July 24, 2021
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Vehicle submerged in Colorado pool inspires perfect response from local police
The scorching hot used car market may finally be cooling off
Chippewa Falls man helps others one bicycle at a time
Penske Automotive Group and Cox Automotive Debut Automated Platform for Retailing Used Vehicles
DC police ask for help to ID vehicle used in shooting death of 6-year-old
EV Stocks Could Fly This Summer
Solon Bicycle moves to new location | Destination
HAAH gives up on Chinese cars, will file for bankruptcy
Kansas City police say officers shot at man when vehicle continued to approach them during traffic stop
Brent Spence Bridge project 50% complete, transportation cabinet says
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Vehicle submerged in Colorado pool inspires perfect response from local police The scorching hot used car market may finally be cooling off Chippewa Falls man helps others one bicycle at a time Penske Automotive Group and Cox Automotive Debut Automated Platform for Retailing Used Vehicles DC police ask for help to ID vehicle used in shooting death of 6-year-old EV Stocks Could Fly This Summer Solon Bicycle moves to new location | Destination HAAH gives up on Chinese cars, will file for bankruptcy Kansas City police say officers shot at man when vehicle continued to approach them during traffic stop Brent Spence Bridge project 50% complete, transportation cabinet says
Jul
2021
23

The scorching hot used car market may finally be cooling off

But two new reports indicate that things may be starting to cool off.

Wholesale used car prices — what car dealers pay for the cars they sell to customers — fell in the first two weeks of July, while used vehicle inventories at dealerships increased, according to Cox Automotive.

In addition, the retail price of used cars — the amount consumers pay — has continued to increase, but at a slower pace over the past month, according to a separate Cox Automotive report. While it’s not certain yet, Cox Automotive analysts think retail prices will start coming down over the coming weeks.

Getting all the way back to normal will still take a long time, however, said Charlie Chesbrough, a senior economist at Cox Automotive.

Used car prices have been driven to extremes, thanks to a combination of demand from consumers wary of taking public transportation and a major shortage in the computer chips needed to make new cars.

The average price of a used car in the United States passed $25,000 for the first time ever at the end of June, a 26% increase from the year before and up 29% from two years ago.

Wholesale used car prices are also beginning to taper off. According to a recent Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index report, wholesale used car prices, overall, are still up almost 25% compared to a year ago. But, in the first weeks of July, prices dropped 1.7% compared to the month before.

These price comparisons are statistically adjusted for the differing mix of vehicles sold and for normal seasonal fluctuations, according to Cox.

“The latest trends in the key indicators suggest wholesale used vehicle values will continue to see a similar amount of depreciation in the days ahead,” the report said.

Manheim, a subsidiary of Cox Automotive, is America’s largest seller of wholesale used vehicles to auto dealers.

While the used car market is no longer at a full rolling boil, it will take some time for ordinary car shoppers to notice a difference, Chesbrough said.

“This frenzy to acquire inventory is backing off a little bit so the price is starting to come down a little bit,” Chesbrough said. “That generally means that, four to eight weeks from now, on the retail side, we should see the froth come down a little bit, a little bit less upward pressure.”

Used car prices still aren’t expected to return to anywhere near what they were before the coronavirus pandemic anytime soon, he said.

“My sense is that given the supply shortage on the new [car] side, we’re looking at a used market that’s going to be constrained for supply for the foreseeable future,” he said, “and those prices are going to remain elevated as a result.”

Jul
2021
18

Ford created a gas-scented fragrance for electric car drivers

Apparently that new car smell just isn’t the same for some electric car customers.

Ford has developed a gasoline-scented fragrance for EV owners to help them make the transition to battery-power.

The Mach-Eau GT was unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England, where Ford is showing off its electric Mustang Mach-E. Company CEO Jim Farley even took a racing version of the car for a run up the venue’s hill climb course.

Ford conducted a survey asking people what they’d miss about internal combustion engine vehicles and 70% said gasoline, Autoevolution reported.

