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: Congrats Chevy, You Aren't Building Crap.
I remember the Chevy Aveo. I don't remember anyone that ever bought the Chevy Aveo, but I remember the Aveo. In fact, it seems that basically every small car that Chevy has ever built has been roundly panned by consumers and reviewers alike.
Seems like the tables are turning.
Small car sales at Chevrolet are up 229 percent year over year compared when you look at numbers starting in 2010. The Cruze, Spark, and Sonic seem to be changing people's perceptions of small cars. Younger buyers are in them, and they aren't complaining. I might not dig the marketing plan for the Spark and the idea that everyone is a hipster and millennial, but I do really like the car, same with the Sonic. Good for you Chevy.
Now we need to hope that you never remember the Aveo.
2nd Gear: Tesla Registers Another Uncreative Name
Tesla builds some amazingly creative electric cars. But their naming department is full of the most literal people in the world. A roadster Tesla? That's the Roadster. A sporty sedan? That's the Model S. A crossover SUV? Oh, Model X for sure. So what about an electric economy car?
It seems Tesla wants to call that the Model E, and it's supposed to hit the road in the next few years. Can't say it's surprising, but their might be a problem with it. Ford has sued people in the past for trying to use the Model E name, saying it's too close to the Model T. We'll see if they have a problem this time.
3rd Gear: Chinese Cars Will Get A Swedish Injection In 2015
Geely purchased Volvo a little while back, and thus far seems to have left them alone. But now it's time for them to start utilizing their men in Sweden.
Geely wants to become a player on the international stage, so using Volvo just makes sense. They are going to start working on cars together at a joint R&D center in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Swedish/Chinese car should roll of the line starting in 2015.
It's about time Geely gets something out of it's multi-billion dollar investment in Volvo.
4th Gear: Brits Want Brit Things
Maybe it has something to do with Top Gear's hugely patriotic tribute to what is built in Britain, but English people have been buying cars made in England like they were crumpets (Brits buy crumpets, right?).
Domestic British manufacturing produced 38 percent more cars for England in England last month than a year ago. It doesn't mean Lotus is building 28,000 cars, but more like Nissan, Honda, and others with British manufacturing have added to their plant capacities in the last few months. This is good for a British manufacturing industry that has been on a downward spiral for quite a while. Maybe more will be built in England in the future? Who knows.
5th Gear: Uber Gets An Uber Investment
Uber is a car sharing app that signals a nearby Town Car or something similar to pick you up. I've heard good things. So, apparently, has Google.
Google Ventures just laid down $250 million on Uber, which makes the company's valuation a stunning $3.5 billion. Nobody is sure why exactly Google is so interested in Uber, but it might have to do with the idea that the company can be used as a delivery service in the future.
And who knows... Maybe they'll get driverless cars. Seems doubtful, but it could happen. Maybe.
On this day in 1904, Harold D. Weed of Canastota, New York, is issued U.S. Patent No. 768,495 for his "Grip-Tread for Pneumatic Tires," a non-skid tire chain to be used onautomobiles in order to increase traction on roads slick with mud, snow or ice.
What do you think of Volvo and Geely working together on products? Would you buy a Chinese car with Swedish tech behind it?