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: GM Wants To Go All Electric All Over You
General Motors was a bit of a pioneer into the extended range electric vehicle market with the Volt. And, to put it politely, the car hasn't exactly lived up to sales expectations. But sometimes that's what you get for being a pioneer.
What they haven't exactly led in recently is a pure electric car, probably because they're still stinging over EV1 from years ago. The Chevy Spark EV is now for sale, but they don't have a larger electric sedan to take on Tesla. That's reportedly about to change.
According to The Wall Street Journal, GM is working on an electric car with 200 miles of range in order to directly take on Tesla's upcoming entry level car. The problem is that batteries are currently too expensive, and GM is looking for ways to bring that cost down.
And if GM is now considering a car to rival Tesla, I think that kind of means that Tesla is no longer a thought in the background of these automakers. Tesla is now a threat. Impressive.
2nd: Tesla Goes Autonomous
It's not enough that they already have the corner on the premium electric car segment. Tesla now wants to get the autonomous car crowd as well.
Tesla is looking for an engineer to help develop autonomous driving capabilities for its future cars, as well as ways to make it work on the current Model S. However, this could also be a ploy to not make a fully autonomous car, but to bring the Model S up to snuff with other cars in its class. The Model S lacks adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, and other features that are now standard on its competitors.
The drivetrain is awesome, now it's time to catch up in other areas.
3rd Gear: The Silverado Is The Best Around
In Consumer Reports' latest line of pickup truck testing, the brandidly new Chevy Silverado beat the competition to become the finest pickup you can purchase in all the land.
That beats out their previous benchmark, the Ram, but three Consumer Reports points. Basically, the Chevy can tow more and hold more things. That's what pickups are for, so it makes sense that one that is better would do better in a test.
4th Gear: Chevy Gains As Euro Sales Go Down The Drain
European car sales in August were 686,957 units, putting them on track to do 8.14 million cars this year. That sounds like a lot, but it's actually the least since 1990. Wow.
The good news in this is that Chevrolet gained 18 percent and GM gained one percent overall due to a decrease in sales from Opel and Vauxhall.
The true cause of the slide were major sales losses at Volkswagen, with an 11 percent drop from year to year. VW the brand actually dropped 17 percent, which won't help them become the largest automaker in the world.
5th Gear: RIP Eiji Toyoda
Eiji Toyoda, a founding member of Toyota, has passed away. He was 100. He was one of the masterminds behind the efficient, low cost, "Toyota Way" production method.
To give you an idea of how influential Toyota has been in Japan, Eiji Toyoda died at Toyota Memorial Hospital in Toyota City. That's how you know you're important.
On September 17, 1965, four adventurous Englishmen arrive at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany after crossing the English Channel by Amphicar, the world's only mass-produced amphibious passenger car. Despite choppy waters, stiff winds, and one flooded engine, the two vehicles made it across the water in about seven hours.
So, GM wants to make an electric car to fight Tesla. Thoughts? Good? Bad? Can they win?