Chicago: A day before the United States commemorates the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an elderly American Sikh was hospitalised after an assailant attacked him in Chicago, dubbing him a “terrorist”.
The racially-motivated attack occurred when Inderjit Singh Mukker was on his way to a grocery store on Tuesday night, as quoted in the Sikh Coalition.
As reported, “An unknown man passing by in his car allegedly started abusing Mukker by calling him “Terrorist!” and “Bin Laden!” and yelled “Go back to your country!”.
After continuous tailgating, Mukker decided to pull over the car. The assailant also stopped his vehicle, charged towards Mukker and threw several punches at him.
Fifty-three-year-old Mukker was left unconscious and was later taken to a hospital. He was treated for a fractured cheekbone, bruising and blood loss. He got six stitches for the lacerations on his face. Police said the alleged assailant has been arrested.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Mukker told, “No American should be afraid to practice their faith in our country.”
He added, “I am thankful for the swift response of authorities to apprehend the individual, but without this being fully investigated as a hate crime, we risk ignoring the horrific pattern of intolerance, abuse and violence that Sikhs and other minority communities in this country continue to face.”
In a similar incident of racial discrimination in the US, Sandeep Singh, a Sikh father in New York City, was run over and dragged 30 feet after being called a “terrorist” in August 2015. In 2012 also, a gunman with stormed into a Gurudwara and killed six Sikhs in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
It’s billed as North America’s largest and longest-running auto show, now in its 111th year. The 2019 Chicago Auto Show offers a lineup of nearly 1,000 vehicles occupying nearly 1 million-square-feet of space at the McCormick Place Convention Center.
A special preview for members of the media at the annual show is a chance for manufacturers to show off their latest and greatest products about to enter the market.
What is notable about this year’s event is what some manufacturers aren’t showing off — new sedans.
Customers want trucks, SUVs
“Over 10 years, there has been a consistent movement of customers in the United States and around the world, but even more so in the United States, moving away from sedans and more traditional passenger sedans into more utility vehicles,” said Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford Motor Co.’s Global Operations.
“Nearly 7 out of 10 vehicles sold today are trucks or SUVs in the U.S. market. They like the ride high, the seating height, the utility of the vehicle. And now, we can give them the fuel efficiency that they used to get out of sedans. So, that’s where customers are going.”
All reasons Ford is going the extra mile and planning to invest $1 billion to upgrade its Chicago manufacturing facility, which produces the popular Explorer Sport Utility Vehicle, or SUV — also used as a law enforcement vehicle — and the new Lincoln Mariner luxury SUV.
But while Ford is offering new options for consumers, it is also discontinuing models of the Focus, Fiesta and Fusion cars, ending production later this year.
“We’ve been planning our business to incorporate the expectation that some of those cars will go away,” Hinrichs said. “Then bring in new products to enter the market to supplement some of that volume that was lost so that we can keep our plants full.”
The new family car
“We have the debate a lot about is the compact SUV the new family sedan, and in many instances, you can say yes,” said Steve Majuros, marketing director for cars and crossovers for the General Motors Chevrolet brand. He introduced two new trucks in Chevy’s popular Silverado lineup to media at the auto show.
The prominence, and choices, of SUVs, crossovers and trucks in GM’s current lineup promoted at the auto show stands in contrast to its perennial attraction in recent years, the Chevrolet Volt. Even though it is the top-selling electric plug-in vehicle of all time, sagging sales have led GM to cease production in March.
“Volt was a great product for us,” said Majuros. “(It) had a great run — two generations. But what has happened is as the ability to produce pure electric and the kind of cost configuration and range of what people are looking for, Volt had its time, but was a great stepping stone for us to lead us to the future, which was pure electrification.”
Joining the Volt on the chopping block is the Cruze, a compact car manufactured at GM’s Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio. Chevrolet does plan to keep making the Malibu midsize sedan and the Bolt all-electric vehicle, among a few other options.