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: Lamborghini Gallardo Gets Mustang/911 Syndrome
We don't really need another special edition Lamborghini Gallardo, but we'll sure as hell take one of these bad bulls.
It's the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Squadra Corse, inspired by all the cars that rich guys race in series like the Blancpain Super Trofeo… although this shouldn't be confused with the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 570-4 Blancpain edition, which is also a thing.
While there isn't much of a power increase from the LP 560-4, the new Gallardo drops 70 kilos and uses more carbon fiber and aluminum to achieve a 0-to-62 mph time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 200 mph.
Visual tweaks include decals, exposed carbon fiber, racing seats, and other small touches. It's a little low-key, but who cares? The Lamborghini Gallardo is getting older, but it's still one of our favorite cars.
2nd Gear: Subaru Is All About The Money, Money, Money
Subarus are basically outdoorsy yuppy crack. Pull up to any REI and you'll see grown men in spandex bike shorts waddling bags of power gels up to Outbacks and Impreza XVs. At least, that's what I've noticed anecdotally.
According to Automotive News, I now have numbers to back up my observations and it's a bento box of different kinds of good news for Fuji Heavy Industries.
Profits are up to $739.6 million, an all time record and a nearly 400% increase from $184.1 million the same time last year. It's not as much as Toyota, but for a small company it's great.
Where is this coming from? North America. Subaru hasn't made inroads into China yet, but the U.S. and Canada accounts for more than half of the company's sales and they an 8% increase through March 31, 2014.
We blame the BRZ, which is awesome.
3rd Gear: What Makes An Audi An Audi?
I missed this last week, but there's a good article in the Wall Street Journal about Audi having to cope with its international success. To keep up with demand (and make larger profits) they're going to have to continue to build plants outside of Europe.
Is an Audi an attractive luxury car that's fun to drive? Is it a German car? What happens as Europe weakness and it becomes more global?
Remember, Audi is part of VW and VW wants to be the biggest carmaker. Here's the nut:
Audi itself is in the midst of the largest investment program in its history, Mr. Stadler said. At the end of 2011, the company said it would invest more than €3.5 billion per year from 2012 through 2014, or a total €11 billion in the period.The company aims to be the top manufacturer in the premium sector by 2020, and has set a sales goal of 1.5 million units for 2015. The company could, however, reach that milestone this year, after selling 780,000 cars in the first half, thanks to strong growth in the U.S. and China. The second half also started well.
4th Gear: How Close Is Fiat To Really Buying The Rest Of Chrysler?
While there's been good news for Fiat in the let's-buy-the-rest-of-Chrysler-for-the-smallest-price-possible lately, with a Judge ruling that Chrysler could buy the 54,154 shares from the UAW trust that owns them, it's not going to suddenly make their problems go away reports The Detroit Free Press
The sticking point is that the UAW trust wasn't ordered to make the payment, and the actual amount they're going to have to pay for the rest may still come down to a trial.
The trust is responsible for paying the healthcare of former Chrysler workers who were covered by a contract when they retired and, understandably, the trust wants as much money as it can get to cover it.
5th Gear: Chrysler Sales Up 11%
Chrysler has its best July in seven years, reporting an 11% increase year-over-year. This was led by the Ram Truck brand with sales up 31% and big gains for Dodge.
Total Dodge sales were up 18% as people, somehow, are still buying Challengers and Avengers and whatever else. The Dodge Durango is up 88% and the Dodge Dart, at least, was up year-over-year. Chrysler was up 12%.
Fiat and Jeep both showed an increase in sales of 2%, but the Fiat 500L was up 78% over the previous month and the 2014 Jeep Cherokee is eventually coming.
Just look how happy Sergio looks!
Reverse: Just What They Need
On this day in 2007, Citibank opens China's first drive-through automated teller machine (ATM) at the Upper East Side Central Plaza in Beijing.
Initially, the Citibank drive-through ATM that opened in Beijing in August 2007 was available only to holders of bank cards issued abroad, as foreign banks were not yet allowed to issue their own cards in China. Other banks soon hopped on the drive-through banking bandwagon in China, including China Construction Bank, which opened the first drive-through ATM in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in May 2008.
Neutral: Why Is Subaru A Success? What makes Subaru stand out so much compared to the rest of the Japanese offerings? Is it the rugged lifestyle approach? The AWD? The design? Do you own a Subie? Why?
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