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: Those Darn Kids!
There has been a major drop in the price of fuel between this year and last. While many have seen it causing a lack of demand for more fuel efficient vehicles and an increase in a willingness to buy a big raucous truck, it’s having another, less likely side effect.
Young people are going to drive more.
A report from AAA shows that people younger than 35 (that can drive) are nearly twice as likely to drive more than people older than 35 solely because the gas prices are lower. They also add that 13 percent of people are driving more because fuel prices have dropped so much.
Like we’ve said all along, millennials weren’t buying cars because they didn’t have the money to get them, not that they didn’t like them. Now that there’s a stronger economy, lower unemployment, and lower gas prices, the people who were accused of hating cars like they were the devil are the ones that are now taking advantage of the economic situation.
Kind of ironic, right? Right? That’s what ironic means, isn’t it?
2nd Gear: Piëch Is Piëssëd
Reports out of Germany say that recently ousted Volkswagen Chairman Ferdinand Piech is unhappy with the advisory board’s decision to replace him and his wife with two of his nieces.
Piech, who apparently thinks he should be able to nominate people for the job he was just forced out of, reportedly wants to see Wolfgang Reitzle and Brigette Ederer get the seats. Ederer is formerly from Siemens whole Reitzle is a former exec from BMW and Ford’s PAG (the group that managed brands like Jaguar and Aston Martin).
Piech seems to be too late though. His nieces Louise Kiesling and Julia Kuhn-Piech have been approved and added to the board. The family trip to the beach is going to be awkward this year...
3rd Gear: GM Cutting Canadian Jobs
GM is going to cut 1,000 jobs from it’s Oshawa assembly plant. The Camaro is currently built at the plant but that will be moving to Detroit with the debut of the next generation car, with production slated to leave Canada by the end of November.
That leaves the plant with five models including the Impala, Impala Limited (which is a fleet-only Impala, it’s the old model), Equinox, Cadillac SRX, and Buick Regal.
GM wants to minimize the number of layoffs and is seeing just how many people it can work on to get a retirement package to. Apparently nearly 2,000 are eligible for just such a package.
4th Gear: GM Is Investing $5.4 Billion In Domestic Production
Why yes, you read that correctly. As we reported yesterday, GM announced a plan to invest $5.4 billion in it’s US plants over the next two years. They also plan to create 650 new jobs.
Yep, the same day as they announce they’re cutting 1,000 jobs in Canada, they announce a massive US investment. That has to sting a little, right?
The first $800 million investment will go to update three plants in Michigan with new tooling and presses. How the other $4.6 billion will be divided is yet to be announced.
5th Gear: Delphi Would Like To Buy Something, Please
Delphi seems to have some money. Like $1 - $3 billion that it’d like to spend on a company that can be added to its arsenal and help expand its hardware business. The first quarter was a win for Delphi by all measures, beating the street in earnings per share and revenue by a small margin.
But they now want to invest in their future with a big acquisition and some smaller investments. Hey, Delphi, I’m hardware. And I’m worth exactly $3 billion. Today is your lucky day.
On this day in 1926, Ford Motor Company becomes one of the first companies in America to adopt a five-day, 40-hour week for workers in its automotive factories. The policy would be extended to Ford’s office workers the following August.
Are you driving more thanks to lower gas prices?
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