COVID-19 Auto Related Closings, Openings, Closings

AutoInformed - Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on NASCARMCACN says that it is in the “best interest of all involved” to cancel the 2020 event, scheduled for November 21-22, 2020. Ongoing safety and health concerns about Covid 19, as well as the State of Illinois regulations limiting indoor gatherings to 100 people were the reasons for the cancellation of Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals.

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on Covid Second wave and global auto sales. Source: Johns Hopkins University and The New York Times via Pew

Click to Enlarge.

Few U.S. Adults Say They’ve Been Diagnosed with Corona virus. More Than A Quarter Know Someone Who Has. Only 2% of U.S. adults say they have been officially diagnosed with COVID-19, and a mere 2% say they have taken a blood test that showed they have COVID-19 antibodies, an indication that they previously had the virus. But far more say they are “pretty sure” they had the virus despite not getting an official diagnosis or say they personally know someone who was diagnosed with it, according to the latest Pew Research survey. 

The Corona virus death toll is heavily concentrated in Democratic congressional districts. For actual modeling data See “Susceptible, Infectious, Recovered,”London Review of Books, May 7, 2020. Also see  Simanaitis Says

Abarth Rally Cup officially opens with the Rally di Roma Capitale on July 24, then continues to Latvia, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Hungary and Spain. The 2020 season of the Abarth Rally Cup will be ready to restart the engines on July 24 at the Rally di Roma Capitale, the opening race of the FIA ERC 2020. In the last few days (29 June), the new calendar has been published for the one-make racing reserved for the Abarth 124 rally, consisting of six races, all of which are valid for the overall European championship. Four of these races are held on pavement: Rally di Roma Capitale (July 24-26), Barum Czech Rally Zlín (August 28-30), Rally Hungary (November 6-8) and Rally Islas Canarias (November 26-28). Two are run on gravel: The Rally Liepāja in Latvia (August 14-16) and the Azores Rallye, scheduled from September 17 to 19. Azores is the new event for the 2020 season. The race on the Portuguese archipelago has breathtaking scenery where the competitors will take the wheel. An especially scenic section is the Sete Cidades special stage, which takes place along the rim of a volcanic crater lake. For the second year running, the Abarth Rally Cup will be held as part of the European ERC Championship, with a considerable prize fund, including race prizes, with a total value of €30,000 for each of the five races and a grand prize of the same amount for the winner of the championship. The final standings for the Abarth Rally Cup will be drawn up based on the top four results.

Abarth: “Tour of Europe in 1949 Hours” restarts from Turin (6 July). The marketing ploy is a European tour on board the Abarth 695 70th Anniversario, on a multi-stage route of around 3,700 km, from the Netherlands to Portugal. More than half of the 1,949 limited edition models have already been sold It’s restarting after the prolonged pit stop over the last few months due to the COVIS-19 lockdown.

After starting in late February from the Dutch village of Lijnden, about 10 km from Amsterdam, the Abarth 695 first reached Belgium, then arrived in Germany. It stopped there due to the lockdown, when the special series returned to Turin – the city ​​of Abarth’s first office, which remains the headquarters of the Scorpion brand and the Heritage Hub, housing some of the most important cars produced by Abarth throughout its history.

Ken Zino of AutoInformed.com on on government Response to Corona Cases

AutoInformed.com on US Unemployment Rate and COVID-19

A new survey from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that strong fear about a second wave of corona virus infections is reinforcing widespread opposition among Americans to re-opening public places. Courtesy Hutchins Center.

Arcimoto suspends electric vehicle production in Oregon today (19 March) of the Fun Utility Vehicle through 17 April 2020. The company will maintain a work-from-home staff for critical operations, including compliance and reporting, research and development, customer service, and deployment of the company’s recently-launched Rapid Responder and Deliverator pilot vehicles to potential fleet operators.

Aston Martin is (24 March) confirming the temporary suspension of all manufacturing operations at its UK plants in line with the latest UK Government instructions on the fight against COVID-19. The suspension will come into force at all sites simultaneously tonight. Aston Martin has “taken the decision (18 March) to close our facilities to all visitors. If you were planning a factory tour at Gaydon for example, please contact your Aston Martin Dealer who will confirm when we have re-opened the factory for visitors.  We have also postponed or cancelled our upcoming F1experiences and Art of Living events, if you were planning to join us our team will be in touch in the coming days to confirm next steps…. many Aston Martin dealerships are choosing to cancel face to face appointments.”

