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?
We can get into the long history between Japan and China and why it means the latter generally doesn't like the former some other time, needless to say that it impacted car sales and that's why we care.
At the crest of the dispute last year (or trough, if you sell cars), Japan's exports to China dropped by 80% according to the Wall Street Journal, but now they say that the country's exports are now only 14% off the historical average, as of April.
That's not perfect and, of course, Japan would like to be more competitive in the world's largest car market, but given that basically zero has happened on the diplomatic front it's a good indication that the Chinese people's nationalistic zeal is as wide and shallow as their soup dishes.
That's good for Japan. But what about China? They may be worse of in all of this because Japanese automakers are now like "fuck building stuff there, we'll just supply ourselves from places that don't hate us like… I don't know… Thailand. I could sure go for some tasty Lard Na."
2nd Gear: Business Leaders In Detroit Not Fazed By Bankruptcy
Business leaders in Detroit, specifically those not owed money by the city aren't as phased by the Detroit bankruptcy as you'd think according to The Detroit News, which gang-banged out a good quick reaction story.
“We look at this as going into surgery,” Detroit Regional Chamber President and CEO Sandy K. Baruah said in a telephone interview. “No one looks forward to it, no one says it’s going to be painless, but at the end of the day, you know you have to do it.”
Yep. But what kind of surgery? Appendix? Liver transplant? Colon removal?
3rd Gear: Cherokee Production Starts
I'm looking forward to driving the 2014 Jeep Cherokee next month, including on an "off-road" course. Sounds like production is delayed with only 150 being built a day according to the Detroit Free Press
Still, that's enough for journalists to drive-and-wreck, and production should ramp up to 1,000-per-day soon. That's right, 1,000-per-day. They want to sell a metric crap ton of these.
4th Gear: Dacia Duster Black
Everyone's favorite Romanian SUV, the Dacia Duster, is now getting a special "Dacia Duster Ambiance dCi 110 4x2 Black Edition" for Goodwood. Sure.
The Dacia Duster Ambiance dCi 110 4x2 Black Edition is loaded with extras, including a striking brushed black vinyl wrap finish, luxurious ash leather interior, hi-tech Kenwood media system and stylish 18” alloy wheels. The media system includes a 6” high resolution screen, Garmin satellite navigation with TMC traffic information, DAB, Bluetooth with hands-free calling, ipod connectivity, DVD playback and rear USB connection.
This is the one to buy.
5th Gear: Silverstone Auctions Will Have Its Biggest Sale Ever
I'm not sure if this is a sign that the auction market is still exploding, or finally peaking, but Silverstone Auctions will have its biggest auction ever with 300 cars in total.
These cars include a bunch of 50-year-old Porsches, including a 1969 911T, 1963 Lotus 23B, a few Aston Martins, and Kimi Raikkonen's 1999 Formula Renault.
Get out yer checkbooks, boys and girls.
Reverse: George Washington Carver begins experimental project with Henry Ford
By the time World War II began, Ford had made repeated journeys to Tuskegee to convince Carver to come to Dearborn and help him develop a synthetic rubber to help compensate for wartime rubber shortages. Carver arrived on July 19, 1942, and set up a laboratory in an old water works building in Dearborn. He and Ford experimented with different crops, including sweet potatoes and dandelions, eventually devising a way to make the rubber substitute from goldenrod, a plant weed. Carver died in January 1943, Ford in April 1947, but the relationship between their two institutions continued to flourish: As recently as the late 1990s, Ford awarded grants of $4 million over two years to the George Washington Carver School at Tuskegee.
Neutral: Dacia Duster Are we crazy journalists because we like this, or do you get it? It's so cheap.
Photo Credit: Getty Images