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: The VAG Isn't As Tight As You'd Think
The Volkswagen Audi Group is one big happy family, except when it isn't. I mean, did you see Le Mans this year?
Nowhere is the capacity for internicene battles clearer than in China, where everyone's hoping to make as much money as possible. To wit, Reuters has a report saying China is going to build a version of the A6 for that market. The A6, of course, is the best selling luxury sedan in China.
Volkswagen aims to replicate Audi's success in luxury vehicles at a time when a state crackdown on extravagance among public officials is creating demand for upmarket cars absent of marques typically associated with opulence.
Going upmarket would see the German auto maker trespass into a segment dominated by Audi, BMW (BMWG.DE) and Daimler AG's (DAIGn.DE) Mercedes-Benz, which are in turn seeking growth by producing more affordable models closer to Volkswagen's line-up.
"Selling luxury cars makes for fatter profit. Volkswagen believes this segment will continue to grow rapidly," said one of the people, who is not authorized to talk to the media so declined to be identified.
That's kind of brilliant. It looks bad to drive a car that's too nice, so you make a car that is nice but just doesn't look nice. Can't you see, you fools? China has finally created the perfect market for the Volkswagen Phaeton!
2nd Gear: Bill Ford Gets First Anniversary 2015 Mustang
You should definitely buy a 2015 Ford Mustang if it's your name on the front of the car. And if that's the case, you should also probably get VIN #1 of the limited-run 50-Year Limited Edition.
Hell, if you're the engineer behind it, you only get #8.
"Bill Ford gets No. 1," Ling said. "Nobody is a bigger (Mustang) fan."
Alisa Priddle has the full scoop on who ended up with what, although we don't find out if they all bought versions with the six-speed manual. Here's hoping.
3rd Gear: Here Comes More Interesting GM Info
A judge has ruled that GM has to provide all their internal files about the defects that led to a massive recall to plaintiff attorneys.
Friday's ruling in essence paves the way for plaintiff attorneys to begin obtaining records they could use in cases before and after the company's bankruptcy petition. At issue is whether GM purposely chose not to disclose the ignition-switch flaw that lower-level employees first flagged in 2005, which could be used to void the bankruptcy shield.
"The sooner we begin discovery, the sooner we will know if this criminal conduct and coverup made it to the head of the snake," said Texas attorney Bob Hilliard, who along with Steve Berman and Elizabeth Cabraser, represent the plaintiffs. "The significance here, and what GM doesn't like, is that we will now get access to more records."
I wonder if the media will ever see any of it... hmm...
4th Gear: Of Course We Should Invest In Infrastructure
Those slightly lower taxes aren't going to mean much to you when the overpass you're on suddenly crumbles and you fall into oncoming traffic because some politician thought it would be better to keep up an "anti-spending" credo that's more a slogan than a reasoned ideology.
It's why I'm with Larry Summers when he says we need boost economic growth by investing in our crappy infrastructure as he just did this weekend
“We could invest in infrastructure in a major way in this country,” Summers said.
While the unemployment rate nationwide was 6.1 percent in August, Summers said it’s higher in the construction industry.
“We can borrow money for the long term in a currency we print ourselves at just about 2.5 percent,” he said. “If now is not the time to repair our infrastructure, I don’t know when that time will come.”
There are so many ways in which Larry Summers is a shithead, but you can't argue with that logic.
5th Gear: Infiniti Partners With Dongfeng In China
Dongfeng, makers of the best-named SUV in all of China, will partner with Infiniti, makes of increasingly vague and alphanumerically-named luxury cars.
Both Nissan and Dongfeng will each control 50 percent of the venture that will sell locally produced vehicles bearing the Dongfeng Infiniti badge and imported models with the Infiniti emblem, the automaker said in an e-mailed statement today. Infiniti China Managing Director Daniel Kirchert was named president of the joint venture, which will be called Dongfeng Infiniti Motor Co.
Infiniti is targeting to increase annual sales in China to 100,000 units by 2018, most of which will be locally produced. The announcement comes as industrywide passenger-vehicle sales in China last month rose at the slowest pace since March as the economy cools and the government steps up anti-monopoly probes into foreign carmakers.
It always helps to have a local partner.
Reverse: And L.A. Never Had Traffic Again...
On September 22, 1953, the first four-level (or "stack") interchange in the world opens in Los Angeles, California, at the intersection of the Harbor, Hollywood, Pasadena, and Santa Ana freeways. It was, as The Saturday Evening Post wrote, "a mad motorist's dream": 32 lanes of traffic weaving in eight directions at once. Today, although the four-level is justly celebrated as a civil engineering landmark, the interchange is complicated, frequently congested, and sometimes downright terrifying. (As its detractors are fond of pointing out, it's probably no coincidence that this highway octopus straddles not only a fetid sulfur spring but also the former site of the town gallows.)
Neutral: Can China Make The Expensive VW work?
Is the VW-badged Audi A6 a good idea?
Photo Credit: Getty Images