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: Even Though The Prices Change Mysteriously
Car companies are selling more diesel cars in the United States and, thankfully, more people are buying them, even if diesel fuel often costs more than premium and the price doesn't move in the same way gasoline does.http://www.freep.com/article/201405...
As Mark Phelan points out today, the possible fuel economy gains and other benefits mean some estimate that diesel power cars will make up 6%-9% of the market in 2020, compared to about 3% now. So what about that fuel?
He says the price was exceptionally volatile this winter because diesel fuel is very similar to the heating oil that's widely used in Europe and the Northeast U.S. On top of that, increased demand for natural gas to heat homes and buildings caused some utilities and businesses to use diesel to generate electricity.
Because of those factors and more, the global price for a barrel of diesel ranged from $119 to $130 in the last quarter of 2013 and first quarter of 2014, Kloza said. That compared with as low as $99 a barrel for gasoline.
Diesel recently surpassed gasoline as the world's most common oil fuel. Bank of America predicts it will be consistently more profitable for refiners for the foreseeable future.
Then let's build some G-D diesel cars… including the TDI R8!
2nd Gear: Tesla Now California's Biggest Auto Employer
Even before Toyota's move to Texas, Tesla's 6,000 employees in California makes it bigger than any other automaker based in the state, and they're still adding jobs.http://www.detroitnews.com/article/201405...
As Alan Onhsman reports, the second closest automaker is Toyota with about 5,300 direct employees, many of which aren't going to be in the state any time soon. It's also worth noting that Tesla has more employees than Twitter and almost as many as Facebook — because Tesla actually builds things.
Given how many other states are trying to steal California's job, the fact that Tesla continues to add jobs here is a good sign.
3rd Gear: Tesla Wins In Missouri
And more good news re: Tesla, as Missouri's prospective ban on direct sales of Tesla models never made it to the governor's desk, quietly dying in the Missouri House after passing Missouri's senate.http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-1...
"The defeat of this anti-free market proposal is a victory for Missouri consumers and for the state's economy," Diarmuid O'Connell, Tesla's vice president of business development, said in the statement.
Anyone know why there was an about face?
4th Gear: Hyundai Recalling 140,000 Tuscons
Hyundai's joining the recall party with 140,000 Tuscons (pronounced Tük-sunz) because an "air bag assembly may come loose from its mounting on the steering wheel." No bigs.http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/0...
In a crash, this report says the air bag module might break off from the steering wheel, which obviously isn't a good thing. Thankfully, no one has had to test this theory and owners of the car can get their bolts tightened for free.
5th Gear: BMW Says "Viva Mexico!"
BMW will join Volkswagen/Audi and Honda in building cars in Mexico, specifically the BMW 3-series sedan (and wagon? please wagon?) as Reuters reports, on an Automobilwoche report.http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/0...
Why wouldn't you build cars in Mexico? NAFTA makes it easy, labor is cheap, and its right by the United States. BMW is also going to build more cars in South Carolina, so it's not like anyone there is losing a job.
Reverse: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time
Los Angeles, California, is the first stop on a cross-country road show launched on this day in 2007 by Smart USA to promote the attractions of its "ForTwo" microcar, which it had scheduled for release in the United States in 2008.
Neutral: How many diesel cars will be on the road by 2020?
1%? 3%? 100%?
Photo Credit: Getty Images