Don’t Hold Your Breathe Waiting for the New Hummer EV

Ken Zino of on 2021 GMC Hummer EV.

Click to enlarge. More photos below.

GMC says that its all-electric truck debuts in fall, beginning production fall of 2021. So, HUMMER hype begins. The EV’s on- and off-road abilities will appear closer to debut – delayed by COVID. Engineering targets of 1000 hp and 11,500 lb. ft. torque mean a zero-to-60 mph acceleration time of ~3 seconds.

Meanwhile Jeep and Ford electrification appear to have a couple of laps up on Hummer, which is in the pits, err, GM prototyping. It all depends on how buyers choose – hybrids or pure EVs? Conservative buyers, aka truck buyers, have thus far shunned such powertrains. Pure EVs are expensive (the Cadillac ELR abject failure comes to mind) compared to hybrids and conventional vehicles. At least HUMMER EV wanna-bees have time to save the large amounts of currency that will be required for either a lease or purchase.  Continue reading

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Snapshot – The Trump Economic Depression

Ken Zino of on Unchecked Corona Virus Spread in US During July

Covid is now out of control again as Trump and Republicans push for more re-openings and therefore more Corona Virus cases. Chart by the New York Times from Johns Hopkins University Data 28 July 2020

Here are  the latest Census Bureau estimates on the economy. It’s based on responses collected July 9 through July 14, from the Household Pulse Survey estimates during the COVID-19 pandemic. It seems the Census Bureau does other things than voter suppression under the Current Trump pandemic:

  • 50.1% of American adults live in households which have experienced a loss in employment income
  • 35.1% of American adults expect to experience a loss in employment income

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Vehicle Love is Blind in Latest APEAL Study

Ken Zino of on J.D. Power 2020 APPEAL Study

Click to Enlarge.

‘When it comes to driving sales, as well as generating brand loyalty and advocacy, vehicles that create joy for their owners often overcomes any negatives caused by problems they experience,” claims J.D. Power when touting its latest study that is for sale to vehicle makers.

The so-called APEAL Study Power contends measures an owner’s “emotional attachment to their new vehicle and in what areas that vehicle may not be delivering on all the positive experiences that were hoped for.” (Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study) Continue reading

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Daimler Reports Ugly Q2 2020 Results as Sales Drop -34%

Ken Zino of on COVID-19 and Daimler sales

Hit be a truck, err, virus.

Daimler AG (ticker symbol: DAI) today reported its results for Q2 ending 30June 30 2020. The COVID pandemic or the Grim Reaper saw a decline in demand for cars, vans, trucks and buses. Group total sales decreased by -34% to 541,800 cars and commercial vehicles (Q2 2019: 821,700). Revenue slipped significantly by -29% to €30.2 billion (Q2 2019: €42.7 billion). EBIT was minus -€1,682 million (Q2 2019: minus -€1,558 million). Adjusted EBIT was -€708 million (Q2 2019: plus €2,447 million). Continue reading

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Census Bureau: Millions of Americans Who Get Health Coverage from Employers Could Lose It During COVID-19

Most Americans receive health insurance through their job or a family member’s job. So, when workers lose their jobs, they — and their family members — run the risk of losing their health coverage as well. This come from an analysis of Census Bureau data by Edward R. Berchick and Laryssa Mykyta*

Previously released estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) show that ~55.1% of the U.S. population – 178 million people – had employer-sponsored insurance or ESI in 2018.  Continue reading

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MIT Research: Widespread Autonomous Driving is at Least One Decade Away. Maybe More.

The MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future has released a new research brief examining the future of autonomous vehicles. It says “despite substantial recent progress by the industry, fully automated driving systems that have no safety driver onboard will take at least a decade to deploy over large areas, even in regions with favorable weather and infrastructure; winter climates and rural areas will experience still longer transitions. Expansion will likely be gradual and will happen region-by-region in specific categories of transportation, resulting in wide variations in availability across the country.”  Continue reading

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Porsche Global Sales Drop -12% at 116,964 Through June

Ken Zino of on New 2019 Porsche 911 - November 2018

Ex-Formula One driver Mark Webber with the new Porsche 911. Not surprisingly he praised the sports car.

In the first six months of 2020, Porsche supplied a total of 116,964 cars to customers worldwide. The corona virus crisis and the resulting closures of Porsche Centers over a period of several weeks resulted in a 12% decline in deliveries as compared to the prior year. The Cayenne was the most popular model with a total of 39,245 deliveries, while 34,430 units of the Macan were supplied to customers. With 16,919 deliveries and an increase of 2% as compared to 2019, the 911 sports car also continued to sell. The Taycan likewise continues to be well received by customers: Porsche delivered 4,480 units in the first half of the year within the staggered market launch.  Continue reading

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Ford Motor – Three More Safety Recalls in N.A.

