This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:30 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: It All Gets Decided Tonight Borrowing David Shepardson's headline/lede here on the UAW/VW Tennessee deal because it's quite good.
On the one hand, a UAW-run "Works Council" in VW feels like such a longshot that a failure seems like no big deal. That's now how they see it though, here's the money quote:
Rejection would be a major setback for the Detroit-based UAW, which has mounted a costly campaign to organize foreign auto plants. UAW President Bob King has warned that his union has no future if it can't organize foreign-owned plants, because it will be nearly impossible to demand higher wages from Detroit's automakers if the foreign companies remain non-union and don't hike wages.
Senator Bob Corker, who lead the push to get Volkswagen and is now leading the push to keep the UAW out, threatened workers yesterday by saying that they wouldn't get a new SUV if they allowed the UAW to win. That's a dubious claim and VW denied it.
Anyways, you should read the whole story because it shows all the tensions between a deep, Southern distrust of unions but a desire to pursue some kind of organization. It also hints that the heavy-handed tactics by conservative groups may be more off-putting than whatever heavy-handed tactics the UAW and its allies are pursuing.
2nd Gear: Slow Your Roll Canada Canada's all like "TAKE OUR MONEY PLEASE" to get some sweet sweet Chrysler Minivans, but Sergio Marchionne is all like "slow your roll homeboys" we ain't decided yet.
Specifically, he said they're "not even close" to figuring out where to build the new Caravan and:
"We've got to decide whether you want this or not," Marchionne told reporters in Toronto. "And if you do, I'll be more than willing to stay. Global footprints are global footprints. I'm not using this as a threat, but there are some parts of the world that are desperately looking for capacity utilization, where infrastructure exists, is in place and is operational."
Translation: This is a fuck-ton of money and it's going to take more than a few loonies.
3rd Gear: Nissan Ends India Partnership A stumbling Nissan needs to do what it can to improve all of its operations, and especially in India where the market has flatlined a bit. This means their deal with Hover Automotive is over, reports The Wall Street Journal.
While the overall Indian market fell 6.1% in the first ten months of their last fiscal year, Nissan was down 11%. The Datsun Go goes on sale their soon and, rather than sell through a third-party company, Nissan says they're established enough to sell on their own.
4th Gear: The Prius Still The Best-Selling Car In California It's not just a stereotype, the Toyota Prius line was the best selling car in California in 2013, besting the Honda Civic.
Sales of Toyota's four-model Prius line were 69,728 in the state, the biggest U.S. market for new cars and trucks, ahead of Honda Motor Co. (7267)'s Civic, based on the California Auto Outlook report issued by the California New Car Dealers Association yesterday. Model S sales were 8,347, behind Daimler AG's Mercedes E-Class and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG's BMW 5-Series sedans. Tesla's $71,000 car wasn't among 2012's top sellers.
Can't wait to see how many ELRs they sell. ZING!
5th Gear: Toyota Reorganizing Nevertheless Here's a weird one, Toyota's making 80 of its current employees "reapply" for a newly created job, apply for a job elsewhere within the company, or take a "voluntary separation" according to Mark Rechtin.
We're guessing most people are going to opt to reapply for the new marketing jobs, which will be organized "by product, rather than by discipline."
A team for each car actually makes sense, but this seems like a weird way to do it.
Reverse: Japan's Thomas Edison
Sakichi Toyoda, whose textile machinery company spawned the Toyota Motor Corporation, is born in Japan on February 14, 1867. In 2008, Toyota surpassed the American auto giant General Motors (GM) to become the world's largest automaker.
Neutral: How Long Before Tesla Has The Best-Selling Luxury Car In California? They're third now, but they're also still trying to maximize production.
Photo Credit: AP Images