Auto News for Sept. 18

You absolutely have to watch this video of one of the more interesting drives on Planet Earth.

Norway’s Atlantic Ocean Road is 5.2 miles long and features eight bridges as it curves its way across part of the Norwegian Sea and a group of islands. Twelve hurricanes hit the area during construction that took six years to complete according to Wikipedia at a cost of millions of dollars. Waves, wind, and sharp curves keep motorists on their toes during the drive over what has been called the Norwegian Construction of the Century. It is perhaps best viewed on sunny days at low tide. One would hope there is a car wash at either end of the roadway.

Another excellent video is at:

Moody’s has announced that its rating of General Motors will not be affected by the auto firm’s $900 million settlement with the Justice Department. Moody’s said the resolution reduces the uncertainties of the company’s ongoing financial liabilities. GM shares closed the day down 11 cents or one third of a percent on the settlement news.

“This is a tough agreement. It further highlights the mistakes that were made by certain people in GM, and it imposes significant penalties and obligations,” said CEO Mary Barra in a meeting with employees.

In case you missed the announcement, in short, GM will pay a $900 million fine to tentatively settle criminal charges brought by the Justice Department regarding the faulty ignition switches. An independent monitor will oversee GM safety efforts for three years and if no problems develop, charges against GM will be lifted.

Separately, GM has set aside $575 million to settle many of the civil suits filed over the ignition switches that have been linked to 124 deaths. The deal does not cover injuries that occurred prior to the GM bankruptcy reorganization.

Fiat Chrysler’s tentative contract agreement with the United Auto Workers includes a $5.3 billion investment in its U.S. plants, mainly those that crank out trucks and SUV’s. But it also means that much of FCA’s automobile production will be moved to Mexico according to the Detroit News. Such a move would open more assembly line space for the high demand SUV’s and trucks but also might make ratification of the tentative labor contract a more difficult sell in the affected plants. Union leaders will be briefed on the plan today that would leave the Viper as the only car still made in the states, the News said. In essence, high profit margin trucks and SUV’s would remain in U.S. plants with their higher labor costs. Auto production would be in Mexico with its lower labor costs, thus improving the profit margin on those vehicles.

Volkswagen announced that its new infotainment system will be compatible with Apple CarPlay, Google Android Auto and MirrorLink, making it the first automaker to do so. It will taut the system in an advertising blitz featuring Michael Pena, Adam Scott and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.


Anyone remember the 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S? It will be one of the cars Mazda will display tomorrow at a Japanese Classic Car show in Long Beach, California. The 110S was brought to the U.S. by Curtiss-Wright for research into rotary engine applications. A 1972 RX-2 raced by Patrick Bedard and Don Sherman of Car and Driver fame will also be displayed at the show. The Cosmo Sport is pictured.





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