Beaulieu reopened the doors to the National Motor Museum on the Saturday 4th July. Visitors will get their first glance at an exciting new exhibition, Motoring in Miniature – the Toys of Your Childhood. Visitors will be able to relive “the joy and excitement of their favorite childhood toy cars when this fun-filled family exhibition opens in the National Motor Museum, with more than 800 toy cars and pedal cars to celebrate miniature motoring memories and much-loved playthings of the past.”

Bentley Motors on 11 May resumed production at the company’s headquarters in Crewe, England, with  1700 workers following 250 hygiene and social distancing guidelines  to enable a “safe” return. This is the next stage in Bentley’s ‘Come Back Stronger’ program, a phased production ramp up following the biggest changes to working life in the company’s 100-year history. Britain, suffering the second worst COVID death toll, trailing the leader United States, this weekend saw Prime Minister Boris Johnson announce a modest easing of restrictions as part of a road map. But he kept most of the lock-down, a confusing and inconsistent infection of policy and politics in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – not unlike the chaotic contradictory Trump policies with numerous deadly differences among US states.

“Before the restart, last week, workers received a look at the new working patterns, operations and environment during socially distanced briefing and training sessions. They returned to a redesigned manufacturing facility that allows two-meter distance between workers, and one-way movement paths and traffic flows. The washrooms across site have been reconfigured to reduce the number of people being able to use them. Running from today, the Bentayga and Mulsanne production lines will be joined by the return of the Continental GT and Flying Spur line next week,” Bentley said,

Autoinformed.com on BMW Welt

“With our lighting display we want to create a symbol of hope and togetherness…

BMW Welt is open for all visitors starting 15 May. To mark the reopening, the Double Cone will be illuminated from 10 pm to midnight each evening from May 14 to 24 with a special message: a pulsating heartbeat in light, symbolic of the revival of BMW Welt and a sign of confidence.

“In recent weeks, large parts of public life have come to a complete standstill. We are pleased that life is cautiously starting to return to normal and that we are allowed to open up again for visitors. With our lighting display we want to create a symbol of hope and togetherness during this opening-up phase,” said Helmut Käs, Head of BMW Welt.

For the time being, BMW Welt will be open daily from 8 am to 8 pm. All the exhibition areas including the public area of the new Junior Campus, the vehicle collection area and the BMW Welt Lifestyle & Accessory Shop will be open to visitors. Catering facilities, including Cooper’s Bistro, the Bavarie and the two-star EssZimmer restaurant, will also be available to visitors from May 25. In the meantime, Cooper’s offers a food and beverage to-go service. 

From May 16, there will be opportunities to test-drive the all-electric MINI SE on the forecourt of BMW Welt Every day between 10 am and midday and between 2 pm and 4 pm, visitors can sit behind the wheel of the fully electric MINI SE and take it for a test drive subject to prior registration and compliance with all hygiene regulations. Registration is completed directly on site.

AutoInformed.com on COVID-19

More deaths are coming because of a lack of a national strategy.

AutoInformed.com on COVID Death Toll Caused by Trump Administrations Lack of Actions

Trump’s Failure to Act caused and is causing Preventable Deaths. Opening up the economy any time soon by Trump is self-centered, heartless and unnecessary in the view of a growing number of critics of Republican actions.

Chattanooga Motorcar Festival, originally scheduled for Oct. 16-18, has been postponed until Oct. 15-17 2021, it was announced today 14 July. “Chattanooga Motorcar Festival began with the goal of being one of the greatest car events in America, where car lovers and their families could gather and admire the beauty of classic and historic cars,” said event founder Byron DeFoor on 14 July 2020. “The DeFoor Brothers have fought to continue to build momentum through the coronavirus.

“We’ve decided the odds are stacked too deeply against us. The elements that make our event special can’t be held safely at the level that we owe our attendees and participants. As a result, we have decided to make the difficult but responsible decision to postpone this year’s Chattanooga Motorcar Festival until Oct. 15-17, 2021.

“The world is a different place today, and hopefully for only the next few months. We all are looking forward to brighter days where we can move full speed. Please join us next year. We thank all our fans, car collectors, judges, racers and local business owners for their continuing support of the Chattanooga Motorcar Festival, which benefits neuroscience research. We will do everything in our power to ensure a successful, safe and fun event in 2021.” For additional information on the Festival, go to www.chattanoogamotorcar.com.

