We pay a lot of attention to what happens to the driver when metal meets metal on the road. But now a new study focuses—instead--on the person sitting next to the driver --in a crash. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently put 13 midsize cars through a "passenger-side" small overlap front test. It’s similar to the crash tests where the driver’s side hits a barrier at 40 mph. In this new test, 10 cars earned good ratings for passenger-side protection. The 2017 Ford Fusion and 2017 Honda Accord take the top two spots. Last year the IIHS conducted passenger side crash tests on small SUVs. These results are also now part of the criteria for the Institute's 2018 TOP SAFETY PICK PLUS award.

For the first time in more than 25-years, a vehicle manufacturer is opening a new plant in Southeast Michigan. And the company building that plant is based in India.

Mahindra Automotive North America has opened a new US headquarters and assembly plant in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Their initial plan is to build off-road vehicles. Mahindra already assembles tractors and electric scooters in the states. Earlier this year they began to collaborate with Ford on new products including electric vehicles.

The government’s annual Fuel Economy Guide has now gone paperless and will only be available online. It’s been published in hard copy form since 1975. But, beginning with the new 2018 edition, it will only be available online and via the smartphone app—which is how most people access this information. The Department of Energy tells us the printed version quickly became outdated as new vehicles were being launched mid-year. The web-based guide is constantly updated and always current. The 2018 Fuel Economy Guide is on-line now.

And that’s the latest automotive headlines for this week’s Motor News.