This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place every weekday morning. 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: But Is That A Good Thing?
China, they like buying cars. China, they care a little more about quality than they used to. China, they're using up way more oil than they're producing. China!
I'm going to combine two articles here into one gear, because they tell the same story with different outcomes. First, from the WSJhttp://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...
China should account for 35% of world-wide auto sales by the end of this decade, compared with about 16% last year, Mr. Yang said. Growth in car sales, particularly upscale models that use more high-end auto components, will drive the trend.
In this version of the story, parts-maker Delphi makes a shit ton of money.
And then there's this from The Atlantic:http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/arc...
Over the past decade, the number of cars sold in China has jumped from 2 million a year to nearly 20 million. No surprise, then, that oil consumption soared from 250,000 barrels a day to 2.25 million barrels a day between 2003 and 2013, according to a new report from United States Energy Information Agency. As a result, since 2009, China has been forced to import half of its oil.
So, if you want to do well in China you should be making premium, high quality electric cars?
2nd Gear: Obama To Meet With Ford, Other Manufacturing Execs
The President is bringing Motown to D.C. later this week to thank Ford for, you know, hiring people in this company. Ford, in particular, made 14,000 hires in the last two years and will add more as they roll out the new F-150 and Mustang.http://www.detroitnews.com/article/201405...
Thanks are looking up… sort of.
The United States has 12.1 million manufacturing jobs, up 12,000 jobs in April and up nearly 100,000 jobs over the last year. But after the last decade when thousands of factories around the country closed, the industry remains one of the hardest hit. The White House touted that the manufacturing sector has added 600,000 jobs over the last four years.
Manufacturing has shed about one-third of total jobs since 2000, and it has fallen from 17.2 million. When Obama took office, U.S. factories employed 12.6 million people.
Still, the Labor Department said 790,000 factory workers remained unemployed in April, or more than 1 in 12 of all unemployed people in the country. Thousands more factory workers have long given up looking for work in the manufacturing sector.
Way to be a buzzkill, David.
3rd Gear: Toyota To Improve Prius Efficiency 10% With New Tech
Toyota knows how to build hybrids, and as such they're continually refining the technology. http://www.autonews.com/article/201405...
As Hans Greimel reports, they're using more energy efficient power control units to, potentially, improve fuel economy by 10%. The trick is using silicon carbide semiconductors, which suck up less energy than the coils and capacitors that are usually used.
Still, it's not perfect yet:
Currently, silicon carbide semiconductors cost "an order of magnitude" more than silicon semiconductors. And because silicon carbide is one of the world's hardest materials, it is difficult and costly to process into wafers, Hamada said.
"There are still enormous technical barriers," he said, adding he would be satisfied with achieving only 70 percent of his energy efficiency and miniaturization goals by 2020.
4th Gear: Scott Monty Out At Ford
If you work in the digital automotive space, you know Scott Monty. At a time when most automakers use of social media was a Friendster account that had been hacked by Malaysian Cryptoanarchists, Monty helped bring Ford into the late 20th Century and, finally, into the 21st century.
I always wondered if Ray Wert didn't secretly resent Scott Monty for being the first to realize how much money and fame there was in being the first person to Pygmalion Detroit into the present.http://www.detroitnews.com/article/201405...
Now he's gone, and for unknown reasons, but his own website makes it seem like he's got another job in the works:http://www.scottmonty.com/2014/05/drivin...
But, for all the praise that Scott Monty surely deserves, let's all remember that he invented the term "tweet up" and for that he should be condemned to an island somewhere with a brand new iPad, a solar charger, and absolutely no way of connecting it to the internet.
5th Gear: Tony Cervone Back In At GM
Proving everything old is new again, Tony Cervone is leaving Volkswagen to take a job at GM, which he left in 2009 right before the bankruptcy. http://www.freep.com/article/201405...
"It's a great time to rejoin GM," Cervone said in a statement. "A re-energized leadership team, the best products in its history, a renewed commitment to individual customer experiences, and a compelling drive for cultural change make this a key moment in this great company's history."
That is a real thing he said. Not a joke. Just want to underline that a little bit.
Reverse: Driving Through D.C. Is Awful Anyways
On this day in 1995, to the likely dismay of Washington, D.C.-bound road trippers hoping for a glimpse of the presidential residence through their car windows, President Bill Clinton permanently closes the two-block stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House to all non-pedestrian traffic as a security measure.
Neutral: Will China Continue To Grow?
Will it actually curb its dependence on foreign oil? Will they sell more electric cars?
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