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 Concept5 X5 eDrive Is A Terrible Name
The BMW i3 is a serious attempt by BMW to enter the electric car marketplace, so it was only a matter of time before that technology started filtering down into other vehicles.
But an SUV? While the i3 (and BMW i8) are small vehicles, the BMW X5 is not.
It just goes to show that automakers aren't trying as hard to push people into new behaviors when they can just make their old ones not as ecologically damaging. In this case, it's an xDrive (AWD) X5 that combines a 95 hp electric motor with their TwinPower Turbo inline-four.
The rather large X5 is then capable of going 19 miles on full charge without having to utilize the gas engine or, in combined driving, average about 62 MPG on the EU test cycle (converted for US gallons).
Props to BMW for adding 21-inch "light alloy wheels" that are also aerodynamic, since we know no automaker is going to offer smaller wheels.
2nd Gear: But Don't Hold Out For BMW Parts
Hundreds of BMW customers have had to wait for repairs because of a massive supply chain issue caused by a new supply chain system that was supposed to improve the supply chain, reports Bloomberg.
The project, called ATLAS, was started in 2009 and was supposed to be done already, but IBM dropped out and then SAP took over. BMW wouldn't explain why, exactly, there was such a delay or what happened with IBM.
This impacts German customers the most, but U.S. customers waiting for special parts are also reportedly stuck waiting as well.
3rd Gear: Ford And GM Are Crazy About Paint
From the Freep comes a story about paint. Specifically, Ford and GM touting how awesome they are at making paint more perfect.
GM utilizes a "Blue Suit Crew" of exports to examine all cars before they roll out and Ford says it uses a new spray gun technology that takes microscopic scans with high-res cameras to ensure no imperfections big enough for the human eye to see appear.
Ford says this led to an 82% reduction in customer complaints about a vehicle's finish. So far it's only being used on the F-series but will be rolled out to Escape, Edge, Flex, Taurus, and Explorer later this year.
4th Gear: The Toyota Camry Is As Cheap As It's Gonna Get
Faced with rising pressure from, oh, everyone, Toyota says they're going to ease up on incentives as they think they've done enough to keep the Camry as the best-selling car in the United States.
So if you wanted a Camry, now is the time to get one. However, we recommend you look at the Ford Fusion, Mazda6, or any other car that's less boring.
"For incentives, we don't think that our current level is necessarily high, but traditionally, we try not to be too dependent on them," Nobuyori Kodaira, executive vice president at Toyota, said today in a briefing in Tokyo. "I can't really comment on our future plans, but our plan for now is to stick to that as much as possible."
5th Gear: NHTSA May Not Publicize All Fines For Not Recalling Cars
Apparently, NHTSA may post on a website somewhere that a company got a fine, but it doesn't necessarily issue a press release over fines for delayed recalls.
I bring this up because David Shepardson mentioned it and it seems like a reasonable thing to be notified of.
At an event at the Washington Auto Press Association last week, NHTSA head David Strickland said he would take another look at whether the agency should make formal announcements of fines.
“I never want anybody in this room to feel like that this was something that was being hidden or not transparent,” he said, saying NHTSA would look for “ways to make it easier for folks to be able to figure out agency action with less effort.”
Reverse: La Citroen!
In August 1962, a group called the OAS (Secret Army Organization in English) plotted an assassination attempt on President De Gaulle, who they believed had betrayed France by giving up Algeria (in northern Africa) to Algerian nationalists. Near dusk on August 22, 1962, De Gaulle and his wife were riding from the Elysee Palace to Orly Airport. As his black Citroen DS sped along the Avenue de la Liberation in Paris at 70 miles per hour, 12 OAS gunmen opened fire on the car. A hail of 140 bullets, most of them coming from behind, killed two of the president's motorcycle bodyguards, shattered the car's rear window and punctured all four of its tires. Though the Citroen went into a front-wheel skid, De Gaulle's chauffeur was able to accelerate out of the skid and drive to safety, all thanks to the car's superior suspension system. De Gaulle and his wife kept their heads down and came out unharmed.
Neutral: Hybrid SUVs? Good idea? Kind of ridiculous?
Photo Credit: Getty Images