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: What's Going On, Toyota?
Understandably, Toyota may have wanted to wait until employees were notified of changes before yesterday's report that Toyota is moving to Texas. Or maybe they wanted to soften the blow by letting some news leak?
Either way, Toyota isn't saying much yet and the extent to which the Japanese automaker is relocating their business is unclear. Bloomberg said "substantial parts of its U.S. headquarters" was moving away from its home in Torrance, California (the photos above are from a separate but prescient protest).
"Roles and responsibilities will be redefined" to create a more efficient team, the spokeswoman said, and those whose roles have been eliminated can apply for new roles within the reorganized operation, elsewhere in TMS, or at Toyota Financial Services. A voluntary exit program is also available.
Details of the scope of the reorganization, and whether Toyota plans to move a significant number of jobs out of California to other states, weren't clear Sunday. Two people familiar with the company's plans said some operations could move to Texas. The company declined to comment on what it called rumors.
Anyone know any more?
2nd Gear: Ford And GM Will Only Give Big Bonuses If Quality Improves
How do you get a bonus if you're an hourly worker at Ford or GM? Help the company stay profitable. How do you get a bonus if you're a salaried employee? Help the company improve quality, as Karl Henkel reports.
Twenty percent of bonuses for 2014 — paid in early 2015 — will hinge on the company meeting quality standards, which include the number of what the industry calls "Things Gone Wrong" — a standard metric that measures problems in vehicles —as well as the costs of warranty claims and customer satisfaction. In 2013, 10 percent of the bonus structure hinged on quality.
Huh, maybe we should institute that at Jalopnik?
3rd Gear: The Passing Of The Ford Baton
How do we go from Alan Mulally to Mark Fields? Probably fairly painlessly (unless Mulally is taking a job at Toyota). Here's Alisa Priddle's take:
Unlike the abrupt firing of past CEOs Lee Iacocca and Jacques Nasser, the awkward retirement of Alex Trotman or Bill Ford's abdication in 2006 when he found Mulally, the anointing of Fields is a slow and orderly internal hand-off.
And that is exactly how Executive Chairman Bill Ford, great grandson of founder Henry Ford, wants it. In an interview last week on Bloomberg TV, he said, "A lot of great CEOs leave and then there's chaos behind them. Alan and I have talked about that: the importance of the final act of a great CEO is having a great transition."
A transition plan is under way, and that pleases shareholders, said David Kudla, CEO of Capital Mainstay Management, an investment firm in Grand Blanc. "This is as smooth as you can get. It makes a big difference to the markets, which hate uncertainty."
He'll be all business up front, even if he's having party to celebrate out back.
4th Gear: UAW VP Joins GM Board
UAW VP Josh Ashton is going to fill the ex officio spot on the GM board of directors that's there for a representative of the UAW healthcare trust.
The VEBA, as of April 1, owned 140.15 million shares of GM common stock, or about 8.7 percent of outstanding shares.
Ashton and Girsky will be on a slate of 12 candidates for the GM board to be voted on by shareholders at the company's annual meeting on June 10 in Detroit.
The board will drop from its current level of 14 members.
5th Gear: WTF De Blasio?
I didn't live in New York during the last mayoral election, so I don't get to say that I voted for Bill de Blasio and am thus disappointed in how much bullshit there's been since he came into office but… I would have voted for him and I am disappointed.
First there was the charter school business, and now this weird fight with Liam Neeson over horses and electric cars.
Essentially, de Blasio wants to replace the few horses still on the streets with electric cars. Whether this is a good or a terrible thing to do I don't know, and I don't really care, but there have to be more important things to get worked up about, right?
Reverse: Truly A Great Day For Tractor Enthusiasts
On April 28, 1916, Ferruccio Lamborghini, the founder of the company that bears his name and is known for stylish, high-performance cars, is born in Italy.
Neutral: What's Up With Toyota?
Anyone have any details? Anyone redundant?
Photo Credit: Getty Images