings we read Nancy Edelbrock, wife of Vic Edelbrock Jr., passed away on Saturday, June 10, almost six years to the day after her husband’s passing on June 9, 2017. Nancy was 86 years old. Nancy played an immense role in shaping and supporting the esteemed Edelbrock performance parts company. Today, the Edelbrock Group encompasses multiple brands, including Edelbrock, COMP Cams, FAST, TCI Automotive, Russel and Lunati.

Stay safe. Be Well.