This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:30 AM. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
1st Gear: The Aluminum Challenge
Assuming the cost isn't driven radically up, and that's probably a safe assumption, you're looking at a change that will drop weight and thus increase all sorts of performance. It's good for you, like broccoli, but it also tastes good, like bacon.
Amongst those few obvious bad impacts, however, is if you're in an impact.
As Bloomberg points out, only 10% of independent repair shops in the U.S. are qualified to work on aluminum body panels and those repairs tend to be more expensive. The result will be, Ford guesses, about a 10% jump in insurance rates.
They also believe that the insurance cost increase will bring it up to the level of its competitors, thus making it "a wash."
2nd Gear: VW Won't Brag About Flawed Awards
For instance, Germany's biggest car club awards were reportedly rigged and now it's so bad that today we learn that VW isn't going to advertise it won.
Since basically every single car award exists as a circle jerk between automakers and car entities, designed to reinforce the other party's importance, this sort of thing is particularly rough.
Now the police may investigate. Germans don't mess around.
3rd Gear: FIAT About To Get 100% Of Chrysler, Like Maybe Today
For some reason Chrysler and the UAW declined to comment on what's happening but… uh… does Fiat own all of Chrysler right now? Anyone know?
4th Gear: Hyundai Gets Verizon Wireless Internet In All Its Cars
Although Chrysler and GM have been out front in offering wireless Internet services in their cars, Hyundai is quickly catching up and will announce today a Verizon service for all 2015 models, beginning with the new Genesis as Bloomberg just reported.
Unfortunately, it looks like the first cars will be 3G equipped before transferring over to 4G. Having used 3G Internet in a car I can tell you that it's good enough for minor stuff but not quite fast enough in most situations to be used as a replacement for a real connection. 4G, on the other hand, works just fine.
These systems will also be available on Kias going forward.
5th Gear: Peugeot Needs Money, Will Get It From The Chinese
Could Peugeot do any worse? Let the WSJ explain:
The central scenario under discussion calls for Dongfeng and the French state to buy new shares at between €7.50 and €8 apiece, stumping up about €800 million each, according to people familiar with the matter. The Peugeot family, which controls the company through a 25.4% interest and 38.1% of voting rights, would pump in around €100 million to partly offset its dilution.
Will investors buy into a Chinese-backed Pug? Another mystery.
Reverse: For How Long?
After more than seven decades as the world's largest automaker, General Motors (GM) officially loses the title on January 21, 2009, when it announces worldwide sales of 8.36 million cars and trucks in 2008, compared with Toyota's 8.97 million vehicle sales that same year. However, the news wasn't all rosy for the Japanese auto giant, which later in 2009 posted its first-ever loss as a public company.
Neutral: Do Insurance Costs Play Into Your Buying Decision? If so, how much?
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