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AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO July 18, 2021 Every Sunday Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy and 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 new>s Nuggets.

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Below are the past week’s important, relevant, semi-secret, or snappy automotive news, opinions and insider back stories presented as expertly crafted easy to digest news nuggets.

Nutson’s Automotive News Wrap-up – Week Ending July 17, 2021; Below are the past week’s important, relevant, semi-secret, or snappy automotive news, opinions and insider back stories presented as expertly crafted easy to digest news nuggets.

* The 2021 Chicago Auto Show Special Edition opened its doors this week. Due to covid restrictions, last year the 2020 show in February was the only major auto show held in the U.S. Now the 2021 show, although not at its usual February date, is the first major auto show for 2021. With warm summer weather this year’s show includes outdoor drive events for car shoppers to experience a number of new vehicles.

* Electrify America announced its “Boost Plan” to more than double its current electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in the United States and Canada, with plans to have more than 1,800 fast charging stations and 10,000 individual chargers installed by the end of 2025. The expansion will increase the deployment of 150 and 350 kilowatt chargers – the fastest speed available today – and help pave the way for more electric vehicles in North America.

* European officials are preparing to introduce ambitious legislation designed to wean one of the world’s biggest and most polluting economies off fossil fuels far more quickly than other nations have pledged to do. A controversial part of the plan is imposing tariffs on imports from countries with less stringent climate-protection rules…an idea with the potential to set off global trade disputes. The 27-nation bloc has said it will cut its emissions of greenhouse gases by 55 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Efforts to phase out the sales of new internal combustion engine cars are likely to face objections from some European carmakers.

* In a similar move, top American Democrats plan to include a tax on imports from nations that lack aggressive climate change policies. This carbon border tax is a way to protect domestic manufacturing while also simultaneously pressuring other countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

* Joe White for Reuters reports a Paris court now has Stellantis under investigation for possible diesel emissions cheating by Fiat – an accusation the company denies. And Volkswagen is fighting a Dutch court that has ordered the automaker to pay owners of vehicles with rigged diesel emissions systems up to 3,000 euros compensation.

* Germany hopes to get the edge in driverless technology through a new law that allows autonomous vehicles in everyday use and provides legal consistency lacking in the United States. A fleet of electric vans will operate by a ride-hailing company and pick up and drop off passengers. The vans will drive themselves operating in a defined space with technicians working from a remote control center able to take over control if anything goes wrong.

* Moneyshake analysed 8.5 million EV sales from 20 leading manufacturers to see which brand will sell 1 million electric cars first, based on exponential trends. Despite a global pandemic, electric vehicle (EV) sales were up by 40% in 2020, with a record 3 million sales. We’re getting closer to a zero-emissions future, but no manufacturer has reached the 1 million EV sales mark – yet. Key Findings: Tesla will make 1 million EV sales by April 2022 – long before any other manufacturer. Volkswagen’s EV sales are growing twice as fast as Tesla’s and will overtake by 2025. Mercedes EV sales are increasing at an average rate of 109% each year, meaning Mercedes could hit the 1 million mark just a month after VW. While China is the world’s largest automotive manufacturer, sales figures indicate the country’s top brands like SAIC won’t lead the EV market. Out of all manufacturers analysed, Nissan is the only manufacturer with dwindling EV sales, decreasing by 20% each year. https://www.moneyshake.com/shaking-news/miscellaneous/1-million-electric-car-sales-race

* In the UK, Ford has created a petrol-infused scent for petrolheads who want the performance of their all-electric Mach-E GT but will yearn for the gasoline aroma they’ve grown to associate with the iconic Mustang marque. Research showed that 70% of drivers would miss the smell of petrol when switching to electric. “Judging by our survey findings, the sensory appeal of petrol cars is still something drivers are reluctant to give up. The Mach Eau fragrance is designed to give them a hint of that fuel-fragrance they still crave”, said Jay Ward, director, Ford of Europe Product Communications. The scent, which is not yet available to buy, was revealed at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed, where petrolheads got to sample the scent and gave it the thumbs up.

* Rivian Automotive Inc., the electric pickup maker backed by Amazon.com Inc., is pushing back plans to start production of its debut vehicle, which was supposed to begin this month, until September. The startup also shifted the timeline for its second planned model, an electric sports-utility vehicle, from August until an unspecified time in the fall, Rivian said in a letter to customers. It cited a shortage of component supplies for the delay.

* Reuters reports that market research firm J.D. Power says 49% of all vehicle shoppers are ready to buy a new car, SUV or truck online – up 11 percentage points from 18 months ago, aka, the Before Time. Shoppers are increasingly using more sophisticated online shopping tools, such as 360 degree views, JDPA found. JDPA surveyed more than 11,000 people in April and May who said they intended to buy a new vehicle within 24 months.

* General Motors Co. will no longer offer wireless phone charging on certain 2021 full-size SUVs due to the global semiconductor shortage yet again affecting supply. GM will eliminate the feature starting on or after July 12 for certain 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL vehicles, the automaker said. The feature will also not be included on certain 2022 Cadillac XT5, XT6, Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave vehicles starting on or after Aug. 2, 2021.

* The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging owners of select Model Year 2017-2019 Chevrolet Bolt vehicles to park their cars outside and away from homes due to the risk of fire. Owners of these vehicles should park their vehicles outside away from homes and other structures immediately after charging and should not leave their vehicles charging overnight, according to General Motors. The Bolt vehicles can still be driven.

* Ford is recalling nearly 775,000 Explorer utility vehicles for an issue with the cross-axis ball joint that may cause a fractured rear suspension toe link, which could affect steering control and increase the risk of a crash. The recall affects Ford Explorers from the 2013-17 model years and affect approximately 676,152 vehicles in North America, 59,935 in China, 13,162 in Europe, 190 in South America and 25,257 in other international markets.

* In NASCAR, the Busch brothers are nearing the Allisons’ for the top spot on the list of NASCAR Cup Series wins by siblings. Bobby Allison has 84 wins and Donnie Allison has 10 for a total of 94. Kyle Busch has 59 wins and Kurt has 33 for a total of 92.

Stay safe. Be Well.