Nutson's Weekly Automotive News Round-up November 26-December 2, 2023
Table Of Contents Nutson's Auto News Weekly Wrap-up November 26-Decenber 2, 2023:
Automotive News Nugget 1: BEV Has Fuse Blowing Week
Automotive News Nugget 2: Stellantis Strategy Change
Automotive News Nugget 3: BEV Repair Problems
Automotive News Nugget 4: Dealer's Urge Government EV Mandate Slowdown
Automotive News Nugget 5: Ford Allows EV Dealers To Opt-out
Automotive News Nugget 6 Chinese EVs To USA Clamp-down
Automotive News Nugget 7: Tesla Supercharging Billing Changed
Automotive News Nugget 8: Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid Award
Automotive News Nugget 9: Wireless EV charging road
Automotive News Nugget 10: Consumer Reliability Report
Automotive News Nugget 11: US DoE microbiology scorecard
Automotive News Nugget 12 J.D. Power 2024 U.S. ALG Residual Value Awards
Automotive News Nugget 13: Tesla delivered its first Cybertruck
Automotive News Nugget 14: Carfax Used Car Asking Prices Falling
Automotive News Nugget 15: Cox Automotive Sales Forcast
Automotive News Nugget 16: MOPAR Holiday Gift Shopping
Automotive News Nugget 17: Alfa Romeo withdraws from the Formula 1
Automotive News Nugget 18: NASCAR Races Goin' Streaming
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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 November 26-Decenber 2, 2023.
1: BEV Has Fuse Blowing Week: * It has been a not-so-good news week in the world of battery electric vehicles. Consumer Reports points out that both legacy auto makers and start-ups are building BEVs. Teething problems are to be expected. Wall Street Journal auto critic Dan Neil was the first that I am aware to describe BEVs as being in their "awkward adolescence." Only Tesla built their own charging infrastucture. It now appears that the other automakers should not have left charging up to private sector business development. Things will improve---over time. We'll get there. As the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day. Check back often and read on.
2:Stellantis Strategy Change * Stellantis may have to change its strategy "if political and public opinion tends toward fewer EVs," Tavares said. EU elections in June and U.S. elections in November may affect EV adoption policies, Carlos Tavares said.
3:BEV Repair Problems * Electric vehicle owners continue to report far more problems with their vehicles than owners of conventional gasoline-powered cars or hybrids, according to Consumer Reports’ newly released annual car reliability survey. The survey reveals that, on average, EVs from the past three model years had 79 percent more problems than conventional cars. This year’s survey data show that hybrids continue to be among the most reliable vehicle type: Hybrids have 26 percent fewer problems than conventional models, even though they have both a conventional powertrain and an electric motor and therefore more potential problem spots than conventional cars. More details are here. https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/car-reliability-owner-satisfaction/electric-vehicles-are-less-reliable-than-conventional-cars-a1047214174/
4:Dealer's Urge Government EV Mandate Slowdown * Nearly 4,000 auto dealerships urged Biden to ‘slow down’ on the EV push. In a letter, the dealerships urged Biden to 'slow down,' citing an EPA proposal from April that could push battery-powered vehicles to 60 percent of new-vehicle sales by the 2030 model year and 67 percent by 2032. Voice of the Customer
5:Ford Allows EV Dealers To Opt-out * Around 400 dealers dropped out of Ford’s EV Program. Participation in Ford’s EV dealer program has fallen since the automaker announced it nearly a year ago now. In December 2022, Ford CEO Jim Farley announced that nearly 2,000 dealers had joined the Model e program. Under the program, dealers would be required to invest hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars to get their dealerships ready to sell EVs. Last week, Illinois’ state motor vehicle board handed Ford dealers a victory after about 26 of them argued the company’s EV program violated state laws. Now with the realities of the market, Ford has eased those requirements, including giving dealers the ability to opt-out if they changed their minds. Now nearly 400 have dropped out of the program.
