Image credit: Tesla

Good morning! Welcome to The Morning Shift, your roundup of the auto news you crave, all in one place every weekday morning. Here are the important stories you need to know.

1st Gear: Sound Familiar?

An executive at a major auto industry supplier, faced with a looming, inevitable tidal wave of change that has been decades in the making, has said that his company will be forced to layoff people as a result.

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His own job is almost assuredly secure, however, because that is how the world works. Via Reuters:

The shift to electric vehicles will cost jobs at German automotive supplier Continental, its chief executive told a newspaper, but he said many of those jobs would be offset by new positions related to electro-mobility.

“Due to the low added value, production jobs will be lost,” German weekly paper Welt am Sonntag quoted Elmar Degenhart as saying in a summary of an article to be published on Sunday.

He said it was too soon to say whether the number of jobs that would be lost would be bigger of smaller than the number of new positions created.

Degenhart was reported to have said that because they could see it coming the blow should be somewhat softened, which I’m sure makes the approximately 30,000 people working on combustion engines at Continental feel a lot better.

2nd Gear: Honda Recalls Over 600,000 Minivans

Honda’s recalling 641,302 Odyssey minivans because of seats, Automotive News reports:

In a statement, the automaker said one of the recalls involves a mechanism that “allows the outboard second row seats to tilt and slide forward for access to the third row seating area may not properly lock the seat into place when the seat is returned to its normal position,” which increases the risk of injury to passengers seated in the second row.

Please do not ride on top of your car in the meantime as a solution.

3rd Gear: MobilEye Partners Up With HERE

MobilEye, the Israeli autonomous driving company which got a big early boost through its original partnership with Tesla, knows that it’d be a hell of a lot easier for automakers if they could just buy autonomous technology from a third party and install it on their cars. MobilEye hopes to be that third party, and to make its tech even more attractive it’s partnered with HERE maps, which is owned by a consortium of BMW, Mercedes, and Audi, engadget reports:

With the tie-up, Here will use MobilEye’s so-called “roadbook,” a cloud-based map of the world’s roads derived from crowd-sourced vehicle sensor data. That’’ll give Here’s HD Live mapping system access to “landmarks and roadway information to assist in making a vehicle more aware of — and better able to react to — its surroundings,” the companies say. MobilEye, in turn, be able to store its raw sensor data in Here’s open mapping platform, making it easier to update and maintain the roadbook.

Here points out that autonomous vehicles need precise and up-to-date map data, and thinks it can “accelerate that work with MobilEye.” 

MobilEye had a bit of a tumultuous breakup with Tesla, as MobilEye basically accused Tesla of being unsafe and Tesla said that MobilEye wasn’t moving fast enough.

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4th Gear: It Turns Out You Need To Pay People Market-Rate Salaries, Japanese Automakers Find

As certain job positions find growing demand for their services, salaries increase for workers. This should not come as a shocker to anyone who has ever earned a salary from a large corporation, but somehow this information is still shocking to the corporations themselves, Bloomberg reports:

Headhunter Casey Abel spent four months trying to hire a data-center architect for a Japanese automaker, including five meetings with the client — one with the top executive. In the end, the IT specialist joined an e-commerce company abroad for significantly more money.

“There’s just a massive mismatch in salaries,” said Abel, managing director at recruiter HCCR K.K., who has spent as long as a year trying to land some IT candidates. “You’ve got some engineers making 20 million yen ($170,000) a year. Then you try to fit them in the traditional manufacturer-based salary structure where it should be 7 to 9 million yen.”

Honda’s research arm is adopting a new pay system accordingly, Bloomberg notes, and moving away from the traditional seniority-based pay grades.

Capitalism swings both ways. Huh.

5th Gear: That’s It For The Morning Shift This Year

This latest installment of The Morning Shift will sadly be its last for 2016. Fear not, for it is not the end, it’s just that the year ends tomorrow. Thankfully.

We’ll be back with all the automotive industry news that matters to you next year, which for us will start on Tuesday. Monday doesn’t count.

Thank you for your continued support of The Morning Shift. We love you all. Yes, even you. Especially you.

Reverse: Sit-Down Strike Begins In Flint

At 8 p.m. on December 30, 1936, in one of the first sit-down strikes in the United States, autoworkers occupy the General Motors Fisher Body Plant Number One in Flint, Michigan. The autoworkers were striking to win recognition of the United Auto Workers (UAW) as the only bargaining agent for GM’s workers; they also wanted to make the company stop sending work to non-union plants and to establish a fair minimum wage scale, a grievance system and a set of procedures that would help protect assembly-line workers from injury. In all, the strike lasted 44 days.

Neutral: What Car Are You Most Excited For In 2017?

I’m leaning towards the new Ford GT. It has flying buttresses. Flying. Buttresses.