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: More Tesla Stock Nonsense
Tesla stock does not respond to gravity the way the rest of us do. Traders somehow manage to both over and underreact to news both good and bad, sometimes simultaneously.
It's why I'm glad Bloomberg's Keith Naughton put together this story that nicely lays out the view many of us have that, for the moment, Model S and Model X buyers ain't care about gas prices.
That speculation is overblown, said David Whiston, an auto analyst with Morningstar Inc. in Chicago. Since Tesla is selling cars that can top $100,000 to very wealthy people, the price at the pump is not a prime motivator in that consumer’s purchase decision, he said.
“A lot of investors think cheap oil is bad news for Tesla, but it’s not that simple,” Whiston said today in a telephone interview. “People who are buying Tesla today don’t really care if gas is cheap or expensive. They want it because it’s a status symbol or for the performance or they are very eco-conscious and just don’t want to consume fossil fuels, regardless of what they pay for the fossil fuels.”
Let's put it this way: If you buy a Tesla Model S to save money on fuel you're a fuckin' moron.
Of course, the sell-off also has to do with sales number nonsense, but that is entirely Tesla's fault.
2nd Gear: Here Are All The Countries Where People Have Uber Issues
Obviously, I don't particularly love Uber, but hating Uber is a bit of a waste because you can always use an alternative service like Lyft. Also, I'm not suffering under the illusion that Lyft is going to end up being that much better.
I also think all the countries that are having issues with Uber, and The Washington Post has a great rundown of all of them (which is to say basically every country where they are).
Some of the issues have to do with disrupting the cab market. Other countries have extremely reasonable concerns about the regulations of drivers. India, where a driver was accused of assaulting a passenger, is probably in the worst position.
The reality is that, even if it's not Uber, it'll be someone else. The idea is out there. It's good. Someone will do it and the best we can do is get some kind of reasonable laws in place before they do.
3rd Gear: Ferrari May Do The Tax Relocation Shuffle
A newly-reformed Ferrari will still have its manufacturing and other operations in Maranello but, like a lot of companies, it may keep its financial residence somewhere outside of Italy. Before you go sobbing into your gnocco fritto at Locanda La Gazzella about the travesty this represents, you should remember that it doesn't actually matter.
As Bloomberg reports, as a part of FCA Ferrari's financial HQ isn't in Italy at the moment anyways:
he manufacturer, which uses the colors of the Italian flag in its logo, may follow in the footsteps of its parent Fiat Chrysler, which is registered in the Netherlands, listed on the New York Stock Exchange and based in London for tax reasons, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.
Other options including keeping its Italian residency are still on the table, and a shift in its fiscal base wouldn’t affect its manufacturing and engineering operations in Maranello, about 190 kilometers (118 miles) south of Milan, the people said. A final decision will be made in coming months, the people said. Fiat Chrysler representatives declined to comment.
Also, it's Ferrari, so it could just be a shakedown of the locals.
4th Gear: Mercedes Thinks It Needs More Volume In China
We've seen some pushback from Chinese dealers saying that carmakers — particularly Ze Germans — are pushing them to sell more cars than there is demand for while at the same time expanding factories and building even more cars.
Don't tell that to Mercedes.
Daimler's premier luxury brand may sell "clearly more than 300,000" cars in China next year after boosting volumes in the world's No. 1 auto market by about 30 percent this year, the carmaker's China chief, Hubertus Troska, told reporters at Daimler's base in Stuttgart, Germany.
Mercedes-Benz must "significantly reduce the gap" to German rivals, Troska said. "There are huge opportunities to keep growing in China."
Local complaints aside, I'm actually with Benz here. Chinese is trying to stoke consumer demand to shift to a more sustainable and modern economy and part of that equation is going to be buying cars... even as they're trying to reduce pollution.
5th Gear: Senate Committee Approves New NHTSA Chief
Mark Rosekind is now through the Senate committee that had to approve him as new head of NHTSA and he's on his way to the Senate.
He was unanimously approved but that doesn't mean that he's definitely getting approved. From David Shepardson's report:
Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, who has been pushing the administration for months to name a permanent chief to head the auto safety agency, told The Detroit News he thinks the Senate will act.
The Commerce Committee now will send it to the Senate floor. “I think he’ll get through,” Thune said.
But the Senate needs unanimous consent to get most approvals done in its final days — so Thune noted it isn’t guaranteed. The Senate has to approve a spending bill, defense bill and other items.
“We’re at a point where you want to get as much as the things that you have to get done now so you can start fresh next year,” Thune said.
It seems like a no-brainer, which is good because that describes a lot of this current Senate class.
Reverse: The March Of Progress
On December 10, 1915, the 1 millionth Ford car rolls off the assembly line at the River Rouge plant in Detroit.
Neutral: Tesla, What's The Deal? Is the stock going to rebound quickly or is this the new normal for Tesla? Is there any normal for Tesla?
Photo Credit: AP Images