“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. It should linger long enough for the GT’s performance to make any other doubts vaporize too,” Ford spokesman Jay Ward said.

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The concoction doesn’t actually contain any petroleum, but “is designed to please the nose of any wearer; a high-end fragrance that fuses smoky accords, aspects of rubber and even an ‘animal’ element to give a nod to the Mustang heritage,” according to Ward.

Unfortunately for gas guzzlers, it’s also not for sale, but was created purely as a promotion. (Well, that … stinks.)

The Mach-E does have a feature that tries to help with the transition from muscle cars to silent electric power, however. The car is equipped with a system that plays a digitally-created audio track inspired by the rumble and exhaust of an internal combustion engine powertrain that has a loud setting labeled “Unbridled,” but can also be turned off.

Jul
2021
17

On Chip Shortage Affecting Car Supply, 93% Think It’s a Big Deal

  • A new survey conducted last month by Automotive News about the global chip shortage finds that almost everyone in the auto industry thinks it’s a big problem.
  • Today, according to the survey, 53 percent of respondents said they source their chips from outside the U.S., and 55 percent are looking for alternative chip sources outside the country.
  • Changes are happening, of course, from temporary production pauses and a shift to models that are either in high demand or require fewer chips.

    The auto industry is fully aware just how bad the current chip shortage is. Anecdotally, this has been clear for a while. Ford CEO Jim Farley, for example, recently said that the chip shortage is “perhaps the greatest supply shock” he’s ever seen. Automotive News used that quote in a new survey of automakers and suppliers called Examining the Global Chip Shortage, which gives us plenty of survey data to back up the feeling that this is a big, big deal.

    Perhaps the most surprising number in the survey is that only—yes, only—93 percent of respondents said that they think the chip shortage will have a severe impact on the auto industry. The survey was conducted a month ago, before recent estimates put the shortage’s impact on the auto industry at $110 billion in lost revenue this year. But even in January, the estimates were around $50 billion, which apparently wasn’t severe enough for 7 percent of respondents.

    There’s also the feeling that the chip shortage will stretch out for most of the rest of the year. Almost three-quarters of respondents, 72 percent, said they expect the chip shortage crisis to impact the industry for at least six months.

    Just a reminder that the shortage of the chips, used in cars, computers, and other products, was caused by worldwide demand for electronic goods that intensified because of the coronavirus pandemic, along with inadequate planning in the supply chain and weather problems. As the New York Times pointed out, a new vehicle can have up to 100 of these semiconductor chips on board; they’re used (and needed) in components from touchscreens to transmissions.

    While there have been efforts to start making more semiconductors in the U.S., newly proposed plants will take time to build and start producing chips. The survey provides us with some insight into where automakers and suppliers are getting their chips now: 53 percent get them from outside the U.S. today and 55 percent are looking to source chips from outside the U.S. in the future. Forty-eight percent said they’d rather buy chips from domestic suppliers.

    Survey respondents were somewhat uncertain about which segments of the industry will be most impacted by the shortage. Half (49 percent) said it will be the automakers, while 30 percent believe dealers and retailers will be hardest hit, and 23 percent said it will be the suppliers.

    If there are bright spots to be found in the numbers, they lie in the way the industry is adapting to the situation.

    Jul
    2021
    16

    The Grand Tour’s New Scotland Special Is a Malaise Car Marathon

    Let’s all acknowledge an ugly truth for a second: Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May haven’t exactly been on their best form in recent years. The Grand Tour has had its moments, but all too often, episodes like A Massive Hunt leave us wondering if now’s the time to pull the plug on the operation at long last. Our hopes remain high though, especially following the trailer for the trio’s newest special, Lochdown, a proto-pandemic romp across Scotland.

    As revealed in a trailer released Thursday, the Brits embark on a tour of the northernmost land of Great Britain in Malaise Era American cars, ill-suited to the British Isles’ tight roads or gas prices. Clarkson commands a ’70s Lincoln Continental Mark V, Hammond a 1971-1973 Buick Riviera, and May, a 1975 or 1976 Cadillac Coupe de Ville.

