Here's What Could Hurt Car Sales in 2018

Plus Aston Martin's F1 demand, Ford's recall, and more.

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Welcome to The Grid, R&T's quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.


Interest Rates?

Auto sales in 2017 crested 17 million cars for the fifth time in history and third year in a row. But that trend is not expected to continue in 2018. And could be to blame.

It's expected that there will be three interest rate increases in 2018, which could negatively impact auto sales. If lending rates increase, fewer people will want to take out loans to purchase a car, which could lead to decreased sales. Still, if transaction prices remain high, then the decreased volume won't negatively impact automakers.

Everyone Loves Aston

Aston Martin will be entering F1 as a commercial partner of Red Bull Racing in 2018, and could possibly become an engine supplier when the new regulations start in 2021. And it seems there is

Right now, Red Bull and Toro Rosso would be the most likely teams to get Aston Martin power, but now other independent teams have apparently reached out to Aston about supplying engines. It's likely not Sauber or Haas, as they have deep, deep ties to Ferrari. But Force India and Williams could be testing the waters just in case Mercedes leaves the sport.

Recall Expansion?

In 2016, Ford recalled about 153,000 2011 and 2012 F150s, Expeditions, Navigators, and Mustangs because they'd downshift unexpectedly. Now, NHTSA is investigating the possibility of reopening and expanding the recall to 2013 cars and an additional 1.2 million vehicles. That would make

The recall was for cars unexpectedly downshifting, not just one gear, but down to first while moving.

Indy's Weight Change

The 2018 aerokit for IndyCar's spec Dallara chassis is gorgeous. It also comes with new impact structures to make it even safer than it already is. That does

he cars now have a minimum weight, without the driver and other weights, of 1,620 pounds on road courses and short ovals and 1,590 on superspeedways, a ten pound gain from last year. But it'll be worth it.

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