This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:00 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: Buffett-Backed BYD Is Back
Now they're making money. With cars! The company, which is one of the largest battery suppliers in the world, has seen a large increase in sales for the first half of 2013. Sales were up 25%, outpacing a slowing Chinese car market reports the AP.
While BYD wants to push electric cars, it's the not-quite-a-Camry Si Rui midize sedan that's the cause for profits.
Buffett owns about 10% of BYD.
2nd Gear: EPA Says Its Tests Are Fine, Thanks
Ford blamed their out-of-whack C-Max MPG estimates on bum EPA test, while Consumer Reports reported that half of their hybrids didn't make the grade. So what's going on?
The EPA says "Don't look at us."
According to Automotive News, the EPA ran its tests again and found out everything was fine. The problem, says the EPA, is that Ford was allowed to use the Fusion Hybrid as a measure for the C-Max since they have the same power/weight, but it turns out the more aerodynamic Fusion did better.
Toyota is standing with the EPA. Ford is opposed.
3rd Gear: Nissan's Working On A Better Battery
Nissan says they're working on a new Li-Ion battery that can work just as well under extreme desert heat as it can under normal conditions.
If tests confirm the new cell's lack of degradation, the company hopes to have battery packs using those cells available next April. Those packs would become the replacement for any current Leaf batteries replaced under warranty for loss of capacity. Nissan has not yet decided whether the new battery would be fitted to all new Leafs, executives told Green Car Reports in an interview.
4th Gear: VW To Launch Cross Polo In India
The Indian car market, like China, is slowing down a bit lately so automakers are trying to up the launches of new products to excite buyers. VW is taking advantage of the Polo platform to sell the VW Cross Polo in India for about $11,923 says The Wall Street Journal.
The Cross Polo isn't actually an off-roader despite its name. It's barely a soft-roarder, carrying a 1.2-liter diesel engine and five-speed manual transmission that puts power down through the front wheels.
Still, I've always liked the way it looks.
5th Gear: Car Loans Are Up, Defaults Not So Much
The average car loan is about $13,435, reports the AP, which is up 4.5% year-over-year and 1.3% from the first quarter.
That's a nice Nissan Versa or a Ford Focus with a decent down payment.
Right now there's a lot of easy money in the car market as automakers want to sell cars any way they can. Loan terms are also getting longer as people want to keep monthly payments down.
Still, the news isn't all scary, delinquencies are slightly down and the number of people who were late by more than 60 days is fairly flat.
Reverse: A Big Small Debut
On this day in 1959, the British Motor Corporation (BMC) launches its newest car, the small, affordable–at a price tag of less than $800–Mark I Mini. The diminutive Mini went on to become one of the best-selling British cars in history.
Neutral: How close is your MPG to the EPA number? You doing better or worse than the EPA says you should do? Is it your car? Your drive? Your under inflated tires?
Photo Credit: Getty Images