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Auto News For Friday, October 23, 2015 – GM Slows Chevrolet Sonic Production

2016 Mini Cooper S Convertible blue

Here are the six must-read, must-watch auto news stories, recalls and videos for Friday, October 23, 2015.

With the bulk of new Mini sales coming from the company’s biggest models, much of the attention the media pays to BMW’s Mini brand does not revolve around the niche models. And while the Coupe and Roadster are done, BMW’s Mini is forging ahead with a third-generation of the Mini Convertible. 

General Motors is eliminating a shift, and thus 500 jobs, at the plant in Orion Township, Michigan, because consumers don’t want subcompact cars. GM’s subcompact, the Chevrolet Sonic, suffered a 35% year-over-year U.S. sales decline in 2015’s first three quarters. The workers should be able to find work at another GM plant.

Retail sales in Canada increased at a far faster rate than anticipated in August, StatsCan says. But much of the retail sector was flat. The reason for the more significant increase? Auto sales. August new vehicle sales volume was up by more than 2% in Canada. 

It’s not the Camaro you want, but it’ll likely be the one you’ll rent if you get a lucky upgrade from a Chrysler 200 in Orlando next winter. Car & Driver reviews the 2016 Camaro V6 with an automatic, saying, “The V6 pulls surprisingly hard and sounds fantastic while doing so,” and, “The optional eight-speed automatic is nearly as flawless.”

Toyota is recalling 2,000,000 vehicles of various nameplates (2009-2011 Tundra, Sequoia, Corolla, Matrix, Scion xB; 2008-2011 Highlander; 2007 Camry; 2009 Camry; 2006-2011 RAV4; 2006-2010 Yaris; 2009-2010 Scion xD and Pontiac Vibe), because, “During the manufacturing of the Power Window Master Switch, grease lubricant may have been inconsistently applied to the sliding electrical contacts.”

Mazda is recalling 1,368,500 older products (1989-1998 MPV; 1990-1995 323; 1990-1998 Protege; 1992-1993 MX-3; 1993-1995 929; 1993-1997 MX-6; 1993-1998 626) because, “grease applied to the contact points inside the ignition switch may become conductive and overheat.”

In a smaller announcement, Mercedes-Benz is recalling 2580 copies of the 2015 S550 4Matic Coupe; the AMG S63 4Matic Coupe and the AMG S65 because, ” left-side front seat belts may have been installed on the right-side and vice versa.”

Hurricane Patricia is the strongest hurricane ever measured in the western hemisphere. Set to make landfall near Puerto Vallarta later today, Patricia’s sustained winds already top 200 mph.