This is the Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:00 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 first McLaren MP4-12C GT3 has successfully undertaken its debut tests at the MIRA proving ground facility and Silverstone Circuit in England. Originally conceived in McLaren's Formula 1 simulator and with testing on FIA-certified GT3 circuits across Europe now successfully beginning, the new GT3 is almost ready to hit the track competitively. The new MP4-12C GT3 now just needs to finish up its development and testing over this 2011 race season before 20 cars are delivered to privateer teams for racing in 2012. Make it 22. We'll take two of them.
2nd Gear: Renesas, the world's largest maker of automotive microcontrollers — the electronic brains that control millions of vehicles built by major automakers — is shifting production from its crippled Naka, Japan plant, which built 25% of its chips, to one plant in Singapore and one in western Japan. The transfer could take up to two months. The Naka plant won't resume partial operation until July. The move by Renesas Electronics Corp., which controls 41% of the global automotive chip market, signals months of shortages of the highly specialized parts, already in tight supply before the March 11 earthquake in Japan. Japanese and North American automakers could face production shutdowns if the pipeline runs dry.
3rd Gear: Nissan Motor Co. has received reports that "several" drivers in Japan and the U.S. were unable to restart after switching off their electric cars, according to company spokesman Toshitake Inoshita. The automaker is currently investigating the cause of the problems, Inoshita told Bloomberg yesterday. This problem seems similar to incidents we first reported on last month.