Good Morning! Welcome to The Morning Shift, your roundup of the auto news you crave, all in one place every weekday morning. Here are the important stories you need to know.
1st Gear: Get That Cash Tesla
Tesla’s trying hard to get the Model X crossover off the ground and flying into our hearts on the wings of its magical falcon doors, so that means they reported a larger operating loss than usual for Q2. So they’re seeking to raise cash for future projects by selling 2.1 million shares with the goal of securing $500 million, reports Reuters:
Tesla’s shares were up 2.2 percent at $243.50 in premarket trading. Tesla said it assumed the shares would be sold at Wednesday’s closing price of $238.17.
[...] The company said it intended to use the proceeds for development of its energy business, its upcoming Model 3 project, its battery Gigafactory and other general purposes.
2nd Gear: So Many Vehicles Sold
We talk a lot about record monthly car sales on TMS, but what does that mean? According to one study, we’re looking at maybe 17.1 million new vehicles sold this year, which if true will push us past the pre-recession glory days record of 16.94 million. Via Automotive News:
The average number of new-vehicle sales per dealership in the U.S. is trending toward another record in 2015 at a projected 945 units per store based on an annualized U.S. sales rate of 17.1 million vehicles, according to a study released today by Urban Science.
At the end of 2014, the average number of new-vehicle sales per dealership was 921 units, and that was a nearly 50-unit increase from 2013.
3rd Gear: Takata Reduced To Relying On Competitors
It’s been a good while since we’ve heard from our old explosive-y pals at Takata on TMS. What have they been up to? Relying on competitors to produce replacement parts for their global airbag recall, that’s what. Once more from Automotive News:
Takata Corp., the company whose faulty airbags are behind a record vehicle-safety recall, is depending on three of its key competitors to produce the majority of millions of replacement parts.
By March, Autoliv, Daicel and TRW Automotive will make about 68 percent of the inflators used to repair faulty Takata airbags behind a record vehicle-safety recall, the Japanese supplier told U.S. regulators.
Takata’s three key rivals produced about 50 percent of the inflators for replacement kits in June, the company said. The disclosure was part of responses by suppliers and automakers last month to questions by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on the progress of the safety recalls.
4th Gear: Trump Floats The Idea Of Moving Car Production Out Of Michigan
After receiving thunderous applause from a Michigan crowd for blasting Ford over their Mexican expansion plans, as UAW officials and locals alike worry Focus and C-Max production could head south of the border, presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested to The Detroit News that car production move... out of Michigan.
He says if the American automakers moved jobs out of Michigan to areas in the U.S. where they can pay workers less, it will keep jobs from moving to Mexico.
Many automakers have decided they can’t build small cars profitably in the United States. Auto workers in Mexico make as little as $9 an hour. In addition, Mexico has dozens of free trade agreements around the world, free or nearly free land on which to build, and fewer regulatory hurdles.
Trump dismissed the lower-wages argument. He said U.S. automakers could shift production away from Michigan to communities where autoworkers would make less. “You can go to different parts of the United States and then ultimately you’d do full-circle — you’ll come back to Michigan because those guys are going to want their jobs back even if it is less,” Trump said. “We can do the rotation in the United States — it doesn’t have to be in Mexico.”
Except for this:
Although wages are lower at non-union U.S. plants owned by foreign automakers, hourly employees for Detroit’s Big Three are paid the same no matter what state they’re in, under the terms of United Auto Workers contracts.
You guys, I think Donald Trump may be full of shit.
5th Gear: Awesome Car Weekend Coming Up
This weekend is both the Woodward Dream Cruise in Metro Detroit and Monterey Car Week out in California. We’re out covering the latter this year, pretending to be tech millionaires. (I have a 2016 Miata and some teal pants.) Either way, great weekend for car enthusiasts in America. What will you be doing?
Reverse: Drift An RX-7 In His Honor Like A Champion Today
The German engineer Felix Wankel, inventor of a rotary engine that will be used in race cars, is born on August 13, 1902, in Lahr, Germany. Wankel reportedly came up with the basic idea for a new type of internal combustion gasoline engine when he was only 17 years old.
Neutral: You Gonna Buy Some Tesla Stock?
Well, are ya?
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