Teaser Image of the MItsubishi Mi-Tech Concept to be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show, as covered in the October 4th episode of AutoInfluence Weekly Automotive News

Truck News, UAW Strike & the Countdown to Tokyo


Annnnd we’re back.  AutoInfluence checking in with current auto news headlines for the past couple of weeks. Sure, we’re playing some catch-up, but thanks for joining us…so, let’s get down to it.

Ford / Lincoln
It was announced that the 2020 Super Duty is continuing Ford’s inarguable reign over the truck segment, delivering some serious Best-in-Class numbers. These include the Max Gooseneck Tow Rating of 37,000 LBS, Max Fifth-Wheel Tow Rating of 32,000 LBS and Max Conventional Tow Rating of 24,200 LBS — all when equipped with the available 6.7-liter Power Stroke Diesel. Rated as the most powerful diesel offered to-date by the automaker, the powertrain also earns Best-in-Class honors for its 475 horsepower rating, further complemented by its 1,050 lb-ft torque rating. And for those opting for the 7.3-liter gas powered V8, you can still enjoy Best-in-Class numbers with 430 hp, 475 lb-ft of torque and a 7,850 LB payload capacity.

That said, Ford also announced Recall #19S31 for select 2019 Super Duty trucks, consisting of 28,579 vehicles in the US, 4,316 in Canada and 73 in Mexico. Affected vehicles might include a passenger-side axle shaft that’s susceptible to fracture. No related accidents or injuries have been reported, but owners are advised to utilize their parking brake pending further advisement. Affected parties will be notified, with replacement to be facilitated at no cost.

In addition, Ford has announced Recall# 19S32 for elect 2020 Ford Explorers, equipped with 2.3 and 3.3-liter engines. The recall is estimated to affect 10,655 U.S. vehicles, most of which are still in dealer possession, and is based around an unsecured wiring harness.

And finally, Safety Compliance Recall# 19C07 regarding the 2020 Ford Escape has been expanded to include approximately 9,350 North American vehicles, mostly in dealer inventory.

GM / Chevy / Buick / Cadillac
As we fast-approach the three-week mark of labor talks between General Motors and the United Auto Workers, the strike has continued on without any resolution. To-date, the UAW has rejected a proposal from GM, refuting proposals related to wages and healthcare, among other concessionary measures. They have however, noted that related negotiations with Ford Motor Company are “progressing very well” with the expectation that any resolution with Ford will take place before before any GM agreements are ratified.

That said, there’s not a lot in the way of GM-related news this week. AutoInfluence would like to send our best wishes to all those involved in, and affected by these negotiations, with hopes that a beneficial resolution is reached sooner rather than later.

FCA / Dodge / RAM / Jeep / Chrysler
When it comes to Q3 sales, RAM has once again bested Chevrolet in the full-size pickup segment, showing that their debut victory back in Q1 might not have been the fluke that Chevy tried to make it out to be. With sales up 14% RAM’s quarterly numbers bested those of the Silverado by more than 6,000 units.

But the sweetness of that victory feels somewhat sullied by FCA’s continuing woes regarding the falsification of sales numbers. Of course, FCA has been undergoing a continuing investigation by the SEC regarding practices designed to “increase sales, maintain the year-over-year sales streak, and hit internal sales targets” between 2013-2016.That said, FCA is now forced to cough up $40 million in penalties and $14.75 million to stockholders along with undisclosed settlements to several dealers.

So with little to cover from Dodge, RAM, Jeep or Chrysler let’s keep moving forward.

Toyota / Lexus
This past week Toyota unveiled the new look to be sported by the C-HR as of 2020, blending the design elements of a sport coupe, hatchback and compact crossover. Measuring 172.6-inches in length on a 103.9-inch wheelbase, the new C-HR conveys a sense of nimble agility, ideal for congested urban areas. Sporting redesigned front frascia, headlamps, bumper, grille and spoiler, the extroverted style also includes a fastback-inspired roofline and widebody-inspired rear quarter panels. It will be served up in three trim levels (LE, XLE and Limited) each of which offers distinctive value-added amenities. It will also be made available in an expressive color palette including Blue Eclipse Metallic, Supersonic Red and Hot Lava Orange, among others. In addition, each will come standard with the widely celebrated Toyota Safety Sense P suite.

