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: GM Sales In China Are Huge
While a number of automakers are being inspected in China in an anti-monopoly probe, GM is just keeping right on chugging. And like, really chugging. The automaker is projecting that sales in China will surpass the 3.1 million cars that they sold in the Asian nation last year.
GM and its partners in China believe that growth of the automaker there could surpass the growth of the entire Chinese automarket, which should be up by eight to ten percent this year. Well done, GM.
2nd Gear: Top Chinese Planning Official Allegedly Accepted Millions In Bribes
One of China's top planning officials, Liu Tienan, has been accused of accepting millions in bribes over the last few years, much of which came from a Guangzhou carmaker. Liu Tienan and his son have been accused of accepting nearly $6 million in kickbacks from Guangzhou Automobile Group between 2002 and 2012.
Tienan secured a job for his son there, he got a Toyota dealer to open (Guangzhou is partnered with Toyota), and he helped secure regulatory approval. The trial starts today, and could result in big penalties for the Tienans. The defense lawyers say that the accusations are groundless.
3rd Gear: Google Cars Have Permits In California
Google, Audi, and Mercedes have each been awarded permits to test autonomous cars on the roads in California. Google has received 25 of the permits while Audi and Mercedes each received two.
Yeah, two. Something seems off there, right?
Previously, permits weren't required on California roads, to autonomous cars were just running amok all over the state. Well, not really, but that's what I like to think was going on. Google will now be able to continue testing 25 Lexus SUVs with autonomous abilities, while Mercedes will presumably just put a new S-Class on the roads and call it a day.
4th Gear: Price Fixing Fixed
Japanese auto parts conglomerate Yazaki will pay US buyers $76 million in order to rectify price fixing claims that were filed in a Michigan court. The Yazaki name might not be familiar, but they make a ton of parts for a ton of cars, which is why the settlement is so damn high.
Yazaki is just one of 28 companies that have pleaded guilty to price fixing and will be paying out settlements.
5th Gear: Hey, CarMax To The MAXXXXXXXX
CarMax had a huge Q2, which means that our own Doug DeMuro and others like him will be thrilled. CarMax reported double digit gains in revenue and profit, probably because not as many people bought the lifetime warranty for their Range Rover. Used car sales rose a total of six percent.
Now get out there and get a CarMax CTS-V Wagon. Do it.
On this day, motorcycle builder Soichiro Honda incorporates the Honda Motor Company in Hamamatsu, Japan. In the 1960s, the company achieved worldwide fame for its motorcycles (in particular, its C100 Super Cub, which became the world's best-selling vehicle); in the 1970s, it achieved worldwide fame for its affordable, fuel-efficient cars. Today, in large part because of its continued emphasis on affordability, efficiency and eco-friendliness (its internal motto is "Blue skies for our children"), the company is doing better than most.
What do you think about the growth of the Chinese auto market? How soon till we see Chinese cars here?