Circuit of the Americas  – MotoGP Grand Prix of the Americas will be postponed until November 15.  IndyCar canceled its April 26 race in Austin. The Formula 1 race scheduled for October may not occur.

Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este skips 2020. The organizers of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este – the Grand Hotel Villa d’Este and BMW Group Classic – have jointly come to the “difficult decision to postpone the event planned for October 2020 until 28th – 30th May 2021.” Apart from the machinery on display, the guests themselves are the stars of the show from the often snobbish collecting world, but also the home-grown enthusiasts and their families from the surrounding region. “After careful analysis and taking into account the travel restrictions still in place worldwide, it is with a heavy heart that we have decided that current circumstances would not allow us to do the world’s oldest Concorso d’Eleganza justice in 2020,” said the organizers. Preparation for May 2021 is underway. All the weekend highlights planned for 2020 will carry over to 2021. 

Cool Cars for Kids Cancels Philadelphia Concours D’Elegance saying due to the COVID-19 pandemic its annual fundraising event – the upcoming Fourth Annual Philadelphia Concours d’Elegance on 24-25 April 2020 – is canceled.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) on 13 May said that Cooper Tire Europe plans to begin the process of reopening its manufacturing plant in Melksham, England, in the first half of June, and expects to be producing tires there by June 15. The facility, which primarily manufactures motorcycle and racing tires, has been temporarily closed since late March due to coronavirus and its impacts.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company  on 23 April announced that its manufacturing plants in the United States and Serbia will begin the process of reopening and ramping up production next week. The facilities have been temporarily closed for approximately five weeks due to coronavirus and its impacts.

Copper also announced that the federal government is requiring Cooper to temporarily close its Mexican plant beginning 28 April. Cooper had reopened its Mexico plant on 13 April after it had been closed due to coronavirus and its impacts. U.S. plant locations include Findlay, Ohio, Clarksdale and Tupelo, Mississippi and Texarkana, Arkansas. Cooper’s plant in Serbia is located in Kruševac. The company’s plant in Melksham, England remains temporarily closed.

Cooper claims that it has put in place return to work procedures that include required employee disclosures, increased cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, social distancing and physical barriers, visitor restrictions, and other measures. Similar procedures have been effective at Cooper’s two plants in China, which reopened and began ramping up production in mid-February.

Cooper Tire & Rubber said on Friday 21 March that it will shut down its manufacturing facilities in the United States and Mexico to protect the health and safety of employees and respond to market demand that has been declining by the coronavirus pandemic as the U.S. heads into a recession.

Cooper subsequently announced plants in the United States, that is Findlay, Ohio; Clarksdale and Tupelo, Mississippi; and Texarkana, Arkansas, will remain temporarily closed for at least another two weeks. Cooper plants in Europe also continue to be closed. The company’s plants in China continue to operate? Cooper plans to restart operations at its tire plant in El Salto, Mexico beginning April 13.  Measures to protect the health and safety of employees, including social distancing, additional cleaning and disinfecting of facilities, restricted visitor access and other necessary steps will be in effect as employees return to work.

Announcement of the El Salto plant’s temporary closure due to coronavirus impacts was made March 21.

Daimler Group suspended the majority of its production in Europe, as well as work in selected administrative departments, for an initial period of two weeks on 17 March. An extension of this halt will depend on further developments. Wherever operations need to be continued, the company will take appropriate precautions to prevent the infection of its employees.  The suspension applies to Daimler’s car, van and commercial vehicle plants in Europe.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

N.V. (NYSE: FCAU / MTA: FCA) (“FCA”) announced that its subsidiaries FCA Italy and Maserati will temporarily suspend production across the majority of their European manufacturing plants. The updated production plan will temporarily close the following facilities with effect for the month of March:

  • Italy: Melfi, G. Vico (Pomigliano), Cassino, Mirafiori Carrozzerie, Grugliasco, and Modena.
  • Serbia: Kragujevac.
  • Poland: Tychy.
  • Ferrari stops production in Maranello And Modena.

Ford Motor

AutoInformed.com on Failed Re-openings during COVID-19 Plague

Predictable and yet another warning about a deadly disease that is far from understood, let alone curable.

Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant on the city’s Southeast Side was closed Tuesday 19 May for disinfection because two employees tested positive for COVID-19. That meant it was open for just one day. It reopened Wednesday 20 May with two shifts. Another two weeks – the incubation time – will see how well the workers are protected.

