AUTO CENTRAL CHICAGO May 23, 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.
LEARN MORE:Links to full versions of today’s news nuggets along with a million pages of the past 25 year’s automotive news, articles, reviews and archived stories residing in
The Auto Channel Automotive News Library can be found by just copying and then inserting the main headline into the News Library Search Box.
Want more automotive content than our million plus pages?, TV viewers can watch The Auto Channel-TV Network on Hulu, Google, You Tube and of course TUNA Digital Network and Old Fashioned “Free and Clear” OTA (Over the air)
TV in Boston and South Florida as well as local cable systems.
Nutson’s Automotive News Wrap-up – Week Ending May 22, 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.
* President Joe Biden headed to metro Detroit and visited Ford Motor Co.’s electric vehicle plant in Dearborn ahead of the big reveal of the all-electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck. Biden has called for $174 billion to be included in his own infrastructure bill to go toward helping to install some 500,000 charging stations nationwide and encouraging manufacturers and consumers to adopt electric vehicles.
* A Model T moment. (Tin-Lizzie Was An Alcoholic). The world saw the all-electric 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning revealed from Ford World Headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan with video and images on a big screen erected on the side of the “glass house” headquarters building. With 563 hp, 775 lb-ft of torque, 4X4 drivetrain, up to 300 miles of range, 10,000 lbs. of towing capacity and a huge front trunk called a “mega power frunk” the new Lightning will have an amazingly low starting price of $39,974. Ford had 44,500 purchase reservations in 48 hours.
* Joe White writing for Reuters very astutely points out “the Lightning points to ways in which Ford is going to go at electrification differently from rivals, at least initially. Ford will offer a “commercial” version of the Lightning for just under $40,000 and has built an ambitious strategy for selling the truck to its wide base of commercial and government fleet customers – a different approach from GM’s decision to launch its electric truck lineup with a $100,000, crab-walking Hummer EV monster truck. (An electric Silverado is coming.)”
* President Biden is considering a point-of-sale rebate for electric vehicle buyers. Critics say the current EV tax credit has chiefly benefited wealthy Americans. By contrast, a point-of-sale rebate could help encourage more low- and middle-income motorists to buy EVs.
* Kia live-streamed an event in New York City’s Times Square to reveal the new 2022 Kia EV6 crossover. Coming to the U.S. in 2022, the EV6 rides on all new platform, is very car-like in appearance but with crossover/hatchback functionality, and features the World’s first 800V multi-charging architecture enables ultra-fast DC charging capability from 10-80 percent charge (up to 210 miles range) in under 18 minutes. The state-of-the-art 77.4kWh high-density lithium-ion battery allows up to a targeted 300-mile range for road trips and excursions.
* The Pope is getting a new car. Electric vehicle maker Fisker is set to develop the first all-electric vehicle for the Holy See, Pope Francis, after a historic visit to Vatican City. An all-electric papal transport will provide the first exhaust-free and emissions-free experience for those gathered for blessings by His Holiness. A Fisker Ocean SUV will feature a large, modern, all-glass cupola, offering accessibility and visibility for Pope Francis to greet the faithful.
* Why all the new electric vehicles? We point out that the United States reentered the Paris Agreement, a climate treaty dedicated to lowering greenhouse gas emissions in more than 180 countries around the world. In my opinion, the U.S. never should have left under the past administration. The legally binding agreement aims to substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit the global temperature increase in this century to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, while pursuing the means to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees. Save the earth!
* The Detroit Free Press reports Ford has notified customers waiting for the all-new Ford Bronco that production dates have been delayed two weeks in some cases, three weeks in others. Ford calls the timing an “adjustment.” Bronco production has been impacted by COVID-19, semiconductors and delays related to removable tops. An earlier notice warned of a three-month delay, so this latest update seems like just a hiccup, buyers said.
* Americans are ready for the return of summer travel, according to Cars.com. More than half of Americans (60%) plan to get away this Memorial Day weekend, up more than 66% compared to last year, according to Cars.com’s national survey. Despite growing vaccination rates and rising gas prices, 89% of travelers will drive to their holiday destination, up from 85% during Memorial Day weekend 2020.
* The U.S. Department of Transportation launched a new series of safety videos featuring Jason Fenske from Engineering Explained, demonstrating for the public the potential lifesaving benefits of several advanced driver assistance systems available in many new vehicles. This new campaign builds on NHTSA’s successful 5-Star Safety Ratings program by continuing to educate consumers about safety features and new safety technologies. Through his YouTube channel Engineering Explained, Jason Fenske uses his background as a mechanical engineer to help consumers learn about cars and how they work.
* In this the 6th UN Global Road Safety Week the World Health Organization highlighted the benefits of low-speed urban streets as the heart of any community. The Week calls on policy-makers to act for low-speed streets in cities worldwide, limiting speeds to 30 km/h (20 mph) where people live, work and play. Low-speed streets make for cities that are not only safe, but also healthy, green and liveable. This lower speed follows the Vision Zero initiative in place in over 30 cities in the U.S. to reduce the posted speed limit on urban neighborhood streets to 20 mph and give priority to pedestrians and bicyclists.
* Forget about “tread lightly.” The GMC Hummer EV pickup will weigh 4.5 tons at launch. The pickup will weigh 900 pounds more than the original Hummer H1 and 2,000 pounds more than most heavy-duty GMC Sierras.
* Tesla is being investigated by the California Department of Motor Vehicles for violating a state regulation advertising its vehicles as being fully autonomous without actually meeting the definitions of self-driving. Tesla advertises a $10,000 “Full Self-Driving” option on its website but then in the same website says the vehicles cannot drive themselves. At risk is Tesla’s license to test autonomous vehicles on California roads.
* Mazda is dropping the CX-3 crossover utility and Mazda6 sedan for 2022 as a result of changing consumer demand. The CX-3 is similar in size and price to the CX-30 utility vehicle and Mazda’s midsize sedan will likely be replaced with a new rear-wheel-drive architecture.
* Kia has issued a new fix for 440,000 previously recalled Optima, Sorento vehicles. The affected vehicles in the U.S. are 283,803 Kia Optima sedans from the 2013-15 model years and 156,567 Kia Sorento crossovers from 2014-15.
* The Woodward Dream Cruise is back for 2021. The Facebook page for the event issued a post saying the cruise is scheduled to return Saturday, Aug. 21. Last year’s event was cancelled due to Covid.
* Racer.com reports Antron Brown will begin the next chapter of his NHRA career in 2022 as owner-driver of the new AB Motorsports Top Fuel team. Toyota, TRD, and many of Brown’s existing partners will follow the three-time champion across from Don Schumacher Racing. Others will be announced by the end of the year. Brown is also bringing with him the entire team he currently competes with, and ABM will use Schumacher parts and pieces.
* Danica Patrick will be on the track at the Indianapolis 500, at the front of the field once again. Patrick was announced as the pace car driver for IndyCar’s marquee event. She will drive a 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray hardtop convertible to lead the field to green on May 30. It will be the first Corvette convertible since 2008 to pace “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
* At Dover International Speedway Hendricks Motorsport’s 1-2-3-4 finish marked just the fourth time in NASCAR history that a team has placed four cars in the first four finishing positions and the first time in over 15 years. The last time a team placed four cars in the first four finishing positions was at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2005, when Roush Fenway Racing pulled off the feat. Driving Chevrolets, Alex Bowan won with Kyle Larson coming home second, Chase Elliott third, and William Byron fourth.
Stay safe. Be Well.