Nutson's Weekly Auto News Wrap-up October 15-21, 2023
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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. for Nutson's Auto News Weekly Wrap-up October 15-21, 2023
* In the month-long UAW strike, this week opened with Bill Ford, executive chair of Ford Motor Co., warning that the ongoing UAW strike campaign against Ford and the other Detroit Three automakers is hurting them against nonunion competitors, including Toyota, Honda, Tesla and growing Chinese automakers. Ford was reacting to the UAW leaders calling the automakers the enemy in these negotiations. In a rare public speech Bill Ford urged the United Auto Workers to "bring an end to this acrimonious round of talks" as the UAW strike reaches its fifth week. Ford said the strike hurts the company and the union, while non-union automakers benefit. UAW did not immediately respond to Ford's comments, but at week's end Fain made a declaration that was not unexpected. “I want to be crystal clear on one thing: the days of the UAW and Ford being a team to fight other companies are over.” Fain said on his Facebook Live broadcast. It’s clear that the UAW plans to keep pushing the car companies. The strike does not appear to be ending soon.
* Meanwhile: Stellantis is pulling out of CES tech expo, the Specialty Equipment Market Association show and the Los Angeles Auto Show to cut costs during the ongoing UAW Strike. The automaker said it is canceling its displays and presentations at the two events as part of its strike contingency plan. It announced the moves days after saying it was canceling plans to participate in the 2024 CES tech expo in January. The SEMA event begins Oct. 31 in Las Vegas, and the LA show starts Nov. 16.
* In the Wall Street Jouranl we read: The auto industry’s push to boost sales of electric vehicles is running into a cold, hard reality: Buyers’ interest in these models is proving shallower than expected. Some car companies, such as Ford Motor and Toyota Motor are tempering their expectations for EVs and shifting more resources into hybrids, which have been drawing consumers at a faster clip. The first wave of buyers willing to pay a premium for a battery-powered car has already made the purchase, dealers and executives say, and automakers are now dealing with a more hesitant group, just as a barrage of new EV models are expected to hit dealerships in the coming years. “The curve isn’t accelerating as quickly as I think a lot of people expected,” said John Lawler, Ford Motor’s chief financial officer. Of note, Ford has said its F-150 Lightning sales dropped 46% year-over-year in the third quarter. This despite recent price reductions.
* GM is pushing back production of two all-electric pickups at its Michigan Orion Assembly plant by a full year, thereby idling the factory at the end of this year. GM had planned to start production on the Chevrolet Silverado EV and GMC Sierra EV next year, but the automaker announced that it will "retime the conversion" and restart the plant in late 2025 instead. "We're looking at EV demand and the trendline for EVs is stabilizing," GM spokesman Kevin Kelly is quoted as having said, "It is not rising as fast as originally forecasted."* Amazon’s 10,000 Rivian-made all-electric van are delivering packages throughout the United States, the e-commerce company revealed during its Delivering the Future event. Amazon, which owns a stake in Rivian, reached a deal with the automaker in 2019 to have at least 100,000 electric delivery vans on the road by 2030. The order is part of Amazon’s climate pledge to become carbon neutral by 2040. Amazon began rolling out its electric delivery vans in summer 2022. The majority of the electric delivery vans are in the U.S., split across 1,800 or so cities. Amazon started bringing the electric delivery vans to Europe this summer and recently announced plans to deploy more than 300 vans in Germany.
* We read this news in many places, but this from Hemmings. The Cybertruck, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, should begin arriving to customers on November 30th of this year, but that’s just the first batch. Musk says the Cybertruck will continue to trickle out until 2025, while other sources are guessing that Cybertruck production delays could be bumped out to 2026 and beyond. It’s been approximately four years since the Tesla Cybertruck was first announced. The first production Cybertruck was announced earlier this year, and several Cybertrucks have been spotted on the road during testing. A Cybertruck build slot even sold for $400,000 at a charity auction. Even so Musk told investors not to expect high production volumes, low prices, or profits anytime soon. “We dug our own grave with Cybertruck,” Musk told analysts, referring to how complex the vehicle is to build
* Lexus, Mazda, Subaru and Toyota plan to unveil sporty concept cars at this month's Japan Mobility Show, the successor to Tokyo Motor Show. The fully autonomous Nissan Hyper Tourer all-electric minivan will be shown. Late in the week Toyota teased an image which is thought to be a new Camry. We may see this new vehicle revealed at the upcoming Los Angeles Mobility Show.
