January 31, 2023

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Nutson’s Weekly Auto News Wrap-up November 20-26, 2022



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Every Sunday Larry Nutson, The Chicago Car Guy and Auto Channel 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 news Nuggets.

LEARN MORE: Complete versions of today’s news nuggets, along with thousands of pages of relevant news and opinions, information stored in a million-page library published and indexed on The Auto Channel during the past 25 years. Complete information can be found by copying a headline and inserting it into any Site Search Box.

Nutson’s Auto News Weekly-Wrap-up November 20-26, 2022

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.

* Consumer demand for new cars and trucks is cooling down in the United States, J.D. Power and LMC Automotive conclude in their forecast for November sales. Factoring out rising sales to fleets, Power-LMC forecast that U.S. retail car and truck sales will fall by 0.3% for November compared to a year ago. Average vehicle transaction prices are rising, but at a slower pace. In November, Power-LMC estimated 41% of vehicles will sell for more than the factory sticker price, down from 50% sold over sticker price in July. New-vehicle transaction prices continue to rise but at slower pace than earlier this year. The average price in November will set a record for the month of $45,872, an increase of 3.1% from a year ago.

* For the second straight week, the nation’s average gas price has declined, falling 11.9 cents from a week ago to $3.64 per gallon early thsi week according to GasBuddy data compiled from more than 11 million individual price reports covering over 150,000 gas stations across the country. The national average is down 16.4 cents from a month ago and 24.5 cents per gallon higher than a year ago. The national average price of diesel has fallen 6.7 cents in the last week and stands at $5.28 per gallon.

* US DoE factoid of the week: In 2021, 73% of all plug-in vehicles on the road were assembled in North America, with 65% of them built in the United States. Japan was a distant second at 12%, followed by Germany at 6%. Since 2011—the first full year of mass market plug-in vehicle sales in the U.S.— a greater share of plug-in vehicles has been assembled domestically than conventional internal combustion-powered vehicles.

* How’s your vehicle’s resale value? The J.D. Power 2023 ALG Residual Value Awards have increased importance in today’s market for both automakers and consumers, given the recent increases in the cost of new and used vehicles. For a third consecutive year, Lexus received the brand award for best premium brand. For a second consecutive year, Honda received the brand award for best mass market brand. Kia received the most model awards overall and is the most improved mass market brand year over year, moving up three places. Porsche is the most improved premium brand, moving up four places. Learn more right here. https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2023-us-alg-residual-value-awards

* Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Domino’s Pizza Inc. is moving to electrify its pizza delivery with the acquisition of more than 800 custom-branded 2023 Chevy Bolt EVs. More than 100 of the General Motors electric cars are arriving at select franchise and corporate stores throughout the United States this month. An additional 700 will arrive in coming months, the company said, giving Domino’s the largest electric pizza delivery fleet in the country.

* Joe White at Reuters informs: People who buy electric vehicles tend to drive them less and keep them longer than combustion vehicles, according to new research from the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank. The result is relatively fewer, affordable used EVs on the market, which in turn could mean the U.S. vehicle fleet takes longer to convert to battery power from fossil fuels. The average new electric vehicle costs $66,000 – out of reach for many families. “The used vehicle channel has not nearly been as relevant for popularizing BEVs as it could be,” the Fed researchers write. By the time the average combustion vehicle is five years old, 55% have changed hands and been registered as used vehicles. But only 14% of five year old electric vehicles are registered as used, based on registration and vehicle powertrain data from model year 2010 through 2021. BEV owners drive their electric cars a lot less, too. The average ten-year old electric vehicle has 50,000 miles on it, less than half the miles on the average ten-year old combustion car or truck.

* We read in Autoweek the AM radio band in particular is subject to electromagnetic interference from electric motors, which generate frequencies comparable in wavelength to AM radio signals. Many EVs have abandoned the radio band, while others—like the Ford F-150 Lightning—did include it but will soon cease to. A global radio aggregator and streaming service called TuneIn offers a solution, by delivering feeds from some 100,000 stations over a vehicle’s 5G wireless network access.

* Ford is recalling over 634,000 utility vehicles worldwide because a cracked fuel injector can spill fuel or leak vapors onto a hot engine and cause fires. The recall covers Bronco Sport and Escape models from the 2020 through 2023 model years. All have 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engines.

* Bond, James Bond! Bond In Motion: The Official Collection of Original James Bond Vehicles exhibition is at the Saratoga Auto Museum. Featured are 25 official vehicles from the longest-running film franchise in movie history. Bond In Motion runs through November 2023 at the Saratoga Automobile Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York. https://saratogaautomuseum.squarespace.com

* Comedian Jay Leno was released from the hospital after suffering burns to his face, according to multiple reports. Leno stayed at the Grossman Burn Center for 10 days after he was injured when flames erupted while working on his 1907 White Steam Car on Nov. 12. While he suffered third-degree burns, he should recover. “I am pleased with Jay’s progress, and I am optimistic that he will make a full recovery,” Dr. Peter Grossman, Leno’s doctor, said in a statement released by the Burn Center.

* Starting in 2023, Formula 1 is set to launch an all-female driver category, the F1 Academy, to develop and prepare young female drivers to progress to higher levels of competition – including W Series, Formula 1, Formula 2, and Formula 3. The series will consist of five teams run by current F2 and F3 teams, each entering three cars to make up a 15-car grid. The first season will comprise of seven events with three races each – amounting to a total of 21 races – plus 15 days of official testing, with the 2023 calendar set to be released in due course. The drivers will be getting behind the wheel of Tatuus T421 chassis, with Autotecnica supplying turbocharged engines that will deliver 165 horsepower, while Formula 1’s Global Partner Pirelli will provide the tires.

* A total of 277 vehicles officially entered last weekend’s internationally televised BFGoodrich Tires 55th SCORE Baja 1000, presented by 4 Wheel Parts. The season-finale of the four-race 2022 SCORE World Desert Championship was held over a technical, rugged race course around Baja California Norte on Mexico’s magnificent and majestic Baja California peninsula. Race course distance is 828.25 miles. The Honda Off-Road Racing Team with its Honda Ridgeline Baja Race Truck took Class 7 honors for the second consecutive year in the 55th running of the iconic Baja 1000.

* A next-generation race-prepped, stock Ford Ranger Raptor finished the SCORE-International Baja 1000 atop the stock mid-size class, then drove on public roads back to its base in Riverside, California after the race. The nearly-flawless Ford Performance global effort was powered by a low-carbon biofuel (Ethanol and Bionaptha) from Shell, demonstrating that commitment to sustainability does not require compromising performance (or Rocket Science Electric) .

* We hope you all had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. AAA predicted 54.6 million people would travel 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving. That’s a 1.5% increase over 2021 and 98% of pre-pandemic volumes. This year is projected to be the third busiest for Thanksgiving travel since AAA started tracking in 2000.

Stay safe. Be Well.