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: Give J Mays Credit For Being Honest
We have strong opinions about Lincoln and its future around here, so I'm glad to see Ford is taking a realistic view of their challenges.
“No, we’re not true luxury,” Mays told Karl Henkel Tuesday following an event at the automaker’s Dearborn campus. “We’re in an investment stage with Lincoln. We’ve probably got a 10-year investment to make.”
That is accurate.
Jim Farley actually likened Lincoln to other challenger brands, like Jalopnik (he really said that), when I saw him walking the green at Pebble Beach last week. I think he meant it as a compliment.
2nd Gear: U.S. Bringing Back The "Failed" Loan Program
As Patrick George has nicely chronicled for us, 56% of carmakers who asked for green car loans went out of business. Of those who did get loans, three are doing well and one is doing exceptional (Tesla).
Is that a success or failure?
News from Bloomberg and Washington says the Energy Department i considering bringing the program back and spending the remaining $15 billion out of the initial $25 billion pot.
Given that they spent $465 million on Tesla and it turned into a market cap of $20 billion, maybe we can all swallow the failures?
3rd Gear: Toyota's Brake Job
Interesting news, again via Bloomberg, from the trial over a crash in a Toyota (the first of about 85)
Testifying yesterday, Toyota CEO for North America Jim Lentz said they decided not to call their brake override system "safe stop" because they thought they'd over promise. Instead they went with "Smart stop."
"I made clear to the marketing department that it had to be something that didn't overpromise," Lentz said. "Safe stop or sure stop was overpromising because it wouldn't necessarily stop the acceleration in all cases."
4th Gear: How To Not Get Screwed Buying Vintage
Perhaps the most surprising moment of the entire week we spent at Pebble Beach was the $125,000 fetched at auction for a very nice Alfa Duetto Spyder. I didn't see it, but Mike did, and that just seems insane.
So how do you not end up paying out the ass for a classic car?
The Wall Street Journal discusses the problem and offers some solutions.
Corvettes are still reasonably un-pricey and vintage microcars and beach mobiles, like the Fiat Jolly, have been accruing in value.
My favorite suggestions? Vintage Postwar trucks. Damn I love a good truck.
5th Gear: Hyundai's Bad Luck/Strike Continues
More than 40,000 unionized workers plan to idle the automaker's South Korean plants for eight hours on Wednesday and on Friday, the spokesman said.
The workers had already staged a partial strike on Monday and had stopped work for three days last week. So far, the stoppages have cost the automaker 19,441 vehicles worth 398.7 billion Korean won (267.5 million euros).
Reverse: Born With A Silver Spur In His Mouth
Charles Stewart Rolls, the pioneering British motorist, aviator and co-founder (with Henry Royce) of the Rolls-Royce Ltd. luxury automobile company, is born on August 28, 1877, in London's upscale Mayfair district.
Neutral: Rank The Luxury Brands In Term Of "Luxury" J Mays brings up an interesting term: luxury. Who is the most lux premium brand? The least? Give us a good ranking.
Photo Credit: Getty Images