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: Are Clear Skies More Of An Omen?
To be fair, I started writing this TMS before this happened:
Though I think it's still valid. The recalls, I presume, will not kill GM. It may not even put that big of a dent in GM's fortress balance sheet. Here's the argument, from Pete DeLorenzo, a guy whose default position is to assume the worst. In fairness to him, he's old enough for that perspective to have been the right one more often than not.http://www.autoextremist.com/current/2014/5...
.. [A]utomakers based here in the Motor City can't handle prosperity. At all. They ride the boom hard and fast, like they're riding a rocket that will never run out of juice. And then they crash hard with a giant thud, leaving a trail of collateral damage that is breathtaking to behold. This boom-and-bust cycle is repeated time after time, too, to the point that seasoned observers can be heard wondering out loud if anything has been learned or if anything will ever change. (I'll answer that one for you: No. And, no.)
I don't know I agree with DeLorenzo that it's happening now — Ford doesn't seem to have strayed and Fiat Chrysler has a plan, at least, even if it relies on selling a trillion Jeeps and Rams to keep themselves afloat. I can't even begin to understand GM.
Still, it's worth discussing.
2nd Gear: Toyota Going To Generate $7.2 Billion For Texas?
The move to Texas will generate about $7.2 billion of economic activity for Texas, according to an analysis by Grant Thornton LLP. That's gonna pay for a lot of Lu Ann platters.
The figure includes $4.2 billion from payroll, along with direct and indirect spending, and sales and property tax revenue, according to the analysis by Grant Thornton LLP, a Chicago-based audit, tax and advisory company. The report was released May 12, when the city, a Dallas suburb, approved incentives for the company.
Local and state authorities are going to spend about $47 million bringing the company to Texas.
3rd Gear: Terrible Good News For GM
From the Freep comes the least helpful good news ever: GM's cars are safe when there's only one key in the ignition!
That's great news for the almost literally no one who drives around with just one key. Like, do you live in the car if it's the only key on your keychain? Why do you not have other keys? It's bad decisions like this that have resulted in you owning a Saturn Ion in the first place.
It's almost like saying 'Crash rates are near zero when the car is used only to drive to the mailbox and back.'
4th Gear: GM Board Would Like To Know Why They're So Bad
While GM has already launched an internal investigation to find out why they suck at their jobs, GM's board of directors would like their own investigation, hopefully to determine why they sucked at preventing GM's employees from sucking.http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/...
Directors at the largest U.S. auto maker weren't previously apprised of the troubles with small cars stalling due to a faulty ignition-switch, according to a person close the board. They want their review to ensure that future vehicle safety issues move more quickly to their attention through the auto maker's management, that person said.
You know who this doesn't suck for? Lawyers. Lawyers are getting a lot of work. Also, it's worth pointing out that Mary Barra has an above-par WSJ stipple portrait.
5th Gear: Musk Sees A Need For Hundred Of Gigafactories
When I was on CNBC last week talking about Tesla (see the video below), everyone was freaked out that they were spending so much money on R&D and gigafactories and not focusing on bottom line profits.http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video...
I defended Elon Musk and company, because there simply isn't the existing supply chain to help them get what they need, yet, when compared to more common items like microchips.
Still, this report from Bloomberg sounds a bit insane. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-05-1...
The electric-car company based in Palo Alto, California, anticipates the battery factory will reduce the cost of lithium-ion cells by more than its initial guidance of 30 percent, Musk said. He spoke yesterday at the World Energy Innovation Forum, an annual conference hosted by Tesla board member Ira Ehrenpreis.
"I think we can probably do better than 30 percent," Musk, 42, said yesterday at the company's Fremont, California, plant. As carmakers increase demand for batteries "there's going to need to be lots of gigafactories. Just to supply auto demand you need 200 gigafactories," he said.
What he's saying, I think, is that to replace the car market with EVs you'd need the capacity of 200 gigafactories, not that they're going to build 200 gigafactories.
Try explaining that to the traders, though.
Reverse: The Bad Old Days
On this day in 1942, gasoline rationing began in 17 Eastern states as an attempt to help the American war effort during World War II. By the end of the year, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had ensured that mandatory gasoline rationing was in effect in all 50 states.
Neutral: Are The Big 2.5 Going To Screw It Up Again?
Of have they been fooled enough times?
Photo Credit: AP Images