“It is important to note that due to incubation time, we know these employees did not contract COVID-19 while at work. Our protocols are in place to help stop the spread of the virus,” said Kelli Felker, Ford global manufacturing and labor communications manager.

An untold number of Ford employees in contact with Chicago are now in quarantine. Chicago makes the highly profitable – for stockholders who are not at risk – 2020 Ford Explorer, Lincoln Aviator and Police Interceptor SUVs. Ford started resuming production and operations in the United States on 18 May. The company claims it has implemented safety and care measures globally to help support a safe environment for the company’s workforce, including health assessment measures, personal protective equipment and facility modifications to increase social distancing. There was a slow start of a shift Wednesday evening at the Dearborn Assembly plant, which builds the highly profitable F-150 pickup. It was scheduled to begin a second shift at 6 p.m. The first shift was sent home early to allow deep cleaning. Apparently at least one worker tested COVID-19 positive.

“Tonight, a small group of employees at Dearborn Truck Plant raised concerns after Ford communicated that an employee on an earlier shift had tested positive for COVID-19,” said Felker.

Ford Pauses Production at Kansas City Assembly for COVID-19 Case. Ford employees are deep cleaning and disinfecting an employees’ work area, equipment, team area and the path that the employee take while at the plant. “We are temporarily pausing production at Kansas City Assembly Plant – on the Transit side – until the deep cleaning is completed. “We are notifying people known to have been in close contact with the infected individual and asking them to self-quarantine for 14 days,” Ford said.

Ford North America: “In light of various governments’ orders to stay and work from home, Ford is not planning to restart our plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico on Monday, March 30 as originally hoped.” Statement 24 March.

Ford Stops Production in India, South Africa, Thailand and Vietnam – its International Markets Group (IMG) manufacturing sites in response to the growing impact of the coronavirus. It did not say if workers will be paid in these low-wage areas. (23 March)

Ford Suspends European Production:

  • Vehicle and engine production suspended at Ford’s main manufacturing sites in continental Europe from Thursday 19 March.
  • Temporary suspension of production expected to last for a number of weeks depending on pandemic situation, national restrictions, supplier constraints and dealer stock requirements
  • Action taken as national governments restrict all but essential travel and personal contact, and with vehicle sales and component suppliers affected across the continent

The 2019/2020 ABB FIA Formula E Championship has been officially suspended since 13th March 2020.

Formula 1 World Championship will start with the Austrian GP, now scheduled this year with races in consecutive weekends on July 4-5 and July 11-12 to run at the Red Bull Ring.

Genesis Motor America will have two  product launches in 2020; its first-ever luxury flagship SUV: the 2021 Genesis GV80 and the all-new 2021 Genesis G80 mid-size luxury sedan. “Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 related delays we need to adjust timing for their arrival in the US Market to the fall of 2020.” (26 July)

Goodwood is postponing (26 March) the Festival of Speed to later this year from its original July 9-12 and is currently exploring potential alternative dates for late summer or early autumn. Tickets already purchased for this year’s event will remain valid for the new date.

 2020 Great Race already delayed is now officially postponed until 2021 (6 July).  “Not for lack of trying on the part of the entire race staff, but the 2020 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty Drivers Club has been rescheduled for June of 2021 due to concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, race organizers announced on Thursday. “The race was originally scheduled for late June, however, the pandemic caused race organizers to shift gears and move the event to August 22-29. With the recent uptick in infection rates, the event staff and major sponsors… have now decided it was prudent to postpone the event until June of 2021.”

Greenwich Concours d’Elegance has been canceled due to corona virus health concerns, Hagerty announced today 16 March. Anyone who has purchased a ticket to the 2020 event, originally scheduled for May 30-31 at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, will receive a full refund through Showclix.com within 7-10 business days.

IndyCar

Simon Pagenaud driver of the #22 Menards Team Penske IndyCar Chevrolet V6 took the checkered flag Friday, July 17, 2020, winning the first of two NTT IndyCar Series Iowa IndyCar 250 races at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. Pagenaud came from last to first to win the race.

AutiInformed.com on Public Health Theats from sports

Duh…

IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway April 2020:“Our priority is to still run the 104th Indianapolis 500 as scheduled on May 24.” (slim chance tone-deaf IndyCar – editor)

“This continues to be a dynamic situation which we are monitoring constantly in coordination with federal, state, local and public health officials. We are planning for all contingencies and will be prepared to run the GMR Grand Prix and Indy 500 as the COVID-19 situation permits.”

