Owings Mills, MD, Aug. 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MotorWeek, television’s original and longest-running automotive magazine series, cruises into an unprecedented 39th season with an eye on global and domestic manufacturing shifts and their potential effect on consumer new vehicle choices. Host John Davis and the MotorWeek team invite viewers along for a ride that brings the 2020 model year into focus where, even with major shifts in culture and lifestyle, the American car consumer remains in the driver’s seat. MotorWeek premieres on public television stations across the country beginning Saturday, September 7 (check local PBS listings).

While government mandates, especially in Europe and China, are dictating manufacturing trends in the EV (electric vehicle) sector, so far consumer vehicle demand does not match manufacturer investment or enthusiasm. With a mere 2.1 percent worldwide sales for EVs and all plug-in vehicles, and an even smaller 1 percent demand here in the U.S., it could be decades before sales, and thus profits, begin to pay off the enormous investment battery powered vehicles require. Add in the fact that global vehicle demand is slowing due to deteriorating economic conditions, it presents a difficult and uncertain future for automobiles general.

“Still, despite these dark clouds, Americans continue to purchase pick-up trucks and SUV’s in near record numbers, even as traditional sedan sales decline,” says host John Davis. “While consumers are interested in learning more about electric vehicles - and there’s no question that a lot of electrification will be used in all future cars - buyers are still concerned about their high price, range limitations, and the slow growth in the number of charging stations even along frequently traveled routes. These concerns will continue to make EVs niche vehicles at least for the next few years.”

“In this confusing market terrain, which often includes murky claims about autonomous driving capabilities, MotorWeek will continue to report the facts that most effect consumers in their wallets.” says Davis. “As always, our reporters will help navigate the marketplace and identify genuine trends and best values for drivers and their passengers.”

Davis says that amid all the posturing and promises of EVs, the real standout in 2020 is a game-changer in the gasoline-powered performance car category – the all-new, 8th generation, Chevrolet Corvette. Often referred to as the ‘C8’, it is the first Corvette with the engine behind the driver. Up until now, all previous versions of America’s favorite sports car had the engine in the front. The new powertrain arrangement allows for improved handling that matches or exceeds some of the world’s most expensive cars, and all for a base price of under $60,000.”

“On another note, individual car ownership isn’t going away,” says Davis, “But the paradigm for ‘why’ people are buying personal cars is shifting. Millennials, especially, are responsible for the rise in car sharing services like Uber and Lyft, yet, they remain the fastest growing segment among vehicle buyers. They will likely represent about 40 percent of the U.S. new-vehicle market by 2020*, are buying at a higher rate than baby boomers and investing more in their vehicle purchase.”

“With younger buyers putting a higher value on advanced safety systems for their new cars, semi-autonomous driving systems like automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring, are even more in play. Carmakers that make these systems easily affordable stand to increase market share at the expense of those who don’t,” says Davis.

With some 17 million new cars purchased last year, car buying clearly remains a priority with consumers. MotorWeek’s reviews and road tests more than 150 new cars, trucks and sport utilities each season, offering viewers a vicarious experience from behind the driver’s seat as well as from behind the wheel. At the start of season 39 MotorWeek will hit the ignition on a broad variety of all-new models including the new Subaru Outback, Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, Toyota Highlander, Volkswagen Arteon, Cadillac XT6, Hyundai Sonata, Lincoln Corsair, plus a bevy of new heavy duty pickup trucks. Despite soft demand, more and more plug-in electric vehicles are also launching including the Audi eTron and Mercedes EQC.

MotorWeek’s feature line-up includes the return of popular segments such as Goss’ Garage, with master technician Pat Goss, offering know-it-yourself car care advice. “FYI” reporter Stephanie Hart brings consumer-focused updates on driving style and automotive safety; Lauren Morrision keeps viewers in the know with consumer news and trends on “Motor News" and veteran Roger Mecca and “Tire Tracks” continues to fill our bucket list with reviews of the most desirable ultra-high performance cars of the past.

In addition, MotorWeek’s Brian Robinson takes a very hands-on approach for his “Two Wheelin’” reports with reviews of the newest motorcycles and “Over the Edge” reporter Zach Maskell turns up the fun with a look at the auto world in overdrive.

MotorWeek airs on 90 percent of PBS stations nationwide. Viewers can find out which public television stations air MotorWeek by going to the station listings page on motorweek.org

Winner of dozens of prestigious automotive journalism awards, MotorWeek is also seen on Discovery’s MotorTrend cable channel, and on the V-me Spanish-language network.

MotorWeek is available for every type of video screen and mobile device with up-to-the-minute automotive news, instantaneous driving impressions, and exclusive videos online at motorweek.org. More than 500 of the latest MotorWeek roadtests are available through series partner cars.com.

Program excerpts are available at pbs.org/motorweek, and MotorWeek’s YouTube Channel, youtube.com/motorweek, with two million views per month. Viewers can also follow MotorWeek on Facebook, Twitter as well as download complete shows on iTunes.

MotorWeek is nationally sponsored by TireRack.com, RockAuto.com and State Farm. MotorWeek is produced and distributed by Maryland Public Television.
*Root & Associates

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Attachments

Lisa Shenkle
For MotorWeek (Maryland Public Television)
410-227-5899
lshenkle@att.net