6:Chinese EVs To USA Clamp-down* The Biden administration rolled out rules for electric vehicle tax credits that clamp down on Chinese imports — but threaten to slow the U.S. transition away from fossil fuels by slashing the number of cars that qualify. The long-awaited guidance on accessing the tax credits is emblematic of the minefield the Biden administration has had to navigate as it seeks to advance its ambitious climate agenda while at the same time breaking Chinese dominance of the batteries and critical minerals needed to fuel the transition to EVs. The rules disqualify a vehicle from receiving the credit if even one of its suppliers has loose ties to Beijing, such as producing parts in China or having as little as 25 percent of board seats controlled by China. It comes months after an earlier Treasury Department rule on domestic manufacturing locked out many vehicles from European, Japanese and South Korean automakers from receiving the tax credit. Around 22 electric and plug-in hybrid models currently qualify for the credit, less than one-fifth of the more than 100 models on the market. It’s not clear how many of those cars will remain eligible when the new rules take effect come January.
7: Tesla Supercharging Billing Changed * We read in Green Car Reports: Tesla has updated its billing policy with a "congestion fee" aimed at increasing throughput at its Supercharger DC fast-charging stations. According to the Supercharger fees page on Tesla's website, updated earlier this week, users will now be charged $1 per minute to charge above 90% capacity. Tesla notes that this applies to "busy" stations only, but it makes no note about what defines a busy station or what percentage of Superchargers will have this surcharge. "This fee encourages drivers to charge only as much as is needed for their trip, rather than all the way to 100%," Tesla says on its website. "This increases the availability of Superchargers so that everyone has access when they need it."
8:Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid Award* Green Car Journal has awarded its prestigious 2024 Green Car of the Year honor to the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Widely recognized as the most important environmental awards in the automotive field over the past 19 years, Green Car Journal’s Green Car Awards program takes all this in account as the most environmentally positive vehicles are identified each year, as they have been since the first Green Car Awards were announced in Los Angeles in 2005 https://greencarjournal.com/top-stories/winners-the-best-green-cars-of-the-year/
9:Wireless EV charging road* The first wireless EV charging road in the U.S. was unveiled in Detroit. A new quarter-mile stretch of road in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood can charge electric vehicles as they drive on the street near Michigan Central Station, where Ford Motor Co. is building an electric- and autonomous-vehicle campus. The road is equipped with inductive-charging coils from Israel-based Electreon Wireless Ltd. to test the technology's efficiency and potential for public transportation opportunities. Only EVs equipped with a special receiver can be charged from it. Driving range, availability of charging infrastructure and speed to charge alongside affordability are some of the biggest hurdles for Americans to purchase EVs.
10:Consumer Reliability Report* The overall Consumer Reports survey says hybrids and sedans have the fewest problems in Consumer Reports’ 2022 Annual Auto Reliability Survey. Electric vehicles and full-size pickup trucks are the least reliable. Toyota and Lexus pull farther ahead in CR’s new Brand Reliability Rankings, headlining another strong year for Asian automakers. Seven of the top ten most reliable brands are Japanese and Korean. Lincoln is the only domestic brand in this year’s top ten. https://www.consumerreports.org/media-room/press-releases/2022/11/hybrids-sedans-have-fewest-problems-in-consumer-reports-2022-annual-auto-reliability-survey/
11:US DoE microbiology scorecard* US DoE factoid of the week: Shared micromobility trips in the United States recovered from pandemic lows by 2022. In 2022, consumers took 157 million micromobility trips, matching the number of trips taken in 2019, prior to the pandemic. In 2020, the number of micromobility trips dropped to 83 million before beginning a recovery the following year. Although the number of trips in 2019 and 2022 were the same, the share of E-bike trips increased substantially in 2022, displacing some of the pedal bike and E-scooter trips from the total number of trips taken.
