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: The Fleet Average Will Only Get More Difficult
When the rules for 2025 were agreed to in 2012, it was with the stipulation that there would be a mid-term review of progress to see if the anticipated $200 billion industry wide investment was paying off. And now that we’re approaching 2018, automakers are anticipating that if the feds change anything about the regs, they’ll just make them tougher.
Nearly every automaker told The Detroit News that they are not anticipating the goal for 2025 will be reduced and that they are all planning for it. The issue that some see are the goals for trucks, which need to average 39.3 to 40.3 MPG. That’s a lofty goal. Also, low gas prices have spurred the sale of larger cars, which brings that average rating down.
Still, there have been a number of great advancements in the last few years to increase fuel economy ratings. Let’s see where that leaves us by 2025.
2nd Gear: $3.5 Billion In The Hole
When we think of the auto bailout, most of the time our thoughts turn to the US government and the money that they put out there. But our neighbors to the north, Canada, also put out a pretty penny to support the industry in their country.
And now with the sale of its remaining GM shares to Goldman Sachs, Canadian taxpayers are out $3.5 billion of the $13.7 billion that was invested. This also comes at a time when automaker investment in Canada is dwindling. GM is moving production of the Camaro to Michigan next year and has very little planned for production there beyond an updated Equinox.
Some in Canada are saying that the shares shouldn’t have been sold, but should have been used as a bargaining chip to get more business back to Canada. Perhaps a shift is upcoming that’ll see more investment made into Canada’s manufacturing industry.
3rd Gear: Mercedes Nissan Pickup: Still A Thing
Every morning when I wake up and see that Mercedes is partnering with Nissan to build a new pickup truck, I have to pinch myself and realize that I don’t live in some sort of weird dream world. It’s really happening.
The latest is that the Mercedes pickup will share a number of features with a new Nissan NP300. It’s intended for a commercial and private use outside of North America (though apparently it might come here?) and will be built in Argentina and Spain alongside the NP300 and a Renault variant.
Ok, now back to thinking that this is all some sort of odd dream.
4th Gear: Cadillac SRX Replacement Set To Debut This Fall
The Cadillac SRX is so old it might have shot Kennedy. Thankfully, the replacement for the family-oriented crossover hauler should be set for a debut at the LA Auto Show.
Of course, it won’t be called the SRX anymore, but will get a name that starts with XT and ends with a number, probably 5. This is a segment where Cadillac desperately needs a new product in order to compete with, well, every single luxury automaker out there. Knowing what else is sold in that market, I honestly can’t think of a reason why any person would spend their money on an SRX over anything else out there.
It’s amazing that it took this long, really. Cadillac’s sedans are all on point, but it seems Cadillac doesn’t even care about the market where everyone else is seeing crazy volume. Hopefully that changes soon.
5th Gear: Ford Is Killing It In China
China is the new barometer of success in the car world. If you do well in China, you’re doing well. That’s it. Ford is doing pretty great in China. So great that it just outsold Hyundai for the first time and is getting closer to being one of China’s top three automakers.
In fact, they’re doing so well that they’ll unveil a new Taurus sedan at the Shanghai show later this month. That shows exactly where Ford wants and needs the new Taurus to succeed, and it isn’t America.
On this day in 1979, in the Rebel 500 event at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina, drivers Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty swap the lead four times in a last-lap battle before Waltrip finally wins the race.
What will a 54.5 MPG fuel average do to the cars we love?
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