* GasBuddy is projecting that October 2023 will see a monthly gasoline bill that's 20% lower than 2022. Disinflation with tens of thousands of stations at $2.99 or less. Another reason to not buy an EV.
* Ford is recalling nearly 35,000 Mustang Mach-E vehicles after NHTSA in August launched an investigation into Ford's handling of a June 2022 recall of nearly 50,000 of the automaker's high-profile EV. The recall covers 2021-22 Mustang Mach-Es equipped with an extended-range battery because the high voltage battery main contactors may overheat resulting in a loss of driving power.
* In NHRA drag racing, Pro Stock superstar Erica Enders has now won the most national events by a woman in NHRA history at 47. That became a fact when Enders took the coveted title at the Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Dallas last Sunday. Enders clocked a 6.469-second time at 211.55 mph in the final round to beat Dallas Glenn’s 6.493, 210.40. Enders has won world championships in 2014-15, 2019-2020 and 2022. In the process, she has won 46 national events in Pro Stock.
* Lexus clinched the 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD PRO Manufacturers Championship at the Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta last Saturday. Ben Barnicoat and Jack Hawksworth also won the GTD PRO Drivers title and the Vasser Sullivan No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 clinched the GTD PRO Team championship. It marks the first full-season IMSA GT titles for Lexus and Vasser Sullivan, as well as Hawksworth and Barnicoat.
* The eighth-annual Rebelle Rally all-women off-road navigation rally that covers 1,500 miles of challenging desert terrain ended with a new 4x4 Class winner. Taking the honors is the Rivian Team #187 Limestone Legend with Lillian Macaruso & Alexandra Anderson piloting an all-electric 2023 Rivian R1T pickup in the Bone Stock, Electrified Designation. First place in the X-Cross group is Team #200 Built Wild, Melissa Clark and Jessica Moore driving a 2022 Ford Bronco Sport in the Bone Stock designation.
* Legendary builder of Baldwin-Motion Supercars and national drag racing record setting A & B/Modified big-block Camaros and Shelby Cobras – Joel Rosen, AKA MR. Motion – has passed away. Rosen, of Delray Beach, Florida, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on October 9th, after battling bladder cancer for more than a year. He was just two weeks shy of his 84th birthday, and had been admitted to Hospice Care on September 30th. Driven by a competitive spirit and an endless passion for fast cars and racing, in 1963 Rosen opened a small speed shop – Motion Performance – in Brooklyn, NY specializing in performance modifications and racecar preparation. It was one of the only shops of its kind in the New York City area to have a Clayton chassis dynamometer and offer high-tech tuning. JOEL ROSEN, AKA MR. MOTION - Car Guy Chronicles
Stay safe. Be Well.
About Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy
Larry has been the executive producer for The Auto Channel for more than 20 years.
Larry is a graduate mechanical engineer and an automobile enthusiast at heart. "I’ve enjoyed a diverse automotive corporate career that began in product planning and expanded into marketing and communications. I’m established as a successful contractor, a founder of the Individual Communicators Network (ICN) and operated a well-regarded 1000-home residential property management service. I'm equally at ease with technical matters, strategic planning, architectural plans, or communicating to an audience. Project management suits me well and I love to travel.
A Founding member and past-Chairman of the Individual Communicators Network. Past chairperson of the SAE International Public Affairs Committee. Public relations services for SAE Congress and Formula SAE. Sponsorship representative for and early-supporter of the Woodward Dream Cruise, Detroit, Michigan.
Independent management and communications professional since 1997.
Guest commentator on Drive Chicago-WLS 890AM, Consumer Guide Automotive Car Stuff Podcast, KRTK 93.3 Automotive Insights, Shunpiker's Journal-Michigan Business Network and Talk Lansing.net Radio. Executive Producer for The Auto Channel. Contributing writer to ClassicCars.com Blog and Chicago Tribune/Autos.
Past member of the Board and Treasurer of the Midwest Automotive Media Association
Specialties: Brand Communication, Event Planning and Management, Government Liaison, Automotive Marketing, Automotive Product Evaluation, Education Advocacy, Homeowner Association Management, German Language