Downtown Chicago – May 29, 2022; Every Sunday, Larry Knutson, The Chicago Car Guy and Auto Channel Executive Producer, with the able help of Senior Editor Thom Cannell of The Auto Channel Michigan Bureau, compiles the Auto Channel’s “snapshot” of last week’s auto news, condensed into easily digestible News Nuggets. .
Learn more: Complete copies of today’s news nuggets along with thousands of pages of relevant news and opinions, and information stored in a library of one million pages that have been published and indexed on The Auto Channel over the past 25 years. Complete information can be found by copying a file bold title Then insert it into any search box in the site.
Nutson Auto News Summary – Week Ending May 28, 2022 Here are last week’s important, relevant, semi-secret, or surprising insider news, opinions, and stories presented as expertly crafted, easy-to-understand nuggets of the automotive world.
* Reuters reports that the average life of a sedan or compact car on the road in the United States is now 13.1 years, a new record, according to S&P Global. Roadside pickups are younger, but still skinnier with an average lifespan of 11.6 years. Overall, the fleet age of cars and light trucks in the United States is 12.2 years, up from 10.9 years in 2011.
* With fuel prices hitting new records in March and vehicle affordability worsening, many shoppers in the first quarter searched for more efficient and affordable sedans. Among non-luxury shoppers, 37% considered cars in the first quarter, up from 31% in the fourth quarter of 2021 and the highest level in a long time. That’s according to data just released by Kelly Blue Book. BMW and Toyota are back in their old places as America’s most shopped car brands in their own segment, after they flipped out late last year. In the first quarter, one in four shoppers considered an electric vehicle; Ford, Tesla, and Toyota are some of the strongest brands among electric car shoppers.
* Consumer interest in electric cars has reached a global tipping point, with more than half of car buyers saying they want their next vehicle to be an EV, new research from Ernst & Young shows. Yes, but: Americans are still not as enthusiastic as consumers in Europe and Asia. 52% of EY’s annual Mobility Index respondents looking to buy a car want an electric car, according to a survey of 13,000 people in 18 countries. The company said it was a 22 percentage point jump in two years, and was the first time interest on electric vehicles had exceeded 50%. Buyers in Italy (73%), China (69%) and South Korea (63%) were the most interested. Consumers in Australia (38%) and the United States (29%) showed less interest.
* BMW and Toyota are back in their old places as America’s most-shopped auto brands in their class, having flipped out late last year, Q1 2022 Kelley Blue Book Brand Watch™ reports. Toyota regained the top spot as the most shopped non-luxury brand, a position it held for four years until Ford briefly took the top spot in the last quarter of 2021. Likewise, BMW regained its position as the most shopped luxury brand in the first quarter of 2022, a position it held for three years until the end of 2021 when it overtook Lexus and took the lead. With gas prices hitting new records in March and vehicle affordability worsening, many shoppers in the first quarter looked for more efficient and affordable sedans. Among non-luxury shoppers, 37% considered cars in the first quarter, up from 31% in the fourth quarter of 2021 and the highest level in a long time.
* Many cities and towns limit speeds around schools, hospitals, and shopping areas. However, the visibility of the signs can depend on how visible they are, whether they are hidden by branches, or perhaps surrounded by a host of other signs. Now, Ford is experimenting with connected vehicle technology using geofences – virtual geo-limits – that could one day eliminate the need for speed limit signs entirely. In addition to potentially making streets safer for other road users and pedestrians, Ford’s Geofencing Speed Limit Control System can help drivers avoid inadvertently incurring speeding fines and improve roadside appearance. Geofencing can ensure that speeds are reduced in places – and even when necessary – to help improve safety and create a more pleasant environment. This story is from the Electric Vehicle Report.
*Cities are concerned about the growing popularity of large pickup trucks that clog streets and cause increased wear and tear due to their weight. A proposal from the District of Columbia would require owners of vehicles weighing more than 6,000 pounds to pay a vehicle registration fee of $500 annually, nearly seven times the cost of registering a vehicle Modest sedan. No other US jurisdiction has created such a strong financial incentive against the largest and heaviest car models. Although Chicagofor for example has a residential city sticker requirement it has increased fees for vehicles over 4,500 lbs. curb weight.
* Hyundai is recalling 239,000 Elantra and Accent models due to a defect in seat belt pretensioners that could explode when inflated. The affected vehicles are 2019-2022 Accents, 2021-2023 Elantra, and 2021-2022 Elantra Hybrids. The blasts resulted in shrapnel injuries in the United States and Singapore.
* Stellantis has agreed to plead guilty to criminal conduct and pay $300 million to resolve a US Department of Justice investigation into cheating in diesel emissions tests that included Ram trucks and jeeps, Reuters reports. The investigation involved 2014-2016 cars made by then-Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. FCA merged with Peugeot to create Stellantis in 2021.
*One of the most iconic cars in the original hotrod scene, 1932, celebrated its 90th birthday this year, and the Petersen Automotive Museum pulled off all stops for the celebration—starting with the creation of a new holiday, National Hot Rod Day, on June 11, that’s just the beginning of the festivities, as The festivities will run throughout the weekend, starting with the opening of a new exhibition at the museum. It’s called “Ford Fever: The Deuce Turns 90,” and it will feature some of the most famous hotrod ever. That evening, the museum will host a Deuce Gala featuring a performance by ZZ Top pioneer Billy F. Gibbons, as well as an exclusive live auction. On Sunday, June 12, Petersen’s annual Deuce Day Cruise-In prepares to become the largest gathering of 1932 Fords in Southern California.
*It’s Memorial Day weekend and officially the start of summer. Please take the time this Memorial Day weekend to remember and thank all of the brave service members who made the ultimate sacrifice. Be safe this weekend and have economical!
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