And Lexus announced that their NX 300 would be receiving the Black Line treatment with special editions of both the FWD and AWD versions to be served up for 2020. Building on to the value of the Premium Package, the NX 300 Black Line received 18-inch bronze finished wheels combined with one of three distinctive colors: Eminent White Pearl, Nebula Gray Pearl or Matador Red Mica. In addition to other accents and ornamentation on its exterior, and within its cabin, the NX 300 features innovative driver-assistive amenities and an infotainment systes designed to maintain driver focus.

Honda / Acura
Nothing to see here…keep reading.

Nissan / Infiniti / Mitsubishi
Last week, Nissan debuted the redesigned 2020 Nissan Titan at the State Fair of Texas. Last year, the Titan had sat atop J.D. Power’s picks for “Large Light Duty Truck”. For the coming model year, the Titan builds upon this with an aggressive new grille design, lighting configuration and bold new front fascia. Its Integrated Command Center boasts an internal WiFi router, as well as Nissan Safety Shield 360 and an extensive list of advanced safety and driver assistive features.

And Infiniti is sounding the fanfare in anticipation of their upcoming 30th anniversary in November, by releasing a breakdown of what’s new for 2020 on infinitinews.com. For those interested in the forms to be assumed by the Q50, Q60, QX50, QX60 and QX80 for the 2020 model year, head on over the Infiniti news page for a good read, with the promise of further details to follow on each model.

Now, let’s be honest. One of the highlights of motor show season, are the innovative (if not sometimes unrealistic) concept reveals. With the Tokyo Motor Show right around the corner, the often silent Mitsubishi seems to have some attention grabbling concepts in store for us. First the four-wheel drive Mitsubishi Mi-Tech (not sure if that’s “Me” tech, if “My” tech) plug-in hybrid convertible. Devoid of an internal combustion engine, the vehicle substitute a gas turbine to work in conjunction with the four-electric motors. And while we expect more information to be presented in Tokyo, we’d be lying if we said this one hasn’t piqued our curiosity.

And speaking of the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda plans to unveil their all-new EV offering – the first mass-production battery electric vehicle in their lineup – at the show. Few details are available at this time, making it an effective tease. But with the impressive innovation shown by Mazda in recent years, chances are the EV will measure up to the level of expectation placed upon its shoulders. We know we’ll be keeping an eye out.

Volkswagen / Audi / Porsche
With the Volkswagen Group among the first manufactures to commit to the Paris Climate Agreement, the automaker has set an ambitious goal to reduce vehicle CO2 emission by 30%, by the year 2025. This is part of a wider strategy by VW (including Audi and other to establish themselves as a climate-neutral manufacturer by 2050.

After failing to meet its scheduled debut at last month’s Frankfurt Motor Show, VW has announced that the 2020 VW Golf 8 will be unveiled on October 24th. The reveal will take place in Wolfsburg, Germany marking the eight iteration of enduringly popular hatchback.

There’s not a whole lot going on at Tesla aside from some critical press and financial analysis after the automaker missed their projected sales numbers for the 3rd quarter by a couple thousand units. Delivering about 97,000 vehicles against the 99,000 unit projections is a notable target-miss, but is far from damning, and the fact that Q3 orders were at record levels still speaks to Tesla’s credit. That said, it presents a unique challenge to their Q4 backlog, and it’ll be interesting to see how they’ve fared, come January.

If you’re here to criticize the grille design of BMW’s Concept 4, have a seat. Our meetings take place twice daily, at 8AM and 8PM. Otherwise, there’s not much to talk about.

So, that about wraps things up for us. Just a reminder that the Tokyo Motor Show is coming up in a few weeks, opening to the press on October 23rd. Until then, we’ll be checking in with all sorts of current auto news headlines and, in the meantime, say hi to your mom for me.