Lexus Design – Senses Electrified – at 2020 Milan Design Week along with Milan Design have been cancelled as of 14 April. The 2020 Lexus Design Award Grand Prix winner announcement, which had been scheduled for the same time, will be held separately at a date to be announced once details are confirmed.

London Motor Show Is Now Returning in July 2021

The London Motor Show is set to return to the Evolution London venue in Battersea Park from 16th to 18th July 2021 with a special association with Carl Cox Motorsports, a multi discipline team headed up by international superstar DJ Carl Cox. Next year’s event will see the show concentrate on technology, electric and hybrid vehicles and luxury brands alongside classics and city cars. There will also be new additions to the show including the motorsport and motorcycle areas as well as live music performances. London Motor Show 2021 early bird adult day time tickets will be on sale from September 2020 with children aged 11 or under going free (two children per paying adult), and can be purchased at www.thelondonmotorshow.co.uk

Maserati says its Brand relaunch event “MMXX: The Way Forward”, originally planned for May 2020, has been postponed to September in light of the current situation. As previously stated, the event will be held in Modena and will inaugurate the Brand’s new Era.

MAZDA

The Mazda Motor Corporation said that as of today (7/22/20), almost all Mazda dealerships worldwide, including in Europe, have resumed sales operations. Mazda has decided to return operations to normal or to pre-pandemic levels starting from August. At the plants in Japan, Mexico and Thailand, which are producing vehicles for the European market, all adjustments implemented due to the spread of the novel coronavirus will end in July 2020. In Japan overtime hours and work on holidays will be resumed. “We will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation as well as the trends of automobile demand in each market where our vehicles are shipped.”

Mazda Continues to Resume Operations: 22 May – All factories in Japan, Ujina Plant No.1, Ujina Plant No.2, Hofu Plant No.1 and Hofu Plant No.2, will be free of suspensions and are expected to operate day-shifts only during June. Mazda de Mexico Vehicle Operation, which stopped operations from April to May, will also resume production in June. The total volume planned for June, combining major production facilities in Japan, Mexico and Thailand that produce vehicles for global markets is expected to be more than double the volumes seen in May.

NASCAR

This weekend Dover International Speedway will run a doubleheader at the same facility in consecutive days, joining Pocono Raceway (June 27-28, 2020) and Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 8-9, 2020). First up, is Saturday’s Drydene 311 (1) at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, followed by Sunday’s Drydene 311 at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The two Cup events this weekend at Dover International Speedway will be mirror images of each other. Both races are 311 laps each (311 miles) and each race is broken up into three stages. The first stage for both races is 70 laps, the second stage is 115 laps and the final stage is 126 laps.

The official opening of Dover International Speedway, then called Dover Downs International Speedway, was in 1969. Dover has hosted 100 NASCAR Cup Series races, dating back to the inaugural event on July 6, 1969 – won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty (Ford). The 100 NASCAR Cup Series races at Dover have produced 42 different pole winners and 37 different race winners.

NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in poles at Dover with six (1969, 1973 sweep, 1974, 1975, 1981). Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Newman (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007) and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin (2012, 2013, 2015, 2019) lead all active series drivers in poles at Dover with four each. Hendrick Motorsport’s Jimmie Johnson leads the series in wins at Dover with 11 victories (2002 sweep, 2005 Playoffs, 2009 sweep, 2010 Playoffs, Spring of 2012, 2013 Playoffs, Spring of 2014, Spring of 2015 and Spring of 2017).

There are nine former Cup Dover winners entered this weekend – Johnson (11 wins), Kyle Busch (three), Martin Truex Jr. (three), Matt Kenseth (three), Ryan Newman (two), Kevin Harvick (two), Brad Keselowski (one), Chase Elliott (one) and Kurt Busch (one). Truex is the most recent winner entered this weekend, taking the checkered flag at Dover in last year’s May race.

Last season, Chase Elliott won the pole for the first Dover (May) race and then Denny Hamlin won the pole for the second Dover (Oct.) race setting a new track record at 166.984 mph, 21.559 seconds. This season, the Cup Dover pole for the Drydene 311 (1) was decided by metric qualifying and Hendrick Motorsport’s Chase Elliott, who is coming off his second win of the season last weekend at the Daytona Road Course, will start first and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin will complete the front row for Saturday’s race, starting second.

