Nutson's Weekly News Wrap-up November 5, 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 29-November 4, 2023.
* When you turn back your clocks this weekend, check your vehicles for safety recalls. A quick recall check using NHTSA’s FREE VIN lookup tool at http://www.NHTSA.gov/recalls can potentially help save lives.
* New CARFAX data shows that many Americans are behind on critical vehicle maintenance such as regular oil changes and tire rotations. In fact, 29% are behind on oil changes and 44% haven't had their tires rotated as required. About 1-in-5 owners are behind on both services, CARFAX data shows. This information was compiled from alerts and service records for the 35 million vehicles in the CARFAX Car Care program. The true Service Slackers? They're car owners who live in Alaska, West Virginia, Maine, Rhode Island and Mississippi. These owners are the most likely to have missed their important maintenance dates. But take heart: There are Maintenance Mavens, who are at the other end of the spectrum, who get the work done in a more timely fashion than the average American car owner. They live in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Utah, Nevada and Virginia. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/carfax-data-its-scary-how-many-americans-are-behind-on-car-maintenance-301971428.html?tc=eml_cleartime
* The six-week strike by the UAW against the Detroit 3 automakers came to an end with a tentative deal with GM. GM had little choice after UAW President Fain ordered a new walkout at the automaker’s Spring Hill, Tenn. Manufacturing complex. The UAW said it is halting its historic walkout that sent 45,000 workers to the picket lines at nine US factories as well as parts-distribution centers. The three tentative agreements will be voted on in the coming weeks...the ultimate test of success. The union scored some major wins, saying they are the richest contracts since at least the 1960s. By the end of the contract in 2028 most all unionized workers at the D-3 companies will make in the mid-$80,000s annually. UAW President Fain now hopes to take the rich contract terms to other non-union auto plants in the US such as Tesla, Toyota and Volkswagen.
* Paul Eisenstein writing for Headlight.News reports: When Stellantis reached a tentative settlement with the UAW on Saturday there was a surprise buried in the agreement. As part of the deal, the automaker will build a long-awaited midsize pickup at the Belvidere, Illinois assembly plant it recently closed. And the new truck is likely to get a hybrid, possibly even an all-electric powertrain. Some industry watchers are speculating Ram actually might go with a compact model, perhaps based on the Rampage it currently produces in Brazil. More likely, others suggest, based on comments by UAW officials, Ram will adopt a midsize footprint, putting it in competition with the likes of the Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Colorado, Toyota Tacoma — and Stellantis’ own Jeep Gladiator.
* Ford and GM are pushing back spending on EVs. Market demand isn't as strong as executives expected. High costs, resource crunches and limited charging infrastructure are hurdles that need overcoming. GM said it no longer will provide EV production targets and to forget about about the goal to sell 400,000 Evs by mid-2024. Ford said it would delay about $12 billion in EV spending. On the other hand, Japan's slow walk to EVs is starting to look wise. Japan's automakers put on an EV extravaganza at Tokyo's Japan Mobility Show. But executives defend their go-slow EV rollouts as planned to meet sustainable market demand.
* Meanwhile, regulators from the US, the EU and Asia are demanding carbon-emission reductions from vehicle fleets. And, uh, the US has a Presidential election in 2024 and depending on the outcome the Biden Administration EV mandates and the California waiver authority may be scrapped. Stay tuned!
* Gas Buddy reports the national average price of gasoline has declined for the 6th straight week and is now at its lowest since March at $3.44/gal, with four states below $3: GA, TX, MS and newcomer Louisiana!
* BP announced a $100 million order for Tesla DC fast chargers. The Tesla chargers will be deployed as early as 2024 at gas stations, Travel Centers of America locations, and planned charging hubs to be located near airports and in major metropolitan areas, as well as with some commercial fleet customers, BP said in a press release.
* The 2023 Newsweek Autos Awards winners have been announced. This year's winners include some of the greenest and most luxurious vehicles made today. Kia has six awards. Honda and GMC had four awards apiece, followed by Land Rover, Rolls-Royce and Mercedes, each with three. https://www.newsweek.com/2023/11/10/years-best-new-cars-are-affordable-customizable-high-tech-1839744.html
* Toyota is recalling more than 1.8 million RAV4 crossovers for a fire risk. The recall covers certain RAV4 compact crossovers from the 2013-18 model years. Since some replacement 12 volt batteries in the SUV aren’t the correct dimensions, they could shake loose and start a fire if the car makes a sharp turn.
* As the Official Tire Partner of the 1000 Miglia, Vredestein Tires ia participating in the fourth edition of the 1000 Miglia Warm Up USA, which kicked off with a training day on November 1, followed by three days of rallying from November 2 to November 4, 2023. The Warm Up acclimates driver teams to the techniques endemic to traditional Italian-style regularity (time-speed-distance) races ahead of participation in the full 1000 Miglia, which takes place in Brescia, Italy in June 2024. The 1000 Miglia Warm Up USA covers 800 total kilometers across three days of competition, starting in Middleburg, VA, and concluding in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., at the Italian embassy.
* The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show trade show, not open to the public, runs October 31 - November 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Toyota SEMA Show builds include: “FJ Bruiser”, “Retro Cruiser”, Tacoma X-Runner Concept and “Blue Beetle” Tacoma. Hyundai revealed its 2023 Kona Jayde Concept. Nissan showed the Safari Rally Z Tribute and a replica Datsun 240Z Safari rally car. From Ford, a Ranger built for overlanding, a Bronco built for the beach, and a Mustang FP800S with extreme performance and menacing style each appeared. SEMA Fest will take place November 3 – 4, 2023 at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds. The new celebration of music, motorsports and car culture is open to everyone
* A 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 S Berlinetta Touring, owned by Corrado and Elena Lopresto has been awarded the prestigious 'Best of Show' accolade at the inaugural Concorso d'Eleganza Varignana 1705 event at the Palazzo di Varignana in Bologna, Italy. This award holds a dual historical significance as it marked the first-ever car competition of its type in the heart of the Italian Motor Valley and perhaps more notably it was the 300th prize earned by renowned collector Corrado Lopresto. The Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 S Berlinetta Touring also claimed the top spot in the "Pre-war Elegance," class.
* The first ever BMW XM Label—the company’s most powerful production vehicle to date with 738-horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque on tap—set a new record for hybrid electric SUVs at Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs on September 21, 2023, during an officially certified course run. Following a previous attempt for the race day record in June during the 101st running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, BMW driver Matt Mullins returned to take on the course last month aboard the range-topping BMW XM Label with support from Rhys Millen Racing. Reaching the summit in 10:48:60, Mullins outpaced the previous race day record by nearly a second and a half.
Stay safe. Be Well.