    These decadent disgraces to the American automotive industry are taken many places they don’t belong, European city roads, through rivers, and for at least one hairy, roly-poly lap of a racetrack. As COVID-19 restrictions come into effect, they’re then forced to sequester themselves away in trailers, which they tow behind (and possibly destroy with) their Malaise machinery.

    They also appear to spend some time modifying their cars, as evidenced by a Plymouth Superbird-style wing on Hammond’s Buick—Lord knows why he did that.

    Jul
    2021
    15

    The Car Market ‘Is Insane’: Dealers Can’t Keep Up With Demand

    Some customers have balked at paying top dollar for new cars and have opted to make do with older vehicles. That has increased demand for parts and service, one of the most profitable businesses for car dealers. Many dealers have extended repair-shop hours. Mr. Ricart said he had some repair technicians putting in 10- or 12-hour days three or four days in a row before taking a few days off.

    Of course, the shortage of cars will end, but it isn’t clear when.

    As Covid-19 cases and deaths rose last spring, automakers shut down plants across North America from late March until mid-May. Since their plants were down and they expected sales to come back slowly, they ordered fewer semiconductors, the tiny brains that control engines, transmissions, touch screens and many other components of modern cars and trucks.

    At the same time, consumers confined to their homes began buying laptops, smartphones and game consoles, which increased demand for chips from companies that make those devices. When automakers restarted their plants, there were fewer chips available.

    Many automakers have had to idle plants for a week or two at a time in the first half of 2021. G.M., Ford Motor and others have also resorted to producing vehicles without certain components and holding them at plants until the required parts arrive. At one point, G.M. had about 20,000 nearly complete vehicles awaiting electronic components. It began shipping them in June.

    Ford has been hit harder than many other automakers because of a fire at one of its suppliers’ factories in Japan. At the end of June, Ford had about 162,000 vehicles at dealer lots, fewer than half the number it had just three months ago and roughly a quarter of the stocks its dealers typically hold.

    This month, Ford is slowing production at several North American plants because of the chip shortage. The company said it planned to focus on completing vehicles.

    Mr. Ricart recently took a trip on his Harley-Davidson to Louisville, Ky., and got a look at the trucks and S.U.V.s at a Ford plant that are waiting to be finished. He said he saw “thousands of trucks in fields with temporary fencing around them.”

    Jul
    2021
    13

    Dramatic video shows Michigan cop pull man from fiery car wreck

    Dramatic video footage shows a Michigan cop running toward the flaming wreckage of a car – then pulling the dazed driver to safety.

    Harper Woods Officer Luke Pauly’s bodycam footage shows him speeding to the near a massive crash on Interstate 94 outside Detroit last Sunday.

    Flames blaze and smoke pours from a car in the distance while traffic is at a standstill.

    Pauly, 30, then sprints towards the engulfed car as skid marks, twisted metal and debris from the crash are seen scattered across the highway and its shoulder. People along the highway tell Pauly someone’s in a car that apparently flipped in the crash.

    “He’s in the car?” Pauly is heard asking bystanders as scorching fire is seen in the distance.

    When he gets to the car, a man is seen on the passenger side, reaching over the window to clutch the door handle on the outside. The man was the driver, who Pauly told WDIV may have ended up in the passenger seat by force of the impact.

    The driver attempted to escape through the passenger side as the flames spread throughout the vehicle.
    The driver attempted to escape through the passenger side as the flames spread throughout the vehicle.
    WDIV
    Harper Woods officer Luke Pauly rushed to save a man from a burning car on Interstate 94 in Michigan.
    Harper Woods officer Luke Pauly rushed to save a man from a burning car on Interstate 94 in Michigan.
    WDIV
    Neither Pauly nor the man suffered serious injuries.
    Neither Pauly nor the man suffered serious injuries.
    WDIV

    He was apparently fighting off passing out to try to get away from the blaze as it grew in intensity.

