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: Those Darn Millennials!
Millennials! If you're a "social media editor" or "engagement professional" or "Twitter rock star," then they are your jam. They're your bread and butter. Your caesar dressing on that bagged salad. Your one, your only, your everything.
Well at least you think that's the case. But apparently they are passing over some high dollar campaigns from automakers.
A report in Automotive News says that social media, which has been praised for ages as the next generation of everything, has barely made an impact on auto sales. And that includes with the people social campaigns are meant to attract: Millennials.
A survey from Auto Trader shows that a paltry one percent of car buyers used social sites to shop for cars in June. That's overall. The numbers are a bit higher for millennials, but not staggeringly so. Just five percent of young hip folks that were car shopping in June used social media to make that decision. It also showed that perhaps activity on social has no impact on brand perception with the kids, as 78 percent said that they didn't give a hoot if a brand had a presence on their favorite social networks.
They do most of their research to buy a car online, they just don't do it on social media. Likes don't equal sales, folks.
2nd Gear: Toyota Brings In Big Guns (Not Literally) To Monitor Safety
Toyota's $1.2 billion settlement over its unintended acceleration snafu isn't done yet, even if you thought it was. So, in order to ensure they're compliant with the agreement, Toyota has brought in former US Attorney David Kelley to oversee everything.
Kelley's role will be oversight of the agreement to make sure Toyota complies. If they do, the charges will be dropped. Right now, he says it appears Toyota is doing everything right.
The original settlement arose over incorrect and misleading statements over unintended acceleration recalls that defrauded customers. It was a big deal, but hopefully it'll soon be over forever.
3rd Gear: Audi Will Accept China's Penalty
Audi was one of the brands under investigation for the monopoly shizzle, and they have now said that they will pay and accept the penalty.
The fines have not been disclosed, but could be as much as 10 percent of their sales revenue from the previous year. Craziness.
4th Gear: New Tatas! The Car. Get Your Mind Out Of The Gutter.
Tata, the automaker that's famous for owning Jaguar and building the Nano, the world's cheapest car, have released their first new car in four years.
Called the Zest, like the soap brand, it's a small $7,500 compact aimed at engaging India's emerging middle class. This is the hope to get Tata out of a slump, a slump that has been partly attributed to the Nano, a car too cheap for its own good.
The Zest looks like a sweet little ride, it'll be interesting to see how it does once it's released.
5th Gear: The Elantra Coupe Is Dead
Hyundai makes a coupe version of the Elantra. Did you know that? I seriously didn't. So I guess it's not really a surprise that Hyundai is ending production of the coupe version of its economy sedan after just two years on the market.
Its only competitors in the market are the Civic Coupe (which we knew about) and the Kia Forte Koup (yep, knew about that one too). Probably best to just let the Hyundai roll off into the sunset. Farewell sweet prince.
The German engineer Felix Wankel, inventor of a rotary engine that will be used in race cars, is born on August 13, 1902, in Lahr, Germany.
If social media can't help sell cars to anyone (or millennials), what can? Or is it just an emerging piece of tech that will have its place soon?