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: Mustang VIN 0001 Of 2014 Is A Thunderbird
As they often do, Ford has donated a special edition Mustang to the EAA Young Eagles program, which will be auctioned off before the start of the EAA AirVenture festivities later this month. The car is VIN #0001 of the 2014 model year.
Ready to confuse all of your animals? This is a 2014 Mustang GT designed to look like a Thunderbird plane, which, of course, is actually a Falcon.
The Sequester has drastically reduced the number of demonstrations the Thunderbirds U.S. Air Force demonstration team is able to do, so if you want to see a Thunderbird perform you're best bet is to buy… a Mustang.
The exterior is modified to look like the F16 with the paint scheme and the custom Fogato 22-inch wheels. If you're in the market you can own a piece of history and help out charity.
2nd Gear: The New Chevy Silverado Is 'Strong'
If you couldn't already guess, the new 2014 Chevy Silverado is aimed squarely at the conservative set. The only thing they SYNC is a trailer to the back of a pickup, which this new "Strong" video shows.
It'll debut on Independence Day in Texas, according to The Detroit News. Of course, I initially read this as "On Texas Independence Day." I thought releasing an ad nearly nine months early seemed a little off.
This new campaign features singer-songwriter Will Hoge crooning about men being strong, and tough, and being faithful to their wives, and working hard. Good American values.
I get the subtle message here: If you cheat you on your wife go ahead and buy a Tundra.
3rd Gear: McLaren Automotive Gets A New CEO
McLaren Automotive COO Mike Flewitt just got a raise and will work as McLaren's CEO effective immediately. This means hell get to be there for the launch of the P1. Lucky guy.
Flewitt has worked his way through Ford of Europe, Bentley, AutoNova, Rolls-Royce and TWR.
It seems like Ron Dennis, who will remain as Chairman, is relinquishing a little bit of his power to Flewitt to handle McLaren's operations. Perhaps he wants to focus on not winning F1 races.
4th Gear: A Union? In Alabama? The Governor Doesn't Think So
Drive through the American south and you'll come across a foreign car company manufacturing cars roughly every 350 miles. Mercedes, Kia, Hyundai, BMW, VW and Nissan all have major operations in the former Confederacy.
The main reason automakers love to build in these states is there are very few pro-labor laws, which is why the UAW has been actively trying to get a union at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance, Alabama.
The appropriately-named Alabama governor Robert Bentley says he doesn't think that's a great idea according to the AP.
“I really don’t believe they have any need for unionization and an intermediary between them and management,” Bentley said in an interview. “I don’t think it’s going to happen.”
The governor added that Alabama’s status as a state with a right-to-work law helps him recruit new business.
The union campaign, supported by the German union IG Metall, is attempting to organize the plant’s 3,000 workers as the auto factory adds new products and expands capacity.
Remember, Alabama politicians love unions about as much as they love universal literacy.
5th Gear: Sino-Japanese Relations Still Holding Back Car Sales
Continued mix results for the Japanese in China, where ongoing disputes between the countries has hurt Japanese auto sales in the country.
While it appears like Japanese automakers may have gotten through the worst of the downturn, there's nothing but mixed results this year. Toyota said it had a 9% year-over-year rise in sales, while Nissan said sales fell 7.7% and Honda dropped 5.6% (following a 4.6% rise in May).
This is creating an opportunity for European and American automakers who have no qualms about taking advantage of Japan's problems in the world's biggest car market.
Reverse: Chevrolet builds 1 millionth Corvette
The Corvette, America's first all-fiberglass-bodied sports car, made its splashy debut in January 1953 as part of General Motors' traveling Motorama display at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. It went into production the following June, with a base sticker price of $3,760 (around $30,000 in today's dollars). Despite its sleek, aerodynamic exterior and the fanfare that announced its arrival, early sales of the Corvette were unimpressive. Many sports car enthusiasts scoffed at this American response to the flashy, high-performance European models, with its standard family-car components—including "Blue Flame" six-cylinder engines, two-speed Powerglide automatic transmissions and drum brakes from Chevrolet's regular car line—and its lack of a stick-shift option.
Neutral: What Sways Your Truck-buying Decision? Facts? Stats? Emotions? Family? Price?
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