Mustang – World’s Best-Selling Sports Car, Sports Coupe Titles on Pony Cars -Ken Zino of on Mustang Claims World’s Best-Selling Sports Car, Sports Coupe Titles

The car that named a whole, ongoing segment.

For the second straight year, Ford Mustang is the world’s best-selling sports car. The famed pony car – it celebrates its 57th birthday Saturday – held its title of best-selling sports coupe for the sixth straight year. With good sales in high-performance Bullitt, Shelby GT350, Shelby GT350R and Shelby GT500 models, Mustang led all competitors with 80,577 global sales in 2020, according to the most recent vehicle registration data from IHS Markit*. That sales total represents 15.1% of the sports coupe market, up from 14.8% a year earlier.

“Mustang enthusiasts love their performance cars, and they showed that yet again,” said Hau Thai-Tang, chief product platform and operations officer, Ford Motor Company. “In a challenging year for the entire auto industry because of the global pandemic, Mustang performed very well, increasing its share in the global sports car segment.” Continue reading

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Radioactive Pollution Dilution – the US Backs Japan Dumping Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Waste Water?

Say it ain’t so Joe! The United States is thus far backing the head of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency who claimed as one of the mouthpieces of the Nuclear industry that it would see that the dumping of Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Waste Water into the Pacific ocean wouldn’t hurt human health and the environment. IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said that Japan’s solution was both “technically feasible and in line with international practice.”

This, laughable promise in the eyes of many critics – including China, South Korea and US client state Taiwan – who decried Japan’s announcement today that it would conduct allegedly controlled releases of potentially cancer-causing ionized water that are expected to last for three decades into the Pacific ocean The whole ongoing life-threatening Fukushima Nuclear Disaster was caused, of course, by Tokyo Electric Power Company’s utter inability to monitor, and safely operate the now infamous plant, which melted down. This is not exactly a credible witness for the defense in our view.
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NLRB Announces Union Loss in Amazon Election

Ken Zino of on Results of Amazon Union Election in Bessemer, AlabamaThe National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) completed a vote count today in an election involving employees at Amazon’s facility in Bessemer, Alabama. There were approximately 3,041 employees who mailed in ballots indicating whether they want to be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. In a clear setback for unions, and what critics say are inhuman working conditions, challenges are not sufficient in number to affect the results of the election. More than twice as many employees voted against the union than those who voted for it. The AFL-CIO and GBAO had released earlier this week a nationwide poll of registered voters that found more than three-quarters of Americans support workers’ efforts to organize a union at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama. Continue reading

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Honda, Acura Recall 628,000 Vehicles for Fuel Pump Failures

Honda has expanded a fuel injection system recall from last year to include 628,000 vehicles across 25 model lines because the vehicles can suddenly stall. The estimated date to start notifications to owners is May 18, 2021. Affected vehicles – now all 628,000 – may be equipped with a fuel pump module manufactured with low density impellers from the supplier Denso. If the surface of a lower density impeller is exposed to production solvent drying for longer periods of time, higher levels of surface cracking may occur. Continue reading

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US March Vehicle Sales Rebound. Beating the COVID Reaper?

Ken Zino of on US light-vehicle sales during March 2021

US March Light Vehicle sales by segment, courtesy NADA.

March 2021 US light-vehicle sales were stronger after sales fell in February with cars diving more than 20%. March’s SAAR of 17.75 million units was the second highest of all time for the month, following March 2000 two decades ago. Light trucks accounted for 77.7% of all new-vehicle sales in March 2021, up from 74% in March 2020. Lower discounting coupled with consumer preferences for higher-trimmed light-truck models should result in record-high transaction prices for March, according to NADA. (Ugh – US Light Vehicle Sales Drop during February 2021,Whither US Vehicle Sales in 2021? Is 14 Million a Stretch?)

Now, the theories – yet to be proven –  and debates begin.

March 2021 sales were likely increased by delayed sales caused by harsh February winter weather. Then there’s the increase from stimulus checks following the passage of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 relief bill, which no Republican voted for. Continue reading

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GMC Adds Hummer SUV EV. Direct Selling Without Dealers?

