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: It's All About The Product
We have no crystal ball that will tell us who will sell how much of what. We can't always predict the products that will boom and products that will bust. But analysts can make some pretty decent guesses based on the product cycles of manufacturers.
And those tea leaves all point to Ford and Honda picking up market share in the next few years.
Why? Bank of America's annual "Car Wars" report is out and it shows that Ford and Honda are going to replace 28% of the cars they sell between 2015 and 2018 with new or refreshed models, compared to 23% for the rest of the industry.
Since that percentage is of their total sales volume, you can guess how big of an impact the 2015 Ford F-150 is going to have on that. Already a perennial best seller, throw in the fuel savings of an aluminum body and I think we're all expecting a winner.
Honda, too, is investing in volume sellers like the Honda Pilot and Odyssey minivan, although this report also calls out the 2015 Acura TLX which… we're hopeful it's that good.
2nd Gear: Ford To Keep Fiesta Production Cheap
Ford sells something like a trillion Fiestas a year, but producing it in a country like Germany where people demand to be paid a fair wage for good work is tough, especially as Ford tries to join other automakers in not getting financially brutalized by the continent every damn quarter.
So it's good news for Ford that management and workers all agreed to some changes:
The U.S. carmaker said on Tuesday management and workers had agreed to scrap costly night shifts, increase flexibility on working hours and reassign work from suppliers to Ford, delivering total savings it estimated at $400 million between 2017 and 2021.
Money, money, money.
3rd Gear: BMW Edges Out Audi Again, Just Barely
On this 70th anniversary of us kicking Germany's ass, it's nice to see we've encouraged Ze Germans to focus on fighting one another through the production of superior automotive products.
BMW delivered about 1,000 more vehicles than Volkswagen AG's Audi in May as the race for the top spot tightened, according to figures from the carmakers. Through the first five months of 2014, Audi's sales climbed 12 percent, outpacing BMW's 11 percent gain. That helped the world's second-largest maker of premium cars cut Munich-based BMW's lead to about 8,200 autos from 11,000 a year ago.
Sooooo tight. People do in fact love the new A3.
4th Gear: Average Car Age Holds At 11.4
Another sign that, despite slow GDP growth and long-term unemployment woes, there might be some slight improvement economy is the fact that the average age of cars on the roads is 11.4 years, which is what it was a year ago. Here's the release.
"In our history of tracking, we have seen a gradual increase in the average age of vehicles on the road," said Mark Seng, director, aftermarket solutions and global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive. "This year, we're seeing somewhat of a plateau in the market, and expect it to remain over the next few years, without a major change in either direction. We attribute this to a number of factors, including the economy and the increasing quality of today's automobiles."
it's also a sign that cars are better than they used to be, which should surprise no one.
5th Gear: GM Stockholders Met By Protestors
Mary Barra is going to have a happy fun time super experience today facing off with investors who are probably not pleased that GM, you know, has been terrible and that terribleness will cost them.
There will be protestors outside, as well, upset that they lost love ones to the GM defects, but I think it's fair to say the complaints that'll be listened to are the ones on the inside.
Reverse: What A Guy
Paul Newman, the blue-eyed movie star-turned-race car driver, accomplishes the greatest feat of his racing career on this day in 1979, roaring into second place in the 47th 24 Hours of Le Mans, the famous endurance race held annually in Le Mans, France.
Neutral: Who Will Gain The Most Market Share By 2018?
Tesla? Honda? Subaru? Ford? Why?
Photo Credit: Getty Images