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: Time Is A Flat Circle Seeing as how people apparently didn't give a shit about Roger Sterling (a tragedy, because he's great), Lincoln is shifting its premiere spokesperson spot away from John Slattery to Matthew McConaughey.
“Matthew is a natural fit with Lincoln and where we are going as a brand,” Matt VanDyke, director, global Lincoln, said in a statement. “The transformation of Lincoln is well under way. With the MKC coming to market in a hot, competitive segment, now is the perfect opportunity to share to a wider audience what our brand offers. Matthew is the ideal personality to help us tell this story, and it is only the beginning of what we trust will be a fantastic relationship.”
Lincoln said McConaughey will “act as a storyteller” in the spots.
“He’s not just here to be showcased in a TV spot, we want to have a strong and authentic partnership with him,” said Stephane Cesareo, Lincoln’s communications manager. “It cannot be anyone else.”
I think this is a fine choice, and not just because McConaughey is arguably the second best looking Matt to attend the University of Texas. Everyone loves him, so far as I can tell, and he's omnipresent.
Of course, Lincoln's problem isn't that they've had bad storytellers, it's that they've had a bad story to tell.
2nd Gear: The Right-To-Work Movement Strikes Back
A UAW member at Ford (not pictured) is apparently trying to get a refund of his union dues in what is an interesting challenge to unionization in this country (He's getting free legal assistance from the National Right To Work Foundation, Alissa Priddle reports)
The 16-year veteran doesn't opposte the portion of his dues that go to collective bargaining, grievances of anything else, just that he's against any funds being used to fund the Democratic Party.
There's actually a Supreme Court precedent here that allows union members to not have to pay for non-core union activities, but I'm not sure that's quite what this is about.
3rd Gear: Everyone Who Bought Things Is Happy They Did
Fiat "bailed out" Chrysler and now Chrysler is bailing out Fiat. Tata "bailed out" Jaguar-Land Rover and now JLR is bailing out Tata. Geely, which owns Volvo, is now sinking at home while Volvo is surging in China!
Geely's first half profit dropped 20% after a 29% decline in sales in the Chinese market, while Volvo is now profitable thanks to a 34% increase in sales in China.
When the market is bad, just buy some shit.
4th Gear: Lexus Doesn't Want To Be Next
After all the hubbub over price-fixing accusations by the Chinese that have been leveled against luxury marques has Toyota proactively dropping the price of their spare parts, says the IBT.
The average price cut will be about 26%, which makes sense when you consider the Chinese have been fining the Japanese and Europeans like whoa lately.
5th Gear: The Philippines Is So Over You used to be so cool The Philippines. A Japanese automaker could like, you know, build some cars and and reap some government benefits and it was chill.
No longer, man. No longer. Toyota and Mitsubishi are planning to bail and the government hasn't done anything lately to rebuild its market. Specifically:
The reforms have also been delayed because Manila wants the industry to ramp up production first to produce 40,000 units of a single car model annually before they can use the incentives. Industry insiders say only Toyota could meet that requirement with no incentives.
The carmakers had hoped to capitalize on the government roadmap to boost local production after car sales hit record highs for several months this year on robust consumer spending, and vehicle ownership remains the lowest among Southeast Asia's five biggest economies at just around 35 per 1,000 people.
Peace out, yo, we're going to Malaysia!
Reverse: And Then it Died
Ransom Eli Olds of Lansing, Michigan, founds Olds Motors Works—which will later become Oldsmobile—on August 21, 1897.
Neutral: Is McConaughey The Right Choice? He's he bad, or is he alright-alright-alright?
Photo Credit: Getty Images