Good Morning! Welcome to The Morning Shift, your roundup of the auto news you crave, all in one place at 9:00 AM every weekday morning. Here are the important stories you need to know.

1st Gear: Four Rings Are Better Than No Rings

Audi has a goal. That goal is to be the number one luxury car company in the world.

Mission accomplished, at least for now.

In April, Audi beat both BMW and Mercedes in sales. It’s no a total runaway performance, with Audi selling 152,850 cars compared to BMW and Mercedes both selling about 148,000 cars. If you look at the path Audi has taken and the amount that it has grown in the last 15 years, this is a big accomplishment.

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Now BMW and Mercedes have to play catchup, particularly BMW, which wants to maintain its annual sales lead.

2nd Gear: The Murano And Flex Are Safe

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I don’t mean that they’re safe from destruction or going away or anything, I mean that they’re literally safe. Like, if you crash them, they’ll do ok.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested both and the Murano earned good ratings in every category to earn the highest award that the IIHS can give out, the Top Safety Pick+. The Flex earned good in a number of categories but was also acceptable and marginal in a few, so it gets an overall score of acceptable and a Top Safety Pick.

I’ve personally always liked the Flex, so it’s good to hear people talking about it. Maybe they’ll sell some now.

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3rd Gear: Teslas Are Getting Mods For China

Tesla cars aren’t selling all that great in China. And even though Elon Musk has said that he’s not concerned at all about sales there, it’s obvious that someone at the company is.

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Right now, Teslas don’t conform with an upcoming national charging network in China. So the government will be putting in a network of chargers, but Teslas won’t work with it if they don’t make any mods. That’s a good reason why people wouldn’t be buying Teslas.

There is no time frame for when the charger network will be in place.

4th Gear: FTC Is Backing Tesla

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Direct sales in the auto industry were taboo before Tesla came along. Now, with Tesla here, they’re still taboo, but it’s happening. The FTC is one organization that is supporting Tesla in its quest to disrupt the car dealer model.

The FTC is supporting Tesla on a federal level, and this is one of the first larger organizations to come out in support of Tesla’s business model. Of course, sales are typically decided at a state level, but this might be the start of the feds swaying how states act.

Click here to view this kinja-labs.com embed.

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Reverse

On this day in 1957, race car driver A.J. Foyt (1935- ) scores his first professional victory, in a U.S. Automobile Club (USAC) midget car race in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Will Audi keep this up?


Contact the author at travis@jalopnik.com.