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: The Wait Is The Hardest Part
The Tesla Model 3 is the hottest new car debut this year that’s not actually debuting this year. While the company showed off a pre-production model to much fanfare this spring, production isn’t scheduled to begin until late 2017. (Notice I said scheduled, because Tesla has a bit of a history with delays.)
And that’s if you ordered early. Reserve a car now and you’re looking at mid-2018, Bloomberg reports:
“Production begins late 2017. Delivery estimate for new reservations is mid 2018 or later,” the electric-car marker said on its website Tuesday. Tesla shares briefly pared gains after the news was initially interpreted as a delay in the introduction of the vehicle. The shares rose 2.7 percent to $199.34 at the close in New York.
“Today’s website update doesn’t reflect any change in our plans,” Tesla said in a statement. “We still plan to begin Model 3 deliveries in late 2017, and we adjusted the date on our marketing page to reflect more accurate timing for new/future reservation holders.”
Tesla is also set to show off some kind of new product today, possible an energy storage thing or updates to the Models S and X.
2nd Gear: Carlos Ghosn Tightens His Grip On Mitsubishi
It was Nissan-Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn who pushed for the rescue purchase of Mitsubishi Motors this year. Now that it comes time to appoint a Mitsubishi chairman, who gets the gig? That’s right, Carlos Ghosn.
But is he overbooking himself? Via Automotive News:
Koji Endo, a Tokyo-based auto analyst at SBI Securities, said it will be easier for Ghosn as Mitsubishi chairman to do the things he did at Nissan, such as combining platforms, cutting costs and even closing plants. “In order to implement such massive restructuring, you need someone as powerful as Ghosn to get things going,” he said.
However, not everyone is in favor of Ghosn taking on the chairmanship of a third automaker. “I think he has enough work to do at both Renault and Nissan,” said Hans-Peter Wodniok, a Frankfurt-based analyst with AlphaValue. “He should also spend all his time in these two companies rather than taking on another job in Japan.”
I’m sure he has plenty of free time for this.
3rd Gear: VW Workers Not Down With The Cost Cuts
Cash-strapped Volkswagen is set to streamline things by cutting its aging workforce by attrition over the next decade. But the company’s labor leaders aren’t necessarily down with that plan. Via Reuters:
“Constructive talks are still ongoing and will be continued tomorrow. The fact is: the pact may still fail. Especially if the company does not make concrete assurances for certain products, such as battery manufacturing,” Gunnar Kilian, a labour leader at VW’s group works council, said in an e-mailed statement.
Monthly Manager Magazin had earlier said on its website that VW had agreed with labour leaders on cutting costs at the VW brand by between 5 and 6 billion euros ($5.5-6.6 billion) by 2025 at the latest.
Europe’s largest automaker will take advantage of natural attrition to cut between 10,000 and 20,000 staff over the next decade, the magazine had said, citing unnamed sources familiar with the talks.
You think union negotiations in the U.S. are fun? Try being VW and doing it in Germany.
4th Gear: Toyota Shifts In North America
Toyota’s U.S. headquarters move from Torrance, California to Plano, Texas is more than just a play for superior tacos. It’s a move part of shifts that “fundamentally [change] the way it operates its businesses in North America”, the Detroit Free Press reports. Here’s more on those plans:
Lentz made the move from Torrance to Plano about two years ago. Now, about 100 employees are arriving each month. By next year, Lentz said, about 1,800 will be working out of the new headquarters, and over time that will grow to more than 4,000 employees.
Toyota’s restructuring also came after the automaker changed how it operates around the world. In 2009 and 2010 the company was slow to react to a massive recall involving the sudden acceleration of its vehicles. After the crisis the automaker decided to overhaul its management structure to give regional management teams around the globe more decision-making authority.
As part of that corporate consolidation Toyota is moving about 250 purchasing jobsfrom Erlanger, Ky., to the Toyota Technical Center campus in York Township near Ann Arbor.
Toyota also said last week it plans to hire a total of 1,000 new employees. About 350 of those jobs are open now and those positions are posted on www.toyota.com/careers and on Linkedin and Glassdoor using @ToyotaNorthAmerica.
Welcome to Texas, Toyota. Sorry it’s in Plano.
5th Gear: Lear As A Symptom Of Detroit’s Tech Boom
Supplier Lear Corp. is opening a new innovation center in Detroit’s Capitol Park as it seeks to develop new technologies. That’s one more company that is emblematic of Detroit’s nascent tech industry, reports the News:
Here’s a major player with global reach, and a lot of options, choosing the city as its creative home. Lear aims to develop next-generation technology in seating and electronic systems to power and connect both traditional cars and trucks and the autonomous vehicles just around the corner.
“I pitched the vision to Dan,” says Simoncini, Lear’s president and CEO. “He bought it. I said, ‘I need that building,’ He sold it to me. This is not a charitable event. We’re not doing this just to rehab a building” in Detroit.
He’s doing it to harness the design and engineering talent being produced by the industry, the College for Creative Studies and Wayne State University; to capitalize on the trend that young people are gravitating toward cutting-edge work in urban areas; to move Detroit forward in the competition for the 21st-century leadership in the auto industry.
Lear intends to use the 35,000 square-foot facility to develop new automotive technologies and business opportunities, to work with CCS on seating and interiors products and to collaborate with Wayne State’s School of Engineering on apps for connected cars, autonomous vehicles and alternative propulsion technology.
Reverse: John Z.!