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: They Need Something
Acura thinks that they can reverse a sales slump with their new Acura TLX "sports sedan." That's giving a lot of credit to a vehicle that we don't know a lot about yet.
"Finally the moment is here that we're going to unleash that TLX sedan, and we're very confident it's going to bring us the same kind of success we've experienced with the MDX and RDX," Accavitti said. "The TLX is going to be a volume contributor," he said, without providing a sales goal.
They need it. Acura is essentially a CUV company at this point. Through June they had a 31% increase in MDX and RDX sales while their sedans dropped by the same amount.
I like the idea of the TLX and hope it's as fun to drive as old Acuras. What's hilarious is that the playbook Acura created still works, it just works for Buick and not for themselves (ahem ILX).
2nd Gear: WTF UAW VW?
After all that bullshit that the UAW went through to get approved at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee and... they just could fucking start their own chapter when they wanted to anyways?
This is like a guy I knew in school whose strategy was to get in a fight with a girl he'd like and go through all this self-inflicted drama. When that didn't work he'd just ask her out. I was always like "why the hell didn't you just ask her out in the first case?"
That's what's going on here. The UAW got into this huge fight and it turns out they could just start a chapter — albeit one that isn't legally recognized or officially recognized by VW — and just wait until they have voluntarily gotten a majority of workers at the plant which, I think, they'll be able to do eventually.
3rd Gear: STRIKE!
We've seen a lot fewer strikes in the U.S. as the relationship between automakers and unions has stabilized a bit following the economic collapse of the late 2000s. This isn't the case around the world.
Whereas GM is mired in problems in South Korea, Ford has their own issues in South Africa.
South Africa's biggest union, NUMSA, led a strike that's hit the auto supply market. GM has already halted production in that country and Ford may not be far behind. Despite this, Ford says that they're committed to building cars there.
Why? I'd guess because one of these decades Africa could become a big market and if that's the case Ford has an edge over everyone by Toyota and VW there.
4th Gear: ZF Is Buying Shit
German transmission company ZF has taken over the market with advanced, awesome gearboxes that are in everything. Now they're hoping to take over everything else with a proposed bid for U.S. company TRW Automotive holdings.
In a note to investors, Morgan Stanley analysts wrote that there wasn't much product overlap between ZF and TRW and added a tie-up could create a company of significant influence. "By bringing transmission, drivetrain, chassis and suspension know-how into the mix, there are few parts of the car—either mechanical or electronic—that will be outside the purview of a ZF+TRW combination."
ZF is turning its excellent performance in the transmission market into an opportunity to be the next Bosch. Smart.
5th Gear: Would You Like To Be An Alan Mullally Scholar?
In honor of Alan Mulally's service to Ford, Ford is putting up $1 million for a scholarship fund in his name starting next spring and going through 2025.
The Alan Mulally Leadership in Engineering Scholarship will honor automotive engineering students from universities around the world starting in the spring of 2015. Each year for 10 years, the scholarship will offer 10 students $10,000 one-time scholarships.
That'll look good on a resume.
Reverse: And It Was All Big Roads From There
On this day in 1916, in a ceremony at the White House, President Woodrow Wilson signs the Federal Aid Road Act. The law established a national policy of federal aid for highways.
Neutral: Can Acura Be A Car Company Again?
Or will this fail like basically every other sedan they've tried in the last decade?
Photo Credit: AP Images