Automotive News Underground 3/24/2023

Estimated read time 4 min read

Here are the automotive news stories you might have missed this week.

March really has been a month of turmoil with both good and bad news flowing from the automotive industry. This week’s news stories are no different with the end of the line announced for the Chevy Camaro, Land Rover wanting to grow the family, Mississippi dealing a blow to EV startups, and more.

The Camaro is done, for now.

News that Chevrolet killed off the Camaro again spread like wildfire on Wednesday when the automaker dropped an official press release. Many are saying it marks another step towards killing off modern American muscle cars, but others seem to think the Camaro will reemerge soon. That could be, but rumors are it might be an all-electric crossover or a sedan, so is it really the Camaro at that point?

Land Rover wants to expand the Defender family.

If you’re excited about the second-generation Defender, you’re not alone. Recognizing opportunity, Land Rover wants to create a whole “family” of vehicles badged as Defenders, not too dissimilar to what Ford is doing with the Bronco or what Land Rover itself has done with the Range Rover. Could that water down the storied Defender if, say, a grocery getter or something else soft were to be part of the family? Probably, but money could be made and automakers almost always jump at that.

Read more about it here.

Mississippi quashes direct car sales.

If you want to buy a car directly from an automaker and live in Mississippi, you’ll have to travel to another state to take delivery. A new law banning the practice that’s become popular with startup EV brands like Rivian and Tesla has been signed by the governor, joining other states which also won’t allow direct sales. Of course, opinions are split on what this means for consumers.

Read more about it here.

Biden Administration spends big bucks for more “equitable” transportation.

Under the direction of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the US Department of Transportation is doling out over $500 million in grants “to create safer, more equitable, efficient, and innovative transportation systems.” Some of the announced projects actually sound practical, like smart traffic signals and road flood detection systems, but predictably there are plenty of ridiculous ones in the mix. After all, it’s only tax dollars and there are plenty more where those came from, right?

Read the official announcement and get more details here.

French fuel shortages worsen.

Thanks to all the protesting being done in France lately, and we’re not talking about the regular French pastime of protesting everything, there’s a growing fuel shortage in the country. Protestors have been blocking strategic roadways, choking out fuel supplies from refineries. This is an incredible situation with no certain end in sight.

Read more about it here.

Scout scores record South Carolina deal.

Scout Motors, which is owned by Volkswagen, landed a sweet incentives package from the South Carolina Department of Commerce that’s valued at a whopping $1.3 billion. That amount was enough to reportedly set a record for the state, with it cruising through the state legislature before Governor Henry McMaster signed the package. The plan is to build a $2 billion plant in Blythewood and add 4,000 jobs.

Read more about the deal here.

Skoda trashes Euro 7.

Criticism of the European Union’s Euro 7 emissions standards is getting intense lately as automakers and others realize what the extreme measure might actually mean. The latest is Czech auto brand Skoda, which says if the emissions scheme goes forth unchanged the automaker will have to lay off 3,000 people and cut entire model lines. That would mean in total about 10,000 jobs at risk in the Czech Republic and untold economic trouble.

Read more about it here.

Toyota sticks with hydrogen.

Many EV fans were excited to learn Toyota was getting a new CEO since Akio Toyoda has been an outspoken critic of the forced march to BEVs. One of Toyoda’s pet projects was developing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and a delivery network. Now the new CEO, Koji Sato, says that work will continue as the automaker refuses to put all its eggs in one basket. Predictably, the meltdowns are hilarious.

Read more about what Sato said here.

Image via GM

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