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: What's The Deal With Driving In The Desert?
Jerry Seinfeld may drive Porsches, but you'd scarcely know it given the relationship he has with Acura, doing their Super Bowl ad this year and promoting the brand on his web show.
In this entertaining piece from Bloomberg we get to hear the comedian go to town on modern car advertising.
“For the most part, car advertising is a total turnoff to the consumer; I think it needs a complete reboot,” Seinfeld said in a phone interview. “It’s too commercial-y and fear-based. Stop showing us the cars driving through the desert.”
To his credit, Seinfeld's Acura-sponsored and generally hilarious "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee" includes vintage Honda/Acura ads instead of the new ones. Maybe he's sending a message.
“Don’t sell me your product, sell me you,” said Seinfeld, 59. “You’re trying to make people like you. You don’t have to sell them your product. You have to make them like you.”
Fair point. Seinfeld is a great ambassador for Acura, but can you please explain why Honda is still pulling this shit?
2nd Gear: Do We Have A New Stupidest Recall?
What? Are people upset they won't be able to do in-car renditions of David Ives' plays?
The sound regulation was intended to prevent drivers with push-button starts from leaving their key fobs — which must be in the vehicle for the push-button start to work — inside the vehicle accidentally. Without the sound, drivers may be more likely to leave the vehicle on, with the key fob in the car, increasing the likelihood of the vehicle being stolen.
So, if you have a C-Max Hybrid or a Focus EV (unlikely), look out for a letter.
3rd Gear: How Much Did One Fire Cost Tesla?
So, a Tesla Model S caught on fire after hitting some giant mysterious metal object. On one hand, that shouldn't be a big deal. On the other hand, Reuters says it cost the automaker $2.4 billion in market value.
So, kind of big deal.
While one single fire isn't a sign that all is wrong in the world of Tesla, the _TMC_ers who demand that people ignore this because "OH MY GOD 180K GASOLINE CARS CATCH ON FIRE EVERY YEAR" are as foolish as the people who think this is a sign that the Model S is a death trap.
It's a new car, and new technology, and the first of anything is newsworthy, especially when we've got video and photos.
Let's flip it on its head: Tesla built and sold about 1,000 cars in September. In the same month Ford sold about 60,000 trucks. Does that mean we should pay 1/60th less attention to the Tesla as we do to the F-Series?
Absolutely not. Tesla's stock price and whole existence is based on it being hyped up beyond all normal reason. It's new. It's sexy. It's electric. It's a good car. You can't revel in the praise when things go right and then freak the fuck out when something goes wrong.
It's going to take a while to determine if there's actually an issue with the Model S, but in the meantime Tesla and Tesla fanbots should maybe be happy the valuation is a little closer to reality.
4th Gear: Hey, Good News For Tesla
Speaking of taking outliers and writing stories about them, via Automotive News we learn that the Virginia Auto Dealers Association, the Virginia DMV and Tesla have reached a deal to let Tesla apply for a single dealership license for a store in Tyson's Corner.
There are a few more hoops to jump through for Tesla, but apparently the court-sealed agreement required compromises on everyone's part.
Hopefully, this kind of cooperation can be a model for other states.
5th Gear: Volvo's John Maloney Is Out
Pack your knives John Maloney, you're out.
Volvo's North American CEO got axed yesterday after a year of slumping sales. In his place will be Tony Nicolosi, the current CEO of Volvo Car Financial Services U.S. reports Automotive News.
I don't know either of these guys from Adam, but it's hard to blame the head of U.S. sales for the 7% decrease this year. They've got no product. Sure, they've got product coming, but it's not here yet. How do you sell old cars when everyone's got new cars without sinking profits?
Knowing nothing of the situation, I can imagine dealers getting upset and wanting some blood. Given that Volvo apparently offered Nicolosi a position in Europe, maybe that's what happened here.
The new guy will inherit a much better situation.
Reverse: The Day The (Blues) Music Died
Legendary blues singer Bessie Smith is buried near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on October 4, 1937. Some 7,000 mourners attended her funeral. Smith had been killed a few days before when the old Packard she was driving hit a parked truck near Coahoma, Mississippi, between Clarksdale and Memphis. There is no record of Smith's exact birth date, but she was about 43 years old.
Neutral: Who Does Car Advertising Right? Who Does It Wrong?
Photo Credit: Getty Images/AP