The Hottest-Selling Vehicles Are SUVs. But There's One Big Exception.

First Up 01/08/20

USMCA Approval Faces More Delays in Congress
A full U.S. Senate vote on the rewritten North American trade pact will be put off until next week at the earliest, after the deal was referred to multiple committees for review, according to a U.S. Republican aide. Automotive News reports that in addition to the Senate Finance Committee, the accord was also referred to six other panels that could take weeks to consider it. The Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions; Environment and Public Works; Appropriations; Foreign Relations; Commerce, Science, and Transportation; and the Budget committees haven’t announced whether they will take time to examine it. Canada, meanwhile, has said it won’t ratify the deal until its U.S. counterparts do. Canadian Parliament doesn’t resume until Jan. 27. The final U.S. vote could be delayed further if the House sends the Senate two articles of impeachment it adopted against U.S. President Donald Trump in December. Read more here. 

Ghosn's Moment of Truth Arrives as Deposed CEO Prepares to Face Press
After more than a year away from the cameras and microphones, Carlos Ghosn is set to face the media again, this time not as a legendary auto executive, but as the world’s most famous fugitive. The Detroit News reports that while reams have been written about the former chief executive officer of Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA since his arrest in Tokyo in November 2018, he hasn’t spoken publicly beyond a handful of interviews, a hastily recorded video message and court testimony. Come Wednesday, that will change, with Ghosn set to hold a tell-all news conference in Beirut, the city he fled to after his shock escape by private plane from Japan just over a week ago. The former CEO has already hinted he’ll identify those he considers responsible for his downfall, including government officials. Read more here. 

The Hottest-Selling Vehicles Are SUVs. But There's One Big Exception. 
The nation's SUV boom continued in 2019, leaving little oxygen for passenger cars – with one major exception. While most of the hottest vehicles on the American market are SUVs, perhaps the hottest of them all was a plain, old-fashioned compact car, reports USA Today. Minus the old-fashioned. The Tesla Model 3 electric compact car soared in 2019, establishing itself as the best-selling luxury vehicle in the U.S. That feat alone is enough to get it on our list of the hottest-selling vehicles of the year. But the Model 3 has also become one of the best-selling passenger cars of any kind in America. While Tesla doesn't provide a breakdown of sales by country, the company sold nearly 159,000 in the U.S. last year, according to estimates by InsideEVs, which tracks electric car sales. Read more here. 

Feds Claim Past UAW Presidents Jones, Williams Involved in "Racketeering Enterprise"
Federal prosecutors took the investigation into the UAW to another level describing the union’s two previous presidents, Gary Jones and Dennis Williams, as being part of a “racketeering enterprise.” According to The Detroit Bureau, the new charges were leveled in new court documents filed as part of the preliminary hearing in the government’s case against former UAW Region 5 executive Vance Pearson. The hearing in front of the federal magistrate in Detroit was delayed at the request of Pearson’s attorney, who apparently is attempting to negotiate a plea deal on behalf of his client in exchange for his testimony against other union officers, including Jones and Williams. Neither Jones, who resigned from the union presidency in early November, nor Williams, who retired in June of 2018 after four years as president, have been charged by federal authorities. Read more here. 

Audi Shows 3D Head-Up Display, Intelligent Experience Concepts
Audi revealed two larger technology concepts at CES on Tuesday, including the automaker's 3D mixed-reality head-up display and the Audi Intelligent Experience. According to Automotive News, the Audi Intelligent Experience is the automaker's concept for how its customers can experience and interact with cars of the future, Ivo Muth, vice president of user interface and user experience for series production cars for Audi, told reporters. The concept considers how the use of sensors and other technologies such as artificial intelligence can create a personalized driving, sensory and safety experience for drivers based on "learning" their preferences and behaviors in the vehicle. Audi included its self-learning navigation system, which is integrated in Audi MMI systems, in the Intelligent Experience as one example of how customized and individualized Audi vehicles could become. The Intelligent Experience saves preferred destinations, connects drivers with the date, time and current traffic situation, and derives suggested routes from this data, according to the automaker. Read more here. 

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