Ken Zino of on Hummer EV SUV

Just bring money – lot’s of money…

GMC’s electric struck line is expanding with the addition of the 2024 Hummer EV SUV. When production begins on the SUV in early 2023, Edition 1 will start at, gulp, $105,595. Range is estimated at 300 miles on a full charge. Equipped with the Extreme Off-Road Pack, the SUV leaps to $110,595, with an estimated range of 280 miles on a full charge.

Ken Zino of on Hummer EV SUV

Click to Enlarge.

GM has not disclosed which plant will build the Hummer SUV – but has scheduled a virtual press conference with President Mark Reuss from Factory Zero in Hamtramck today. (GM’s Factory ZERO – First U.S. Plant to Install 5G)

Perhaps even bigger news is that the Hummer will be sold by GM online, with dealers playing only a supporting role at the introduction. Customers who reserve a vehicle can choose the dealer where they would like the vehicle to be delivered. That dealer will then complete the sale/transaction. It’s clearly part of the strong US retail trend – accelerating from Covid – that consumers are becoming more comfortable and more apt to us computers and phones to buy goods and services. Ultimately, we think traditional dealers will play a diminishing role. Continue reading

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Toyota Gazoo Racing Debuts New GR 86 Multi-Use Sports Car

Ken Zino of on Toyota Gazoo Racing Debuts New GR 86 Multi-use Sports Car

New Toyota GR 86Red Prototype, and Subaru BRZ. Click to Enlarge.

Toyota Gazoo Racing showed the new GR 86 its world debut during an online event held together with Subaru Corporation earlier today in Japan. Following the GR Supra and GR Yaris, the new GR 86 is the third global model in the GR series of sports cars.

The new GR 86 is scheduled to launch in Japan in autumn 2021. It’s plans for US sales are still unknown. But given the abandonment of Scion as a the fun Toyota youth brand, it’s almost a sure thing. (Toyota Pulls Plug on Scion Brand, Scion FR-S Morphs into Toyota 86)

Subaru is out front here. Subaru showed its US version of the 2022 BRZ last November. It will be the lightest rear-wheel drive 2+2 sports car in U.S. market when it enters production. The 2+2 seating and folding rear seats have a cargo area with space for carrying a mountain bike, golf clubs, or four race tires and tools for track days. Using aluminum for the roof, front fenders and hood, the 2022 Subaru BRZ has an estimated curb weight of just under 2,900 lbs. Prices for street versions will be in the $32,000-$36,000 range, AI guesstimates. Continue reading

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Ford Motor Recalls 2020-21 Lincoln Aviators for Bad Software

Ford Motor Company is issuing a safety compliance recall related to the rearview camera on 2020-21 Lincoln Aviator vehicles. The image processing module may be intermittently unable to provide a video feed to the display screen. This could result in a loss of the rearview camera image when the vehicle is in reverse. Affected rearview cameras do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and require corrective. Continue reading

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CARB Fines Walmart for Selling Harmful Hair Spray

Ken Zino of on Walmart’s smog-forming hair sprays

Walmart agreed to pay $147,200 toward a Supplemental Environmental Project.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) today announced a $409,000 settlement with Walmart, Inc. of Arkansas, for selling private label “hair finishing spray” that violated state air quality regulations. The product was manufactured by Canada-based Apollo Health and Beauty Care, Inc., specifically for Walmart.

The fine results from a 2018 investigation when CARB inspectors tested the hair products and found that they did not comply with state limits for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the Hair Finishing Spray category. In addition to paying the fine, Walmart plans to provide an educational platform for its online marketplace sellers to bring awareness to CARB’s consumer products regulations. Continue reading

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IMSA – 2022 Roar Before the 24 At Daytona to Use Dirt Circuit

Ken Zino of on being an April FoolWhen the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship returns to Daytona International Speedway next January, there will not only be a “Roar,” but also a “Whoop!” IMSA said today. Motorsports Hall of Fame of America inductee Ricky Carmichael, who for the past 14 years has designed the course used for the annual Supercross event at Daytona International Speedway, has been enlisted to design an infield dirt circuit to be used by the WeatherTech Championship sports cars during the Roar Before the Rolex 24 At Daytona.

