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: Jeep's Pinto Problem
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did a full investigation into collisions involving certain Jeep models and determined that the placement of the gas tanks behind the rear axle of the SUVS could lead to fiery death. Specifically, there were at least 51 people killed in rear-end collisions.
As we all learned from Toyota, when someone claims your vehicle may cause people to die you recall… oh wait, Chrysler refused.
Chrysler's point is that they've looked into the 1993-2004 Grand Cherokee and 2002-07 Liberty and determined they met all the statutory requirements of the time and are safe. NHTSA disagrees, but will have to get a public hearing and a court order to enforce a recall.
The question everyone asking is: Why? With all that Jeep is doing now to gain sales why risk your reputation?
Our best guess is that doing the recall is prohibitively expensive. You can't move the gas tank, you can only replace the current gas tank with a harder plastic one, but even then we're talking about a huge amount of money.
America's tallest auto reporter goes into the history books and comes up with two recent examples of automakers trying not to comply. In both cases the automakers capitulated in some way.
2nd Gear: Ford China Making That Money, Money
Ford has never had the dap in China that GM has, so now that they're trying they get awesome headlines like this one from the Freep: "Ford China sales soar 45% in May." It feels good to win.
This isn't to diss Ford's strong performance there as the Chinese, like everyone, love the global Ford Focus. The Focus (both old and new) sold 27,345 copies in May, putting Focus sales up 87% for the year.
It doesn't hurt that Ford will also start building the Focus in China or that the Kuga and EcoSport are also finding winners.
We also have the one place in the world where Lincoln might be a welcome change.
3rd Gear: Lotus Enjoys A Simple And Lightweight Recall
Poor Lotus, they can't even put the right stickers on their cars. Per AutoEvolution, Lotus is apparently recalling 28 of its Evoras because they forgot to put the proper stickers on the window.
The stickers show off the date of manufacture and it's possible some of the 28 cars may have had an improper year put on the cars.
I'm just shocked they've sold 28 Lotus Evoras. It's a great car but who would buy a Lotus right now?
4th Gear: GM Back In The S&P 500
After having to deal with getting kicked out of the S&P 500 during their bankruptcy, America's biggest carmaker is back in the club, replacing H.J. Heinz Co. (which is getting purchased). According to Bloomberg, GM has been in the index since it first started in 1957 until the Carpocalypse.
The news brought an increase in GM shares to 19% in 2013, although that still lags behind the S&P's growth of 15% for the year. The stock closed yesterday at $34.96.
Are we sure it wasn't just news of the Chevy SS pricing?
5th Gear: Car Buyers Increasingly Loyal
The Wall Street Journal's Jonathan Welsh breaks down the data from Polk, which says new-vehicle brand loyalty rose to 51.5%, up two percentage points from 2012.
Who are the most loyal buyers? Porsche, Cadillac, and Mazda.
Porsche owner loyalty was up 9.5 percentage points, followed by 8.3 percentage points for Caddy and 7.8 for Mazda.
Porsche has always had great service and now offer their best slate of cars, maybe ever. Cadillac has gotten better in both service and vehicles. And who doesn't love a Mazda?
Reverse: And Flint And GM Was Saved!
On this day in 1998, 3,400 members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union walk out on their jobs at a General Motors (GM) metal-stamping factory in Flint, Michigan, beginning a strike that will last seven weeks and stall production at GM facilities nationwide.
Neutral: Are You Loyal To A Brand? Where does your brand loyalty lie? Why? Service? Vehicles?
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