12:J.D. Power 2024 U.S. ALG Residual Value Awards* As new- and used-vehicle prices continue to rise, the resale (or residual) value of those vehicles has never been more important to consumers, according to the J.D. Power 2024 U.S. ALG Residual Value Awards. For a fourth consecutive year, Lexus receives the brand award for best premium brand, while Honda receives the award for best mass market brand for a third consecutive year. Three marques—Honda, Lexus and Toyota—were each recognized with four model segment winners. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20231116902357/en/2024-U.S.-ALG-Residual-Value-Awards-Highlight-Continued-Excellence-and-Attention-to-Detail
13:Tesla delivered its first Cybertruck * Tesla delivered its first Cybertruck to customers at its Austin Texas plant four years after first presenting the wildly styled vehicle to the public. The EV maker also revealed prices significantly higher than when the pickup was first shown as a concept. Elon Musk made the presentations himself. The lowest priced rear-wheel drive version will have a $60,990 base price, which is more than 50% over the price Musk stated when he first showed the vehicle in 2019. The all-wheel drive model is priced at $79,990, and the Cyberbeast will start at $99,990. Production is expected to be slow due to production difficulties at the Texas plant. AutoPacific president Ed Kim expressed thoughts in a WIRED story in which he calls the Cybertruck "more of a love letter to Tesla’s fanboys than a serious attempt at disrupting the truck market."
14: Carfax Used Car Asking Prices Falling* Carfax Used Car Index is telling us that asking prices are falling across the board. After a month where it looked like used-car prices had bottomed out, they’re now declining further – slowly, to be sure – across the board. When compared to the same time last year, it looks as though they will continue sliding into the spring months. While industry observers had been concerned that the United Auto Workers (UAW) strike against Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis would last a lot longer than it did, the relatively quick end means that inventories were not as drained as dealers had feared. That means consumers have more choices, and that means lower prices. https://www.carfax.com/blog/used-car-prices
15: Cox Automotive Sales Forcast* November new-vehicle sales are showing gains over last year’s product-constrained market. According to the Cox Automotive forecast, sales volume is expected to rise 6.5% over November 2022 when the market was in the early stages of recovery from severe product shortages. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR), or sales pace, is expected to finish near 15.3 million in November, up 1.0 million over last year’s pace but a slight decline from last month’s 15.5 million level. According to Charlie Chesbrough, senior economist at Cox Automotive: “A slight rise in sales volume is expected in November, but the sales pace will decline for the second straight month. October is normally one of the slowest sales months of the year, and the buying pace generally increases in November and December. This year, however, despite more discounting and more promotion, we are expecting the sales pace to slow slightly in a weak buying climate.”
16:MOPAR Holiday Gift Shopping* Holiday shoppers searching for a perfect gift for that special automotive enthusiast can look to Mopar for a wide selection of memorable, holiday-themed apparel and merchandise this season. From the newly designed ugly holiday sweater to vintage muscle car tree ornaments to branded traveler mug sets, gift-giving this season just got easier. Shoppers can receive free shipping within the continental U.S. by using code DECRE23 on orders of $99 or more from Dec. 1 through Dec. 31, 2023. For complete details on holiday and lifestyle gift ideas from Mopar, visit https://www.wearmopar.com/wear_mopar/
17:Alfa Romeo withdraws from the Formula 1* After returning to F1 racing following a 30-year hiatus, Alfa Romeo has decided once again to withdrawal from the Formula 1 championship, ending its six-year partnership with Sauber Motorsport that began in 2018. The team's final race took place at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this past weekend. Alfa Romeo CEO, Jean-Philippe Imparato, reflected on the positive experiences and international recognition that the brand gained from its six-year F1 venture, also leaving a hint that Alfa Romeo may return to motorsports in the future. As Alfa Romeo and Sauber part ways, Sauber will transition to Audi’s factory F1 team beginning in the 2026 season.
18:NASCAR Races Goin' Streaming * NASCAR has signed a new television and streaming rights deals with media partners that include Amazon, Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox. The new deals which take effect in 2025 and run through 2031 highlight the growing popularity of streaming. Fox and NBC will carry fewer races then they had in previous deals. The races that are no longer carried will be split between Amazon Prime Video as well as TNT and Max.
Stay safe. Be Well, Laerry
About Author 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: Automotive Product Evaluation, Brand Communication, Automotive Event Planning and Management, Government Liaison, Automotive Marketing, Education Advocacy, Homeowner Association Management, German Language