This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:00 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: Musk Tweets His Way To Success
The underlying strength of Tesla is in the technology, of course, but there has to be some magic that's convinced investors that Tesla is the one electric car company that'll succeed thus driving the stock price higher and higher.
This in the face of some facts that might drive a normal person towards cynicism: They've lost about $1 billion dollars. Their "profit" came from about $68 million in EV credits Musk admits will probably disappear soon. They've still only made about 10,000 cars in their entire ten years of life.
Understandably, the market has both bet on Tesla and bet against them (there are still people holding on to short positions who probably feel uneasy right now).
What's the reasoning? Mark Rechtin argues that the behavior that can sometimes make Musk a little hard to swallow for journos also makes him popular amongst investors. It's a persuasive argument.
But when the news is bad for Tesla, Musk has been a tough counter-puncher, and it has paid off.
Absolutely. Musk has gone around journalists and straight to customers, investors, and the public at large. He's ignored journos so much that they all lined up for ten-minute test drives of the car and pretended like they were full reviews.
It's impressive and he deserves no blame, really, for making it work. Good for him. Maybe bad for the media for (almost) always falling for it.
2nd Gear: GM Goes Coastal
GM's dealerships have, historically, lagged their competitors in the big cities on America's East and West coasts (they do ok on the South coast), which is why they're going to spend $200 million revamping dealerships in New York, New Jersey, and California.
According to The Detroit News, GM has a war room devoted to improving sales in California and hopes to have 92% of dealers renovated in these markets by 2016.
It's not only Toyota and Honda GM has to worry about as both Ford and Chrysler are besting the company there.
3rd Gear: Peugeot's New Compact
I don't fully understand what Peugeot is doing these days as it tries to survive, along with Citroen, a market that's in the gutter with little support from the outside world but for a deal with GM that's yet to blossom into much.
So, it's with that admission I'll point you to the new Peugeot 308, which is a "classy" and "sophisticated" compact car built on the company's EMP2 modular platform it'll share with a bunch of other vehicles.
It'll premiere in Frankfurt where they'll talk about the car's mix of gasoline and diesel engines, we're sure.
4th Gear: It Sucks To Be A Supplier Right Now
As much as 70% of what's in your car might come from a supplier, so you'd think carmakers would be interested in keeping that relationship a healthy one. According to a recent report that may not be the case.
A survey by Planning Perspectives of Birmingham shows suppliers feel like they're getting the shaft, especially as increased sales mean companies are looking to lower the costs of the parts they're getting.
Curiously, the Japanese automakers appear to be losing ground from "good" to "adequate" while U.S automakers are going from "very poor" to "adequate." Nissan is bucking this trend by remaining barely "adequate" for the last ten years.
5th Gear: Chrysler Recalls More Than 300K Jeeps And Ram Rams
It looks like Chrysler's dropping a ton of recalls at once with recalls for Jeep Grand Cherokees and Jeep Commanders because of a possible electrical failure in the transfer case that can lead it to shift into neutral. There are also recalls for RHD Jeep Wranglers because an airbag clock spring assembly might have a broken circuit that prevents the airbag from deploying. And, finally, 458 newer Ram 1500 trucks that might prevent the defroster from working, causing the vision of the driver to be impaired and, if carrying boxes of Molotov Cocktails in the back, the driver could in theory crash into a bonfire leading to… fiery death.
Reverse: That Was A While Ago
At the annual meeting of the Chrysler Corporation on this day in 1980, stockholders vote to appoint Douglas Fraser, president of the United Automobile Workers (UAW), to one of 20 seats on Chrysler's board of directors. The vote made Fraser the first union representative ever to sit on the board of a major U.S. corporation.
Neutral: Where Do You Get Your Tesla News From? Tech blogs, car blogs, business websites, newspapers, or his Twitter account?
Photo Credit: Getty Images/AP