    In footage from the camera of another officer, Pauly is seen pulling the man from the wreck by his arms, dragging him across the pavement until he’s a safe distance from the flames. The man was coming in and out of consciousness, reports said.

    “I was worried it was gonna blow up,” he told FOX 2. “I never knew that cars don’t explode so it was popping … I think it was from the tires.”

    The man is recovering and no one was injured despite the severity of the accident, the station reported.

    The officer told WDIV things may have turned out more grim if police arrived even a few minutes later.

    “All I could think was perfect timing,” Pauly said. “Glad we got here.”

    Jul
    2021
    12

    California is restoring electric car rebates, but some environmentalists aren’t happy

    SACRAMENTO — California is slated soon to reinstate funding for subsidies that encourage drivers to buy electric cars, a program advocates say will help the state prepare for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035.

    But who exactly will get rebate checks has created a divide between some state legislators and environmental activists, who say more money should be directed to help low-income drivers go electric.

    Under the budget legislators sent Newsom last week, the state will spend $525 million over three years on its main rebate program, which offers electric car buyers incentives of around $2,000 on new electric vehicles.

    The governor is expected to sign off on the legislation, even though the subsidies end up going mostly to buyers with annual incomes above $100,000.

    Newsom had previously proposed to eliminate the payouts and shift spending to programs encouraging low-income people to trade in older, heavily polluting cars. At the time, he said the move would show “it’s not just about expensive, fancy cars, and the rest of us are left behind.”

    To the dismay of some advocates, he reversed course under pressure from legislators and lobbyists. “It shows that equity is still just a talking point,” said Román Partida-Lopéz, an attorney at the Greenlining Institute, which fights for racial justice in environmental policy.

    Yet there are differing perspectives among progressives. Some disagreed with the governor’s plan to scrap the general EV subsidies — regardless of who the buyers are — because doing so could undermine California’s ambitious climate goals. Nearly two-thirds of electric car buyers in the state have received the rebates over the past decade.

    The state’s new budget sets aside $400 million over the next three years for transportation equity projects, including for Clean Cars 4 All, a grant program that gives low-income buyers up to $9,500 to trade in their gas cars and buy new or used electric models.

    State Sen. Bob Wieckowski, the Fremont Democrat who chairs the budget subcommittee on environmental protection, said the budget strikes a balance between equity efforts and incentives for the general public. He stressed the state has only 14 years to transform its auto sector to meet Newsom’s 2035 order — and only about 9% of vehicles sold statewide today are electric, including plug-in hybrids.

    “We’ll never make it,” Wieckowski said. “It’s not the time to close down the shop. You’ve got to have incentives (for) everybody.”

    The state’s general rebate program is its most popular: Money for the program ran out in April, a near-annual event since the state rebates began in 2010, and about 5,000 buyers are on the dreaded waiting list.

    But much of that money has gone to the same type of buyer: successful men living in affluent pockets of the Bay Area and Los Angeles. According to an analysis by The Chronicle, those who got rebates in recent years are about 68% male, and nearly half are white. More than 70% had a household income above

    Jul
    2021
    11

    The Ford Mustang is best-selling American muscle car this year, but it’s a really close race

    The American muscle car race is shaping up to be a two-model affair this year. 

    The 2021 Mach 1 is the latest version of the Mustang.
    (Ford)

    The Ford Mustang is currently in the lead after six months with 31,950 deliveries, but the Dodge Challenger is hot on its tail at 30,148.

    The Chevrolet Camaro can barely see their taillights at this point, with just 9,881 finding new owners in 2021. Things have gotten so bad that rumor has it a planned high-performance Z/28 model has been canceled and the entire Camaro lineup may follow it in favor of an electric reboot.

    The Mustang has held the top spot since it took it from the Camaro in 2015, but the Challenger has momentum going into the second half of the year as its sales are up 37% in 2021 while the Mustang’s are down 5.4%.

