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: First, The Good News
GM is actually doing much better than you'd think, with a third quarter rise in sales of about 2% according to Reuters. A lot of that lift comes from the United States and China, where they're up 9.5% and 14%.
They crapped the bed in South America, Europe, and most of the rest of Asia but... they're selling more cars in the world's two biggest markets so who cares.
Can't wait to see how the market reacts!
2nd Gear: GM Closed Down About 1.3%
Why did the market react so poorly to the good news? Because the market is terrible right now. No amount of bubbling optimism can overcome all the shitty things going on.
ISIS, Ebola, mid-term elections, Europe, the new U2 album. You name it, there are tragedies everywhere and unless GM announces they just pre-sold 500,000 Chevy Volts it's probably going to take a market lift to take GM with it.
The question for Detroit and its hometown auto industry is whether the turmoil in the markets and global politics will continue long enough and grow painful enough to further erode the industry confidence funding new investments and new jobs in Michigan and plant cities across the country.
Something has to give, one way or another.
3rd Gear: But Hey, Let's Ban Tesla
The Michigan legislature passed a law banning Tesla sales and it's now on Governor Rick Snyder's desk.
By law, he has until October 21st to sign it or veto it and he hasn't said what he'll do.
Here's a comment, via Bloomberg, from his press secretary:
“Many bills came over as the legislature finished the session, and the governor is doing due diligence by examining all of them,” said Dave Murray, deputy press secretary for Snyder, a Republican.
What's with the silence?
This could not be more of a conundrum and I'm not sure what I, as a Synder consultant, would tell him to do (as a human being I'd tell him to veto it because it's just incredibly stupid shit).
Tesla is a growing American automaker and certainly Michigan would like a little piece of that business. Tesla is also incredibly popular most places as people see it as an innovative, homegrown business.
On the other hand, one place where there's probably some skepticism towards Tesla is Michigan. Right? I haven't seen polling on this so I'm a little blind but it's highly complex.
4th Gear: Luxury Cars Getting Cheaper
As we continue to build a global economic system that allows the wealthiest few to buy a government anxious about reelection that then rewards their unlimited donations by making laws that propels them to even greater affluence at the expense of others in a feedback loop of greed and desperation the reality is that you can't grow your luxury car business unless you reach a lower end of the market.
Not poor people. No, of course not. Even the middle class is probably a bad bet (we're making them disappear). No, the customers we're looking for are the people who help the wealthy stay wealthy. The junior associates at the law firms that protect corporate assets from lawsuits when they poison the world. The PR people who convince us it's actually someone else's fault when their overworked truck drivers crash into school busses. The lobbyists who help defeat laws that would stop them from being able to buy legislative majorities (in both parties) so they can keep getting their sweet, sweet tax breaks.
As the Los Angeles Times reports, this is a pretty popular plan for companies like Aston Martin and Maserati.
But now super-premium brands are doing it too, in part to sell more cars and in part to introduce mid-range to high-end car buyers to super-high-end cars, Brauer said.
"That's completely the plan," he said. "You try to get people hooked on the high-end brand ownership experience."
5th Gear: More Chrysler Recalls
Chrysler, a unit of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCHA.MI), is recalling about 470,000 cars and SUVs globally from model years 2011 through 2014 and equipped with a 3.6 liter engine and a 160 amp alternator, according to the company and documents filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The alternator may suddenly fail, possibly causing a stall or fire and increasing the risk of a crash, according to the NHTSA documents.
The second recall covers about 437,000 Jeep Wrangler SUVs globally from model years 2011 through 2013 because of a fire risk, according to the NHTSA documents. They said water in the exterior heated power mirror electrical connector could cause an electrical short.
Who really needs heated power mirrors, anyways?
Reverse: A Great Day In History
On October 16, 1958, Chevrolet begins to sell a car-truck hybrid that it calls the El Camino. Inspired by the Ford Ranchero, which had already been on the market for two years, the El Camino was a combination sedan-pickup truck built on the Impala body, with the same "cat's eye" taillights and dramatic rear fins. It was, ads trilled, "the most beautiful thing that ever shouldered a load!" "It rides and handles like a convertible," Chevy said, "yet hauls and hustles like the workingest thing on wheels."
Neutral: Is GM Going To Ever Catch A Break? Is there any upside there? Is it all upside at this point?
Photo Credit: Getty Images