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: Building Your Dreams
While the world's most successful electric car company has to fight in its home market to sell its cars, China continues to take steps to encourage EV development in their own market.
To wit, China is planning to put yet another pro-EV policy into place that would, for instance, let companies who aren't automakers build electric cars.
The China Automotive Technology and Research Center, a state-run research center in charge of helping the government draft automotive policy, said in June that it was recommending electric-vehicle manufacturing be opened to companies other than carmakers. Existing policy requires new entrants to buy an automaker to obtain the necessary manufacturing license.
2nd Gear: Musk Insists Things Are Great
Despite numerous reports that sales at Tesla had stagnated, Elon Must went on the offensive stating that's actually not the case.
So what's going on here? Brian Johnson, via David Shepardson, has an explanation:
Barclays auto analyst Brian Johnson said Musk’s tweet “implies deliveries of about 3,274 units in September, which we estimate would put third-quarter North American deliveries at about 4,900 units vs. our estimate of about 3,700 units. While the September result was well ahead of our estimate, it is worth pointing out that the beat was likely a function of catch-up post factory downtime in July,” Johnson wrote. “Moreover, North America deliveries YTD are still down about 17 percent as Tesla likely hasn’t have the same Model S order book this year as it did last year when it was still working through initial demand for the vehicle.”
Well then. We'll see how we look in the 4th quarter.
3rd Gear: Viper Production To Restart
Everyone agrees the current Dodge-then-SRT-then-Dodge Viper is a bicep-flexing super sports car, but not everyone could agree on what the price should be. For what you get I never thought the Viper was crazy overpriced, but the existence of a much cheaper and faster Corvette did make it slightly difficult to swallow for some consumers.
Sales weren't great, so Dodge did the smart thing and whacked $15,000 off the price, bringing it down to a more reasonable $84,995.
It worked! Brent Snavely says that production will restart soon as sales were up 140% year over year with 108 Vipers sold.
Good on Dodge.
4th Gear: AutoNation Is Pissed About Airbag Recalls
Mike Jackson's job overseeing the largest u.s. dealership group puts him in charge of selling a ton of used cars and, being a good business, they've stopped selling the ones they have that are involved in the airbag recall. But he's not happy about how it's been handled.
“We have a very difficult situation on our hands,” AutoNation Inc. Chief Executive Michael Jackson said on Tuesday, describing the differing directives as a “Tower of Babel.” Mr. Jackson ordered AutoNation stores on Friday to stop sales on 400 vehicles covered by recent warnings related to Takata Corp. air bags. He disclosed the action on Tuesday.
Agreed, the whole thing is bizarre.
5th Gear: And Now An Entirely Unrelated Airbag Recall
If you've got a potential airbag problem just get that shit out now while everyone is focusing on Takata, like Audi China is doing.
A spokeswoman at Audi China said the airbags were from a German supplier, and that the recall has nothing to do with Takata Corp (7312.T) - the embattled Japanese company whose potentially defective airbags have led to the recall of millions of vehicles.
The Audi recall comes less than two weeks after Volkswagen said it would call back more than 580,000 cars in China to fix a possible suspension defect.
The good news this year is: You're ok until you hit 5 million recalls. That's the barrier for anyone not directly impacted giving a flying fuck.
Reverse: Two Wheels Bad
Duane Allman, a slide guitarist and the leader of the Allman Brothers Band, is killed on this day in 1971 when he loses control of his motorcycle and drives into the side of a flatbed truck in Macon, Georgia. He was 24 years old. After Allman's death, his band continued to tour and record and it is still together today. In 2004, Rolling Stone declared that the Allman Brothers were the 52nd-greatest rock band of all time.
Neutral: Who Will Have The Most EVs In 2020?
The United States? China?
Photo Credit: Getty Images