This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place every weekday morning. 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: Beigekrieg Goes Blitzkrieg
Having suffered setbacks in their goal to reach 800,000 car sales in the United States, VW looks to be on the way to reorganizing their product rollouts in the United States in the model of Harley Earl, offering bigger changes in shorter intervals.
As Bloomberg reports:
The VW marque will introduce new products every five years, with major refreshes after three years, Michael Horn, head of VW's U.S. operations, said in an interview. VW currently introduces completely revamped vehicles every seven years, tweaking them after four.
"Customers want quicker change," Horn said. "We're working to shorten the life cycle of the products to bring more new features and design elements, in terms of face-lifts, to the market quicker. We believe we have a positive business case. It commercially makes sense that we move."
That alone won't get them to double sales by 2018, but it's a start. Also that doubled sales goal is ridiculous.
2nd Gear: Meet Ford Of Europe's Lead Designer
Joel Piaskowski, a Michigander, will take over as director of design for Ford of Europe this summer, reports Alisa Priddle. Cool.
The guy has a good list of products behind him, including leading the group that did the 2015 Mustang and F-150.
3rd Gear: Mercedes Colludes With The Chinese
If you're going to sell more cars globally in the next five years, you're almost certainly going to have to increase your market share in China and the United States.
To wit, Reuters has a take on how Mercedes plans to catch up to Audi and BMW in China: Sharing.
"To put it bluntly, we are transferring know-how," said Rene Reif, head of engineering and manufacturing at Beijing Benz.
Today, Mercedes-Benz GLA prototypes are parked at a brand new research and development center built for BBAC. And a new C-Class, code named V205 is propped up on vibrating pillars to undergo final "bust squeeze and rattle" testing before its looming launch in China.
Historically, Mercedes has been worried about China steeling their shit — a fair concern — but if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
4th Gear: Jaguar:Tata::Chrysler:Fiat
Just as Chrysler as helped bailout a slumping Fiat, the purchase of Jaguar Land Rover seems like a stroke of genius for Tata, whose domestic business is losing money about as fast their global luxury arm can make it.
Tata just released their first quarter earnings and it's roughly unchanged at $665 million, little changed from a year before. While JLR is doing well with sales continuing to grow, Tata's sales were down by about a third.
5th Gear: Your Little Bit Of GM News
One of the lawyers pursuing GM says he knows of at least 60 deaths related to the ignition recall, way up from the 13 GM has admitted to.
A panel is trying to determine where to hear the 90 or so existing GM recalls.
Reverse: But He Didn't Drink Milk
On this day in 1911, Ray Harroun drives his single-seater Marmon Wasp to victory in the inaugural Indianapolis 500, now one of the world's most famous motor racing competitions.
Neutral: Is VW's Problem Speed?
Or product? Marketing? How do they get to 800K.
Photo Credit: AP Images