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: Is Your Privacy Worth $200?
We've known about car insurance plans based on telematics car-tracking device for a while, but a resistance to being "tracked" by an insurance company has generally meant that "usage based" insurance has been something only a limited number of people have bought into.
Now, reports Karl Henkel, the blasé-about-privacy Millennial generation are all apparently going to take a break from Snapchat to get tracking devices installed in their cars.
On the upside, the plans generally track hard braking, number of miles driven, time of day the car is in use but not speed. Driver's considered "safe" who don't use their car that often get discounts.
One estimate shows the number of people using these plans globally will increase to 107 million in five years, up from about 6 million this year.
Not buying it. Any move to accept a tracking device will be purely a savings-based equation and will have little to do with privacy.
2nd Gear: Akerson Says A Lady CEO Is Inevitable
As we've learned, GM is above par in terms of hiring women executives (for a Michigan company). Thus it's not surprising that GM CEO Dan Akerson told reporters that a female at the helm of a car company is an inevitability.
Akerson's quotes, actually, are pretty great:
“The Detroit Three are all run by non-car guys,” Akerson said at a conference about leadership diversity. “Some day, there will be a Detroit Three (company) that’s run by a car gal.”
Akerson told the crowd he wants the best talent for GM, regardless of the person’s personal background. “I don’t believe Western white men have all the answers,” he said.
Most importantly, especially for those who are ignorant enough to believe that women and men in this industry have the same opportunities to get to the top:
“They don’t want a gift. They want a chance. They want an opportunity,” he said. “I think a part of good leadership is to make sure people have an opportunity. No gifts, no guarantees — just a chance.”
3rd Gear: VW Workers Claim UAW Tricked Them
If you thought union politics would suddenly change when you involved Ze Germans and southerners, you'd be wrong. A group called The National Right to Work Foundation filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board saying the UAW tricked them, reports Automotive News.
Here's the nut:
The eight workers say they were told that signing a card was a sign of support for a secret-ballot election, not support for the UAW. They also contend union officials told workers who asked to revoke their signed cards that they would need to visit the union's local organizing office to do so.
Now, are these people plants from the NRWF? Is the UAW being sneaky? The force of anti- and pro-unionization in this country are all such passionate weirdoes that it's difficult to know.
Let's just all agree that no matter what happens, we all blame Senator Bob Corker.
4th Gear: FYI Fiat Needs Chrysler
From Time, it's worth noting in this Chrysler IPO business that while the UAW healthcare trust needs to get real paid, Fiat also needs Chrysler as it's the one significantly profitable part of the company right now.
Fiat may need Chrysler more than it admits. The European auto business is horrible, suffering from huge manufacturing overcapacity. Meanwhile, Chrysler is running flat out and minting money—it had $66 billion in revenues last year, earned $1.6 billion and has $12 billion in cash. Based on those numbers, analysts have ticked Chrysler’s worth at $10 to $11 billion, according to published reports. That would suggest the value of the VEBA’s shares is around $4.15 billion to $4.57 billion.
5th Gear: Will The Camry's Reign End In 2014?
The Toyota Camry will be the best selling car in the U.S. in 2013, but will it survive 2014? That's the question Bloomberg is asking and the answer seems to be: No.
The reason? Everyone else got better. While all mid-size cars are toasters, not all of them are the same toaster. You can get a sleek Fusion, a sporty-ish Mazda6, a powerful V6-powered Accord, an affordable and feature-laded Sonata, and a boring but practical Altima. The Camry, at this point, isn't a bad car, but it's just trading on its name.
While Toyota has slashed prices and upped incentives all it can to keep the Camry, it's likely unable to keep up with a Fusion that would have probably sold more if they could built them fast enough. What was really the first of a new generation of higher quality cars is now the oldest, and that isn't changing next year.
Our money is on the Accord to take over, but we'll see what happens when Ford pushes out more Fusions.
Reverse: The Birth Of Car Radio
On this day in 1928, work begins at Chicago's new Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. (The company had officially incorporated the day before.) In 1930, Galvin would introduce the Motorola radio, the first mass-produced commercial car radio. (The name had two parts: "motor" evoked cars and motion, while "ola" derived from "Victrola" and was supposed to make people think of music.)
Neutral: Would You Do Tracking-Based Insurance? How much would you have to save for it to be worth it?
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