Playoff Bubble: Three Races Left to Clinch a Postseason Spot

With only three races remaining in the NASCAR Cup Series regular season time is running out for the competitors vying for the final six Playoff transfer spots. A total of 10 drivers have clinched their spot in the postseason on wins – Kevin Harvick (six wins), Denny Hamlin (five), Brad Keselowski (three), Chase Elliott (two), Joey Logano (two), Ryan Blaney (one), Martin Truex Jr. (one), Alex Bowman (one), Austin Dillon (one), Cole Custer (one).

NASCAR – 5 August – announced two competition procedure changes that it will implement ahead of the Playoffs in all three national series. Starting with this weekend’s races at Michigan International Speedway, NASCAR will incorporate the ‘choose rule’ into the restart procedure for all national series races except those held on road courses and superspeedways (Daytona and Talladega).

The rule made its NASCAR national series debut during the NASCAR All-Star Race at Bristol Motor Speedway last month. As drivers approach a designated spot on the track, they must commit to the inside or outside lane for the restart. The rule will add strategy and is especially important on those tracks that have a distinctly dominant lane on restarts; the drivers will have their choice of track position or the preferred lane as the race returns to green flag conditions.

In addition, beginning with the Daytona Road Course event, NASCAR will now use three competition-based performance metrics to determine the starting lineup – including the Busch Pole Award in the NASCAR Cup Series and the Cometic Gaskets Pole Award in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series – and pit selection order for each race, replacing the random draw procedure that has been in place for a majority of races since NASCAR’s return to racing at Darlington Raceway in May.

“Following discussions with our race teams and the broader industry, NASCAR will continue to conduct its race weekends without practice and qualifying for the remainder of the 2020 season in all three national series. The current format has worked well in addressing several challenges during our return to racing. Most importantly, we have seen competitive racing week-to-week.  NASCAR will adjust the starting lineup draw procedure for the Playoff races and will announce the new process at a later date,”  said Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President, Competition.

NASCAR tannounced the final installment of events in the revised 2020 schedule, including the full Playoffs schedule for all three national series.

In the NASCAR Cup Series, all 10 playoff venues and dates will remain intact from the original 2020 schedule, with the postseason kicking off at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, Sept. 6 (NBCSN, 6 p.m. ET) and culminating with the crowning of a champion for the first time at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday, Nov. 8 (NBC, 3 p.m. ET).

In the Xfinity Series, one new venue, Talladega Superspeedway, has been added as the second race in the opening round of the playoffs on Saturday, Oct. 3 (NBCSN, 4:30 p.m. ET) while Bristol Motor Speedway moves to the regular season finale on Friday, Sept. 18 (NBCSN, 7 p.m. ET). The Playoffs will now begin at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 26 (NBCSN, 7:30 p.m. ET).

The  Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will visit two new venues during the series’ playoff run – Kansas Speedway on Friday, Oct. 16 (FS1, 7 p.m. ET) and Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 25 (FS1, Noon ET), which is the new date for the race from Texas that was postponed on Friday, March 27. Bristol Motor Speedway will now serve as the Playoffs opener for the Gander Trucks on Thursday, Sept. 17 (FS1, 7:30 p.m. ET). Finally, the Gander Trucks will visit Richmond Raceway on Thursday, Sept. 10 (FS1, 8 p.m. ET) for the regular season finale – fulfilling the race that was originally scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 18.

NASCAR’s modified event procedures and protocols were designed in accordance with public health officials, medical experts and local, state and federal officials. NASCAR will determine if fans are allowed entrance to NASCAR events on a market-by-market basis, in accordance with local and state guidelines.

The final installment of the 2020 schedule is as follows (Note: Playoff opening races are in bold type.):

 

DATE

TRACK

SERIES

DISTANCE

NET

START (ET)

