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: Cadillac SRX Production Moving To Spring Hill From Mexico
Many of you were correct in guessing yesterday that GM was going to move its Cadillac SRX production to Spring Hill, Tennessee from their Ramoz Arizpe, Mexico plant as The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
"Today's announcement is proof we can achieve great things when workers have a seat at the table and the chance to share their ideas for how to constantly improve the products we manufacture," said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada.
The plant currently makes some Chevrolet Equinox sport-utility vehicles that also are produced at two the auto maker's plants in Canada. It also manufactures 2-liter turbocharged, 2.4-liter and 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines.
GM is bringing work back to the U.S. from elsewhere or expanding in the U.S. after using the 2009 recession and a revamping of union-labor agreements to lower costs.
USA! USA! USA!
2nd Gear: Chevy Equinox Production Moving To Mexico From... Spring Hill?
What's missing in a few reports about the SRX move is this scoop from Bernie Woodall and Paul Lienert that GM will probably shift jobs from Spring Hill to Mexico.
The company plans to shift some production of the Chevrolet Equinox from Spring Hill, Tennessee, to Ramos Arizpe, Mexico, when the crossover vehicle is redesigned in 2017, according to an industry source familiar with GM’s plans. That move could partially offset any new jobs created by the shift of SRX work from Ramos Arizpe to Spring Hill, which is expected in mid-2016, the source said.
Both GM and the UAW declined to comment on whether the Equinox work would move to Mexico.
As for how many jobs the addition of the SRX at Spring Hill would create, based on current and projected figures provided by GM, Reuters estimates the move could add about 200 jobs at the plant. A GM spokesman said it would be “fair to say” there would be a net increase but declined to be specific.
Props to Reuters for nabbing the real story.
3rd Gear: Regular Ford Mustang Production Has Begun
The first of the brand new 2015 Ford Mustangs will roll off the line this morning and, for the first time, they'll be making RHD versions:
Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of The Americas, as well as Jimmy Settles, head of the Ford division of the United Auto Workers, are among those invited to attend a ceremonial roll-off of the first Mustang this morning.
“Mustang is and will continue to be an automotive icon,” Hinrichs said in a statement. “Expanding its availability globally affords our customers around the world the opportunity to have a true firsthand Mustang experience.”
Burnouts in the UAE, y'all!
4th Gear: Could The Jaguar XE Topple Ze Germans?
The answer is: probably not, but they can take market share. Specifically, they can take it out of Audi's ass:
“Jaguar doesn’t need to conquer all its sales from the Germans, but 20 to 25 percent will come from German car makers and the rest from market growth. If you are looking for vulnerability amongst the Germans, Audi is now showing weakness because it is falling behind with technology. There’s nothing new in materials like carbon fiber; nothing new as regards e-mobility and innovation. Just conventional cars with high quality, but that’s it. Audi is the most vulnerable in the next five years. Customers will step from Audi to other brands, where we are seeing a strong (product) performance at Mercedes, that will continue with successful new design and technology in the car. BMW has to find a way to help them renew their design a little bit, because that has become a little conservative,” Dudenhoeffer said.
Watch your ass Germany.
5th Gear: Steel Is Sooooo Cheap
You need iron-ore to make steel. Iron-ore companies expanded their production massively. China, the biggest market for steel, is seeing an economic slowdown.
What happens when you have a ton of production and dwindling demand? BOOM, prices drop. Like, a ton.
Iron ore for immediate delivery fell to $88.20 a metric ton yesterday, down from more than $180 a ton in 2011. The raw material for January delivery declined on the Dalian Commodity Exchange by 2.3 percent to 625 yuan a ton today.
Eder accurately forecast in June 2012 that iron-ore prices would tumble below $100 a ton over the following two years as Chinese demand stalled and new mines increased supply. The median forecast compiled by Bloomberg at the time was for $135 a ton in 2014.
Oh, and now they're just making cars now out of aluminum anyways, but perhaps steel savings will be passed on to consumers. Or not.
Anyways, here's Shinzo Abe at one of the world's largest iron ore mines in Western Australia.
Reverse: This Is How We Rolls
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: Is GM Pulling A Fast One Here? Or is this just common sense realignment?
Photo Credit: AP Images