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    That is if you don’t count the electric Mustang Mach-E (note: you shouldn’t), which racked up 12,975 deliveries through June. In fact, it outsold the Mustang for the first time last month 2,465 to 2,240.

    Jul
    2021
    10

    The Best Car Camping Gear for 2021

    Image for article titled How to Turn Your Car Into a Tiny Camper

    Photo: Brent Rose/Gizmodo

    I lived in a van for five years, which is quite a long time. In fact, I lived in that thing for longer than I’ve lived in any other place since leaving my childhood home. Strangely, I found moving out of a van to be more stressful than moving into one. I was afraid I was going to miss the freedom that comes with having everything travel-ready in my own little turtle shell. The moment I got a normal-person car, I got to work figuring out how to be able to use it as a mini camper-van.

    Now, we’re not talking about doing a full, permanent conversion here. I was moving to LA, and my car’s primary duty would be getting me around the city. But I wanted to develop a system that would make it killer for road trips and backcountry camping—a vehicle that, like my van, I could just park, pull up my shades, and go to sleep. In fact, I was hoping that it would be able to take me places my van couldn’t get to. It turns out there are many products out there for that exact purpose. There’s a ton to choose from, so I went deep down the research rabbit hole and have been testing gear.

    If you want to hit the road this summer, I have some rock-solid recommendations for you, and a few tips and tricks along the way, too.

    The Gear You Need for Your Car

    Image for article titled How to Turn Your Car Into a Tiny Camper

    Photo: Brent Rose/Gizmodo

    You do not need to run out and get a new car for this. It’s entirely possible that the car you already own will work pretty well for this purpose. The one big thing you’re going to want is back seats that fold down as flat as possible, because that’s going to be your bed. Aside from that, more space generally means more comfort, but really the most important question is: What kind of camping to you want to do? Breaking that down a little, you need to think about the places you want to be able to go, and the type of climate and roads you’re likely to encounter.

    For me, I knew that I wanted to be able to do some winter camping, ideally near ski resorts, so I had to have something with all-wheel drive. I wanted to be able to get out on dirt trails, but because it’s my day-in-day out car I didn’t want something that’s difficult to park in cities, or that was super lifted or with gigantic tires that would kill my MPG. I went with a Honda CR-V. It checked all of my boxes. I wouldn’t be able to go rock-crawling on the Rubicon Trail or anything, but it has all-wheel drive so it should pretty well cover me for most of the dirt roads I want to take on. Critically, the back seat folds down extremely flat. For most people looking for

    Jul
    2021
    9

    Beloit man crashes into Brodhead squad car during vehicle chase

    Elvis Santana/freeimages.com

    BRODHEAD, Wis. — A Beloit man is facing multiple criminal charges after he allegedly crashed into a Broadhead Police Department squad car while driving drunk on the Fourth of July.

    Authorities with the BPD said officers were dispatched to the McDonald’s in the 2100 block of 1st Center Avenue for a report of a possible intoxicated driver in the drive through. When they arrived, police found the suspect vehicle leaving the parking lot.

    When police tried stopping the suspect vehicle, the driver, 22-year-old Anthony J. Hoffman Hernandez, drove away from police, driving through stop signs as he fled.

    Hoffman Hernandez eventually reached the end of a street where he turned his vehicle around and collided with a BPD squad car shortly after. The officer driving the squad car suffered minor injuries.

    Hoffman Hernandez fled the scene after the crash.

    Police continued their pursuit at high speeds before eventually stopping near Beloit Newark and Knutson roads in Rock County.

    Rock County authorities were able to find the vehicle and continued the chase, which ultimately came to an end when Hoffman Hernandez crashed his vehicle in the 4200 block of South Afton Road.

    Hoffman Hernandez was booked into the Rock County Jail on charges of violating conditions of his probation in both Green and Rock counties. Brodhead police are requesting charges for knowingly fleeing an officer, hit-and-run causing injury, first-offense OWI and recklessly endangering safety.

    The Brodhead Police Department was assisted by the Rock County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol and the Town of Beloit Police Department.