Sat, Sept. 5

Darlington

Xfinity

200 mi

NBC

     12:30 PM

Sun, Sept. 6

*Darlington

Gander Trucks

200 mi

FS1

     2:00 PM

Sun, Sept. 6

Darlington

Cup

501 mi

NBCSN

     6:00 PM

Thu, Sept. 10

Richmond

Gander Trucks

187 mi

FS1

     8:00 PM

Fri, Sept. 11

Richmond

Xfinity

187 mi

NBCSN

     7:00 PM

Sat Sept. 12

*Richmond

Xfinity

187 mi

NBCSN

     2:30 PM

Sat, Sept 12

Richmond

Cup

300 mi

NBCSN

     7:30 PM

Thu, Sept. 17

Bristol

Gander Trucks

107 mi

FS1

     7:30 PM

Thu, Sept. 17

Bristol

ARCA Menards

107 mi

FS1

     9:30 PM

Fri, Sept. 18

Bristol

Xfinity

160 mi

NBCSN

     7:00 PM

Sat, Sept. 19

Bristol

Cup

266 mi

NBCSN

     7:30 PM

Fri, Sept. 25

Las Vegas

Gander Trucks

201 mi

FS1

     9:00 PM

Sat, Sept. 26

Las Vegas

Xfinity

300 mi

NBCSN

     7:30 PM

Sun, Sept. 27

Las Vegas

Cup

400 mi

NBCSN

     7:00 PM

Sat, Oct. 3

Talladega

Gander Trucks

250 mi

FS1

     1:00 PM

Sat. Oct. 3

*Talladega

Xfinity

300 mi

NBCSN

     4:30 PM

Sun, Oct. 4

Talladega

Cup

500 mi

NBC

     2:00 PM

Sat, Oct. 10

Charlotte Roval

Xfinity

155 mi

NBC

     3:30 PM

Sun, Oct. 11

Charlotte Roval

Cup

253 mi

NBC

     2:30 PM

Fri, Oct. 16

*Kansas

Gander Trucks

200 mi

FS1

     7:00 PM

Fri, Oct. 16

Kansas

ARCA Menards

150 mi

FS2

     10:00 PM

Sat, Oct. 17

Kansas

Xfinity

300 mi

NBCSN

     3:00 PM

Sun, Oct. 18

Kansas

Cup

400 mi

NBC

     2:30 PM

Sat. Oct. 24

Texas

Xfinity

300 mi

NBCSN

     4:30 PM

Sun, Oct. 25

Texas

Gander Trucks

220 mi

FS1

     Noon

Sun, Oct. 25

Texas

Cup

501 mi

NBCSN

     3:30 PM

Fri, Oct. 30

Martinsville

Gander Trucks

105 mi

FS1

     8:00 PM

Sat, Oct. 31

Martinsville

Xfinity

131 mi

NBC

     4:30 PM

Sun, Nov. 1

Martinsville

Cup

263 mi

NBC

     2:00 PM

Fri, Nov. 6

Phoenix

Gander Trucks

150 mi

FS1

     8:00 PM

Sat, Nov. 7

Phoenix

ARCA Menards West

100 mi

Trackpass

     2:00 PM

Sat, Nov. 7

Phoenix

Xfinity

200 mi

NBCSN

     5:00 PM

Sun, Nov. 8

Phoenix

Cup

312 mi

NBC

     3:00 PM

The NASCAR Cup Series continues with a pair of races this weekend, Saturday, Aug. 8 and Sunday, Aug. 9, at Michigan International Speedway. Saturday’s race will air live at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio while Sunday’s tilt will start at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 *The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races at Darlington (Sept. 6) and Kansas (Oct. 16) have been realigned from Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and Eldora Speedway, respectively. The NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Richmond (Sept. 12) and Talladega (Oct. 3) have been realigned from Michigan and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, respectively.

NASCAR said on 21 July that the 2020 season will be run without practice and qualifying in all three national series.

NASCAR 8 July: Jimmie Johnson returns to racing. Hendrick Motorsports driver and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson will return to competition this weekend at Kentucky Speedway after being sidelined last weekend due to testing positive for COVID-19. Per NASCAR rules, a competitor that tests positive for COVID-19 must be able to provide two negative tests 24 hours apart from each other to be granted access to return to racing. It was announced on Wednesday morning that Johnson medically cleared to return to NASCAR competition. He has also been granted a Playoff eligible waiver.

NASCAR 3 July: Jimmie Johnson Covid Positive. “Following the guidelines outlined in the Event Operations Protocol manual, Jimmie Johnson has alerted NASCAR that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

NASCAR Cancels Nashville Champion’s Week and Awards (6/29): “With the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus and the impact on the industry, this year’s NASCAR Champion’s Week and NASCAR Cup Series Awards originally scheduled to take place in Nashville will not occur. The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series champions will be celebrated at the end of the season with more details to come. We look forward to returning to Nashville in 2021.”