Ford Motor Company is issuing three safety recalls in North America affecting Lincoln cars and SUVs, heavy-duty F-series trucks and 2020 new Escape and Transit vehicles.  It’s the latest example of how electronics can be adversely affected by poor designs that wreak havoc on customer satisfaction. Continue reading

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Bye Bye FCA and PSA. Hello Stellantis on FCA PSA Merger - Over Capacity

Click to Enlarge.

As they move towards the completion of a 50:50 merger in the Combination Agreement announced on 18 December 2019, Peugeot S.A. (“Groupe PSA”) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (“FCA”) (NYSE: FCAU / MTA: FCA) now say the corporate name of the new group will be Stellantis. The Latin verb “stello” meaning “to brighten with stars.” (Mobility Roll of the Die – FCA and PSA Merger, FCA-PSA Merger – Surviving Platforms and Powertrains)

The Stellantis name will be used exclusively at the Group level, as a Corporate brand. The next step in the process will be the unveiling of a logo that with the name will become the corporate brand identity. The names and the logos of the Stellantis Group’s basic brands will remain unchanged. What actually happens to the brands is an entirely different matter. Continue reading

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Team Corvette C8.R Finishes First at Sebring

Ken Zino of on IMSA and Corvette Racing

“This means a lot. Our last win was at VIR in 2017. From then until now, you look at all the times we finished second and how many times we could have won a race,” said Garcia.

Corvette Racing earned the first victory with the new Chevrolet Corvette C8.R, and the team won the 100th time in IMSA competition Saturday as Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor claimed the IMSA WeatherTech 240 at Daytona.

The race in GTLM had multiple tire strategies. Both Corvettes opted to begin the race on slick Michelin tires despite the wet surface. Gavin, after leading a Corvette 1-2 in qualifying earlier in the day, began first but Taylor was one of quickest drivers in the class early on and managed to go one lap longer on fuel than most of his GTLM competitors during his opening stint. Continue reading

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Census Bureau on Trump Economy

AutoInformed Ken Zion of on Trump Economy

Click to Enlarge. And Worry?

Based on U.S. Census Bureau Pulse Survey just released with survey  responses collected and compiled July 2 through July 7.

The Household Pulse Survey now estimates that during the COVID-19 pandemic: Continue reading

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Ford Bronco Sequel Appears with First-Ever Four-Door

Ken Zino of on 2021 Ford Bronco

Pre-production 2021 two-door Bronco Black Diamond series in Cyber Orange. Click to Enlarge.

In Covid-free electronic debuts – some during sporting-like events with empty stands – the 2021 Bronco two-door and the first-ever four-door have appeared in what Ford is marketing as the flagship of an all-new family of rugged off-road vehicles. About the only thing standard is the marketing hype.

The all-4×4 has – what else – cliched heritage-inspired style, engineering and off-road technology, plus some doodads “to help outdoor enthusiasts create adventures in the most remote corners of the world.” The all-new Bronco after years of hype and hope at Ford appears with an all-4×4 lineup. Production begins in early 2021. The first models might appear in Ford dealerships next spring.
Continue reading

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Audi R8 V10 Quattro – Kaput, Tschüss

AutoInformed - Ken Zino of on demise of Audi R8 V10 quattro

Cars are an endangered species as people flock to trucks.

Audi of America says a limited edition of 30 R8 V10 quattro models marks the end of the ten-year run of the R8 V10. The units bring technologies and other items previously reserved for the performance version and adds different interior and exterior design elements. The limited edition R8 V10 quattro is scheduled go on sale this summer with an MSRP of $186,000 for the Coupe and $195,900 for the Spyder.

The R8 V10 performance model will continue for the 2021 model year, but given the ongoing global economic crisis, Covid 19 plague, and that most governments increasingly are taking legislative action against global warming and CO2 output – it clearly is on the endangered species list. It could survive only as a model for e-racing simulations. Continue reading

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District of Columbia, 15 States to Completely Wipe Out Toxic Diesel Fumes By 2050 in New MOU

Ken Zino of on toxic diesel truck and bus fumes

“One of our primary goals was to position Windsor among the first cities in North America to pioneer the efficient use of electric buses,” said Chinese company BYD.

Today, 15 states and the District of Columbia announced a joint memorandum of understanding so that 100% of all new medium- and heavy-duty vehicle sales be zero emission vehicles by 2050, with an interim target of 30% zero-emission vehicle sales by 2030.

While trucks and buses only account for 4% of vehicles on the road, they are responsible for ~25% of total transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions. Included in the sweeping reform are large pickup trucks and vans, delivery trucks, box trucks, school and transit buses, and long-haul delivery trucks (big-rigs). Continue reading

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First Look – Jeep Wrangler Rubicon V8 Concept

Ken Zino of on Wrangler Rubicon V8 Concept

Click to Enlarge.

Yes, there’s a truck performance war under way. The Ford Bronco is due to be unveiled tonight. Consider: Jeep has just electronically introduced its new Wrangler Rubicon 392 Concept, powered by a 6.4-liter (392 cubic-inch) V8 engine that delivers  a claimed 450 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft. of torque. This means a 0-60 mph elapsed time in less than 5 seconds.  Continue reading

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