This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:30 AM. 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 EV Value Conundrum
Early adopters of EV technology probably aren't overly concerned about resale value, and the same goes for people leasing EVs. It's that second and third round of EV buyers who choose an electric car instead of a convention one that automakers are going to have to deal with (and are trying to woo).
A study by KBB on behalf of USA Today found that three electric cars at the top of the list of ten worst cars for depreciation.
The Nissan Leaf, Fiat 500e, and Smart ForTwo EV will only be worth 18%, 21% and 21.5% of their sale value, respectively, in about five years. Compare that to their gasoline counterparts which could be worth as much as 40% in the same time.
There are definitely some factors to consider here. First, is anyone buying a Fiat 500e? With crazy lease incentives I find that unlikely. Second, most electric vehicles come with tax credits and other incentives. Third, Nissan keeps dropping the price of their car, eroding its value.
Elon Musk, for his part, is backing the value of his car against the resale value of a Mercedes S-Class, so Model S buyers don't need to worry (although the Mercedes S-Class has a typically bad resale value itself). Plug-ins like the Volt also didn't make this list.
The rest of the cars, as you might predict, are luxury vehicles like the Jaguar XJ, Mercedes CL, and BMW 7-Series.
2nd Gear: GM's Doing One Big Ass Recall In China
As if the news hadn't been bad enough in China for GM recently, with VW besting them for largest automaker in the world's largest market, The Wall Street Journal now reports that GM has to recall about 1.46 million cars because of a defective fuel-pump bracket.
While there have been no fatalities linked to the issue, the bracket could crack and cause a fuel link… yada yada yada fiery death.
The cars included in the recall are the Buick Excelle and Chevrolet Sail and the price of replacing the part is about $80.
3rd Gear: Michigan To Allow Self-Driving Cars On Roads
Michigan's governor, Rick Snyder, just signed into law a bill that'll allow automakers to test autonomous vehicles in the state.
Why? As Karl Henkel points out, Michigan likely doesn't want to lose jobs or companies to other states where autonomous cars are allowed.
At least one auto supplier — Continental Corp. — which has facilities in Auburn Hills and the Sault Ste. Marie area, had considered moving some autonomous vehicle testing to Nevada, according to state Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, who introduced the legislation in the state Senate.
Who can say "no" to those sweet, sweet robocar jobs?
4th Gear: The Czech Offensive
For a look into just how far automakers are going to make sure they sell cars to anyone who might buy one, check out this Bloomberg piece on the fight that Hyundai is taking to VW's Skoda in the Czech Republic.
Europe's a tough market but it's expected to turn around in the next decade, and markets like the Czech Republic are a good place to make up market share.
Hyundai has its highest market share in all of Europe in the Czech Republic. Those gains were helped by appealing to local passions such as sponsoring the Czech national soccer team — part of a going-native strategy it's pursued across Europe as it seeks to be more than just a good deal.
First, they come for the soccer team...
5th Gear: Who Is Dave Zuchowski?
We learned on Friday that Hyundai U.S. President John Krafcik was out and Dave Zuchowksi was in.
So who is Zuchowski?
This profile from Automotive News gives some good background:
Zuchowski, who came to Hyundai as U.S. sales chief in 2007, was previously vice president of sales and field operations at Mazda North American Operations. He began his career in 1980 at Ford Motor Co., where he held numerous executive positions in regional management, product marketing, merchandising and field operations at the Ford and Lincoln-Mercury divisions.
Dealers also seem to like him with one commenter saying:
My wife and I have both worked with or for Dave Z. in the past and can vouch that he is a car guy and is definitely one of the more respected execs in the industry. He's an example of the real cream rising to the top.
Cool. Reverse: So It Begins
At 8 p.m. on December 30, 1936, in one of the first sit-down strikes in the United States, autoworkers occupy the General Motors Fisher Body Plant Number One in Flint, Michigan. The autoworkers were striking to win recognition of the United Auto Workers (UAW) as the only bargaining agent for GM's workers; they also wanted to make the company stop sending work to non-union plants and to establish a fair minimum wage scale, a grievance system and a set of procedures that would help protect assembly-line workers from injury. In all, the strike lasted 44 days.
Neutral: Do You Care About Resale Value? Is it a determining factor? Or are you just buying depreciated cars anyways?
Photo Credit: Getty Images