AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO – August 8, 2021: Every Sunday, Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy and Executive Producer, with the expert assistance of Senior Editor Thom Cannell of The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, “ad” the Auto Channel to the automotive news of the last week, condensed into easily digestible news nuggets.
LEARN MORE: Links to full versions of today’s news nuggets, plus a million pages of automotive news, articles, reviews, and archived stories from the past 25 years held in the Auto Channel Automotive News Library, can be found by simply copying and pasting the main heading are in the search box of the news library.
Nutson’s Automotive News Wrap-up – Week Ending August 7, 2021; Below are the major, relevant, semi-secret, or snappy automotive news, opinions, and insider backstories from the past week, presented as expertly crafted, easily digestible news nuggets.
* The Biden administration made it official, proposing new vehicle emissions regulations (aka “CAFE”) that would require US automakers to increase the average fuel efficiency of their fleets to 52 miles per gallon by 2026, from 24 , 9 MPG in model year 2019. The Biden Plan provides for an improvement in CO2 emissions / fuel consumption by 10% in 2023 and 5% annually between 2024 and 26. This compares to 1.5% improvements required under the previous administration’s plan, which in turn was a reversal of the Obama administration’s 5% annual improvement standard.
* And the EPA also estimates that electric and plug-in hybrids will account for 8% of US vehicle sales by 2026. By 2030, EVs and PHEVs are set to account for 50% of new car sales, automakers Biden and Detroit agreed at an event at the White House. Industry representatives endorsed the target of 50% EV as part of a package. The other part of the deal is a new emissions rule that gives automakers the flexibility to cut emissions without banning the sale of internal combustion trucks and SUVs, which generate most of the industry’s profits.
* Ford, GM and Stellantis announced their joint goal of 40-50% of annual US sales of electric vehicles (battery-electric, fuel cell and plug-in hybrids) by 2030 in order to achieve the Bringing nation closer to zero -emissions in line with the Paris climate targets. Their recent product, technology and investment announcements underscore their shared commitment to lead the US transition to electric vehicles. This represents a dramatic shift from today’s U.S. market that can only be achieved through the timely implementation of the overall electrification policy that the government committed to in the Build Back Better Plan, including buying incentives, a comprehensive charging network with sufficient density to support of the millions of vehicles that make up these goals, investment in research and development, and incentives to expand electric vehicle manufacturing and supply chains in the United States. With the UAW by their side in transforming the workforce and partnering with them along the way, they believe they can strengthen America’s continued leadership in clean transportation technology through innovation and manufacturing of electric vehicles.
* Separately, BMW, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, and Volvo Cars, the automakers who partnered with California when the previous government tried to reset state vehicle emissions standards, released a joint statement on the move by the Biden administration to introduce new state vehicle Establish emission standards. * The bipartisan compromise on infrastructure halves President Joe Biden’s call for $ 15 billion to build 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations. Senate legislation provides for $ 7.5 billion federal grants to build a national network of charging stations, an amount that analysts believe is a good start but not enough to fuel the proliferation of electric vehicles. The Biden government had planned to build half a million load units across the country to meet an election promise and get a sizable number of Americans to zero-emission vehicles by 2030.
* Buried deep within the 2,700-page bipartisan infrastructure bill is a provision mandating that all cars manufactured from 2027 must be fitted with a drunk driver monitoring system in hopes of ending behavior that happens roughly every year in the US 10,000 deaths results. If passed with this provision, the draft law would give a fixed publication date to a research program on which the federal government and an automotive company have worked together for more than a decade.
* Various media reports that Toyota is withdrawing its Avalon sedan after the 2022 model. Although sales have increased this year, it is the lowest volume sedan in Toyota’s lineup. Overall, there is still good demand for sedans in the market, but large sedans suffer the most.
Speaking of falling models, Acura will kill the NSX supercar after the 2022 model. But first the Acura NSX 2022 will officially get the Type-S variant, which we had been thinking about for a long time. Details on the transformation of the NSX Type S will be announced in Pebble Beach on August 12th.
* Here’s a fun fact from Autotrader: Minivan sales rose 84% in the second quarter of 2021. Yes, you say, wasn’t every new car segment between April and June 2021 increased compared to the positively gloomy previous year? You’re right, but few higher volume segments have grown at the pace of minivans. And most notably, the minivan segment consists of just five options: two Chrysler vans, a Honda, a Toyota, and a new Kia. In many ways, 2021 was and ever has been the perfect storm for minivans to make a comeback.
* Cox Automotive’s US auto sales forecast for July anticipated a slower sales pace due to out of inventory, but some automakers have already released strong, better-than-forecast results, demonstrating their ability to deal with inventory shortages. The overall sales pace, which averaged nearly 17.0 million per month through May, showed a further decline, as expected, as falling inventory levels halt sales activity across the country. Cox Automotive predicts the sales pace will drop to 15.2 million in July, compared to 15.4 million in June, the third straight decline after hitting a post-COVID-19 high in April.
* According to a Cox Automotive analysis of vAuto available inventory data, used car prices hit a record at the end of June. The average list price for used cars topped the $ 25,000 mark for the first time – $ 25,101 to be precise. The average list price was 26% higher than at the end of June 2020 and 29% higher than 2019.
* Barrett-Jackson Holdings, the parent company of Barrett-Jackson Auction Company, announced the acquisition of Phoenix-based Collector Car Network Inc., including its well-known properties ClassicCars.com, AutoHunter, The ClassicCars.com Journal, and the Future Collector Car Show . The acquisition supports Barrett-Jackson’s mission to expand the collector’s car market through strategic alignment of world class brands and customer service.
* The 2021 New York International Automobile Show at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center has been canceled due to the increasing incidence of the COVID-19 delta variant and the increased measures recently announced by state and local officials to curb its spread. It’s the second time the show has been canceled for this year.
* Subaru is recalling certain vehicles because a fuel pump fails and the engine can suddenly stall. If this happens while driving, an accident can occur. The models involved are 2019-2020 Ascent SUVs, 2018 Forester SUVs, 2018-2020 Impreza hatchbacks and sedans, 2018-2020 Legacy sedans, 2018-2020 Outback SUVs, 2018-2019 WRX sedans, and 2018-2019 BRZ coupes.
* Volkswagen is reported to have stopped sales of some of its new Taos small commercial vehicles. According to Automotive News, the automaker issued a ban on all-wheel drive models after customer reports about engines were shut down after the vehicle stalled. VW is working on a solution to the problem.
* Sometimes you can’t take a break. First Covid-19, then Microchip for short, and now this. New Ford vehicles, including F-150 pickups, were carried on a train that derailed in northeast Missouri. Photos, captured by aerial photographer Del Buckman and shared on social media and credited by KHQA-TV, the CBS / ABC subsidiary in Hannibal, Missouri, show more than 15 railroad cars looking almost like a children’s toy or a tornado destruction site stack. All of this reported by The Detroit Free Press.
Take care. Be good.