NISSAN

The 23rd NISMO Festival, an annual fan appreciation event, was scheduled to take place Dec. 6 at Japan’s Fuji Speedway. The decision to cancel this year’s festival was made to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and safety of fans, participating teams, exhibitors, and Nissan and NISMO employees. Nissan and NISMO will make every effort to further improve the event for next year and beyond, in the hope that more fans than ever will look forward to and enjoy the NISMO Festival in the future.

Nissan is extending production downtime again (7 May) for most of its manufacturing facilities in the U.S. Nissan will continue to evaluate the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, current market demand and supplier readiness before setting a restart date. Nissan is further extending production downtime at all of its U.S. manufacturing facilities until at least mid-May. (It’s now “indefinitely” as of 7 May) Some business-essential work that must be done on site will continue with so-called enhanced safety measures. “We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make adjustments as needed,” Nissan said in an e-statement on Thursday 16 April 2020.

New York Auto Show Canceled: The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center continues to be closed for all expo business due to its role as a field hospital for COVID-19 cases. Although it currently has no patients, the facility remains set-up as an active hospital and is in standby mode for the foreseeable future. Because of this, organizers of the New York International Auto Show have decided the next Show will take place April 2 – 11, 2021. Press Days are March 31 & April 1. “Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have worked closely with the Governor’s office and with Javits officials to protect our attendees,” said Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, the organization that owns and operates the New York Auto Show. We also understand the immense planning needed for the automakers and their exhibit partners to construct a show of this magnitude. Because of the uncertainty caused by the virus, we feel it would not be prudent to continue with the 2020 Show and instead are preparing for an even greater 2021.”

North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) announced today (29 March) that it is canceling the June 2020 show in Detroit because of the global corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will likely convert the Convention Hall (TCF Center) into a field hospital for an unknown period of time.

Peugeot Shareholders’ General Meeting is postponed. tThe General Meeting, initially scheduled on 14 May to 25 June  2020. A press release will be issued at a later date to explain the arrangements for this Shareholders’ Meeting and the payment of the dividend, considering the ongoing merger project between FCA and Groupe PSA, announced 18 December 2019.

Porsche is restarting production on a site- and task-specific basis on Monday 4 May 2020. “All the required measures have been taken in advance to guarantee the safety for employees and so that production can be increased in stages up to full capacity,” Porsche claimed in a statement. Porsche stopped its two factories on 21 March for two weeks. with bottlenecks in supply chains, they remained closed for six weeks as orderly production was impossible.

Renault’s Board of Directors is postponing (25 March) the Annual General Meeting of shareholders scheduled for 24 April 2020 to a future date in May or June.

AutoInformed.com on delayed Salon Prive' until late September

The 2019 sans COVID Salon Privé edition.

Salon Privé  revised announced 2020 dates (17 April ) moves the 2020 edition back 3 weeks, with the event now taking place (maybe – editor) from Wednesday 23rd to Saturday 26 September. “The event’s success depends upon a number of parameters, with public safety and confidence remaining a prerequisite; we therefore believe this is a sensible response to the data we all have before us at the time of writing,” said the Directors of Salon Privé. In 2019, Salon Privé showed more than 2,100 classic, super and hyper cars to ~25,000 guests over 4 days in early-September 2020.

Toyota GAZOO Racing decided not to participate in the 48th edition of the 24 Hours of Nurburgring Endurance Race (“24 Hours of Nurburgring”), which is scheduled to take place September 24 to 27, 2020. Originally set to be held in May, the race was moved to September as a result of COVID-19.

Toyota postpones NA Operations openings until 11 May.In another indication of the chaos created by the Trump Administration’s mis-handling of the Covid plague, Toyota will postpone its scheduled ramp up of its North American manufacturing operations from the week of May 4 to the week of May 11. The decision was made after an “an extensive review with our supplier and logistics network… As previously stated, Toyota intends to gradually resume its manufacturing operations in compliance with federal health and safety guidelines, and local and state ordinances where our facilities are located. The health and safety of our employees and stakeholders remain a top priority and we have implemented new protocols at all of our North American manufacturing plants to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

Volkswagen has decided to postpone the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders for fiscal year 2019 due to the spread of corona virus and the measures in connection with containing the virus. Group CFO Frank Witter said: “The health of our shareholders, employees and service providers has top priority. For that reason, we will be arranging a new date for the Annual General Meeting originally scheduled for May 7.” The precise date and procedure for the Annual General Meeting 2020 of Volkswagen AG will be announced in due course, depending on further developments in the wave of infection.

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