Simanaitis Says

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AUTOMOTIVE NEWS UPDATES ON COVID-19 PART 1

YOU’D THINK THE world’s auto industry would be flatter these days than a midwest Interstate. However, there’s still news to be read in the weekly Automotive News. Here, in Parts 1 and 2 today and tomorrow, are tidbits selected for one reason or another (as, of course, tidbits tend to be). To give them some coherence, they’re arranged in chronological order of appearances in Automotive News..

NADA Show in Las Vegas. On February 14–17, 2020, the National Automobile Dealers Association, NADA for short, held its annual show with plenty of handshakes and hugs amid a still-glitteringly lit Las Vegas.

Image from Automotive News, February 24, 2020.

The focus of Automotive News, February 24, 2020, was “Letting Loose at NADA. The NADA Show in Las Vegas did not disappoint. From country music to cocktails to puppies, there was a little something for everyone.”

Another headline read, “Is It Time to Panic Over AVs? It Depends.”

In retrospect, autonomous vehicles were only a trifling matter.

Geneva Show Canceled. Automotive News, March 2, 2020, announced “Geneva’s Cancellation Another Blow to Car Shows.” As a general trend, auto shows had taken on diminished importance. Consumers get information online; auto journalists, on thumb drives.

Automotive News said this time, “Automakers are counting the cost of the sudden cancellation of the Geneva auto show last week in response to health threats from the coronavirus epidemic.”

Its added coverage that week included coronavirus items headed “As outbreak widens, so does disruption,” “China dealers bear brunt of the turmoil,” and “Parts worries rattle Japan.”

Image from Automotive News, March 2, 2020.

The Ghosn Caper. As a respite of sorts, Automotive News, March 9, 2020, reported that “Carlos Ghosn is on the offensive after jumping bail in Japan and fleeing to Beirut to live as an international fugitive.” The New York Times, January 6, 2020, gives details of the Tokyo/Beirut caper.

Carlos Ghosn, former head of the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance. Reuters photo from Automotive News, March 9, 2020.

In its Opinion column, Automotive News said, “Coronavirus should change how we all work.” Two days later, on March 11, the World Health Organization identified the virus as a pandemic.

Tomorrow in Part 2, Automotive News and the rest of us confront this pandemic. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2020

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