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: Pay Attention To New York
While you'd have been ok ignoring the New York Auto Show a few years ago, this year's show may be the most important it's ever been in its entire history. Why? A number of factors, but mostly it's in the timing.
Five years ago we had the Carpocalypse, which was a recession-instigated industry correction that led to two major bankruptcies, the death of numerous brands, and a general paying-for-the-sins-of-the-father for nearly every automaker.
Five years is also, approximately, the product cycle for a modern car. Which means that five years ago, companies started planting the seeds of the future of their brands and started considering what they'd put out in 2014 and 2015. This year we enjoy the harvest. There was simply too much good stuff to debut this year that it's spilled over from Detroit and Chicago into New York.
We're also in an expanding market, which means automakers are looking to maintain market share and increase profits with an ever expanding portfolio of vehicles. Also, they're still trying to poach from one another.
Finally, credit to the New York Auto Show planners, who have managed to improve the show despite being in Javits, which isn't ideally laid out for an auto show.
The show officially starts tomorrow, we'll be partying our asses off tonight, follow all of it here.
2nd Gear: Ok, We Have To Write About GM
(Look, if you don't want to read about the recall, just skip ahead to 5th Gear. it's news, we can't ignore it, and it makes sense to put a lot of it in TMS - Matt)
Another reason why New York is important is that it's an opportunity for GM to shake off some of the recall and focus on the new cars they're building, like the Corvette Z06 convertible.
We'll see how well that works. Per The Detroit News:
"The recall is definitely the elephant in the room," Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell said. "That's something they're going to have to try anyway. The Cruze is really important for the brand."
Karl Brauer, senior analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said in a statement: "GM needs to counter its recent spate of negative headlines with positive news from the New York auto show. The updated Cruze should help buyers look away from the automaker's troubled compact-car past and toward a brighter future."
Yeah, that 2015 Chevy Cruze looks super exciting...
3rd Gear: Is Getting Fired As GM's Spokesperson Actually A Gift?
Mary Barra will be, to use a cliché that business writers love, 'cleaning house' at GM as she replaces HR boss Melissa Howell and senior flack Selim Bingol.
At this point, I wouldn't feel too bad about being let go. The PR people at GM are, in my experience, quite nice and generally very professional, but it's still a shit job at the moment if you'd rather be talking about the new Corvette and instead you're talking about dead people.
Why is this happening since, at least officially, these people aren't being replaced because of the recall? Tom Walsh has a good point in his take:
Monday's moves have "considerable symbolic value," said Marina von Neumann Whitman, GM's first female vice president from 1985-92. "But however innocent those two people may be of mistakes that were made, trying to change the culture with the same people in place would vastly increase the difficulty."
He goes on to add that whomever gave her the advice to be overly cautious in front of Congress should also probably get the boot.
4th Gear: If You Have A Recalled Car, Get It Fixed
How many of the recalled cars will get fixed? Not enough, unfortunately. While some of the recalls lately are for very low probability events, and the free tow hitch you get with a Jeep seems of questionable value, this is one of those times where you definitely should get it repaired as soon as you can.
About a third of all recalled cars and trucks don't get repaired, and about one out of every seven vehicles, or 36 million, still on the road have an unrepaired defect, according to data compiled by regulators, safety advocates and the CarFax vehicle history company.
Look, recalls are no fun, but you need to do it. Not just for your own safety, but if you sell the car and didn't get something fixed and someone gets hurt, how would you feel?
5th Gear: Is It Groundhog Day Again?
Wolfgang Dürheimer, who is a pretty funny dude, was ousted as Audi's R&D chief about a year ago and has been kind of floating around since, will now be head of Bentley and Bugatti. It's a post recently held by… Wolfgang Dürheimer.
Reuters reports that current head Wolfgang Schreiber will have a "leading role" within VW group but didn't further elaborate. Volkswagen Audi Group is like the Hotel California, you can check out any time you like but you apparently can never leave.
Big D let me borrow his car once so we're cool.
Reverse: But A MotorWeek Meme Was Born
On this day in 1912, Washington Augustus Roebling II, a 31-year-old race car engineer and driver, dies in the sinking of the RMS Titanic in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Roebling was named for his uncle, a civil engineer who helped build the Brooklyn Bridge.
Neutral: What Car Are You Most Looking Forward To?
The NY Auto Show starts tomorrow, what's the car you're most excited about?
Photo Credit: Getty Images