The circuit will be used for a special, 20-minute-plus-one-lap race featuring all five WeatherTech Championship classes which will take the green flag at 12 a.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022 and will air live on NBC. Each car’s finishing position in the race will be used to establish its starting position for the Motul Pole Award 100, which is used to establish each car’s starting position for the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Continue reading

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Ford Sets New Interim Carbon-Neutral Targets. Greenwash?

Ken Zino of on Are Ford’s New Interim Carbon-Neutral Targets Greenwash

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Ford Motor has released what it says is its first-ever integrated sustainability and financial report of accomplishments and aspirations. It also announced claimed science-based targets toward the company’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050, in line with terms of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The problem with all such reports is that saying something doesn’t mean that other areas of the company are actually supporting the stated goals. “Combining sustainability and financial performance in a single report,” Ford said, “is significant.” Well, given this, as I recall Ford has actively opposed attempts by stockholders at the last few annual meetings to reveal its PAC contributions. “Is this still the case? If so, what assurances can employees, stockholders and people have that you are not pursuing different anti-environmental policies out of public view under the Capital Dome by the politicians you are supporting?” is how I put it yesterday as a stockholder to T.R. Reid Director, Corporate and Public Policy Communications. Thus far no response. (Ford Proxy – Shareholders Want Political Spending Info) Continue reading

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2020-21 GMC Savana, Chevrolet Express Recalled for Fire Risk

GM today issued a safety recall (NHTSA ID 21V-189) for fires occurring in 2020 and 2021 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vehicles with 6.6L gas engines. If a battery short circuit occur, drivers may get a low battery voltage warning, the battery may die, or a fire may occur in the engine compartment. NHTSA immediately issued a critical Recall Safety Alert given the grave nature of this safety defect. NHTSA said, “Until these recalled vehicles have been repaired, the safest place to park them is outside and away from homes and other structures.” Continue reading

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Free2Move eSolutions – New JV Linking Stellantis, Engie EPS

Ken Zino of on Free2Move eSolutionsIn another step towards the completion of their Joint Venture announced in January,  2021, Stellantis and Engie EPS today said the name of the new entity is Free2Move eSolutions. The board of directors was also appointed. Now with all antitrust clearances attained, completion of the JV is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2021. (Stellantis Reports Legacy FCA, PSA 2020 Financial Results, Stellantis – a Mega Merger of Auto Companies Names Execs, Bye Bye FCA and PSA. Hello Stellantis)

Free2Move eSolutions has the lofty ambition to support and ease the transition to electric mobility by offering “innovative and tailor-made electric solutions” for both private and business participants of the so-called – wince – value chain. Free2Move eSolutions activities will range from charging infrastructures (installation, servicing and operations), public and home charging subscriptions with monthly fee, to battery lifecycle management and advanced energy services such as Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) integration and energy management solutions to reduce the total cost of vehicle ownership. Continue reading

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Biden-Harris Administration Push Offshore Wind Power

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo today announced two new initiatives that will advance the Biden-Harris Administration’s clean energy goals by harnessing the economic potential of offshore wind power generation to combat the climate crisis and create more clean energy jobs. The Commerce Department, along with the Departments of Interior and Energy, are announcing a shared goal to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind in the United States by 2030, while protecting biodiversity and promoting ocean co-use. This is significant for the future of electric vehicles as well since how the electricity is generated to recharge them determines how clean they really are.
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NHTSA Warns Hyundai, Genesis Owners to Park Outside Away from Buildings Because of Computer Module Fires

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today issued a Consumer Alert to Hyundai and Genesis owners because of fires caused by a computer control module. Hyundai issued safety recalls (NHTSA IDs: 21V-160 and 21V-161) this month for Model Year 2015-2016 Hyundai Genesis, 2017-2020 Genesis G80 and 2019-2021 Genesis G70 vehicles.

The anti-lock brake system modules could malfunction internally and cause an electrical short over time, potentially resulting in an engine compartment fire while parked or driving. “Until these recalled vehicles have been repaired, the safest place to park them is outside and away from homes and other structures,” NHTSA said. Continue reading

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