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: Chrysler Up 20%
Chrysler was first to report sales this morning and they're up 20%, which beats estimates of about 15.9% compiled by Bloomberg. If that general trend continues we could see the best month since November 2001, when patriotic Americans went out after 9/11 and bought all the cars (or, more accurately, SUVs, which then bit them in the ass when fuel prices went up. One crisis precipitating another).
There are various reasons why we may have seen a strong November, including the new trend towards Black Friday sales, decent weather, and incentives on vehicles coupled with easy credit.
This biggest winner according to Alisa Priddle and Brent Snavely is the Ram, up 31%, although Chrysler was up 30% (from, uh, terrible sales).
Both GM and Ram are going to be trying to take as much market share out of Ford before the new F-150 comes out.
2nd Gear: What An Unfortunate Thing To Happen On Dozen-Egg Night
Honda's Chinese sales are probably going to be down this year — unless they can somehow manage to double their average monthly sales in one month. This, on top of the Takata mess, means that Honda could post a profit decline year-over-year according to Bloomberg. That's not great
People in China aren't super pumped about the Accord or CR-V anymore, for various reasons that are worth exploring but probably aren't just political (Toyota was up in November).
It's tough being Honda right now.
3rd Gear: GM Recalls Are Here Again
GM has recalled 30.3 million vehicles this year, which is an impressive number, especially the 26.8 million in America alone.
Guess what, here goes another one!
GM is calling back 273,182 Buick LaCrosse sedans and Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, Saab and Isuzu midsize SUVs in the U.S. for possible intermittent or permanent loss of low-beam headlamps. Models include 2006-09 Buick LaCrosse; 2006-07 Chevrolet TrailBlazer and 2006 TrailBlazer EXT; 2006-07 GMC Envoy and 2006 Envoy XL; 2006-07 Buick Rainier; 2006-08 Saab 9-7X; and 2006-08 Isuzu Ascender midsize. The recall also covers 43,000 vehicles in Canada, Mexico and around the world.
Those poor Ascender owners.
4th Gear: UAW Wins In Alabama
Well, technically, the UAW won wherever the National Labor Relations Board met to discuss the attempts by the organization to distribute literature at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama. MB has a rule prohibiting workers from talking about a union in work areas, which the NLRB found to be against law.
"It's unfortunate that Mercedes-Benz had to be ordered to simply allow workers to discuss their right to organize," said Kirk Garner, a longtime Mercedes-Benz worker. He is also a member of UAW Local 112, established in October, and served as a witness in the NLRB case.
A Mercedes-Benz statement emailed on Monday evening said the company has been and remains neutral on the issue of unionization "with the decision left to our team members."
You know why the UAW will probably win? They're always on offense. Eventually, something will happen and the UAW will break in and then there's no turning back.
5th Gear: Germany Wants A Million EVs By 2020
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they want a million cars powered by electricity bombing down the Autobahn by 2020. Uh, they're not that close with just 24,000 vehicles currently.
What's the problem? It's two-fold, with both infrastructure and incentives behind other modern nations.
Merkel is far behind in her push for 1 million electric vehicles in part because her government has balked at incentives like those offered in France, where consumers receive as much as 6,300 euros ($7,840) to help cover the higher cost of low-emission vehicles. Electric car sales in Germany last year amounted to about 7,600 vehicles, while in France demand was almost double that at 14,400.
The country is also apparently going to add 400 stations so you can travel from one end of Germany to the other while staying charged. We texted Merkel for a comment but she just replied "WHO DIS?"
Reverse: And It Didn't Change The World
On this day in 2002, Toyota delivers its first two "market-ready" hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles (FCHVs, in the company's shorthand) to researchers at the University of California at Irvine and the University of California at Davis. Since 1997, Toyota had been providing research money to UC scientists and engineers who studied the problems associated with "advanced transportation systems" like fuel-cell vehicles. With their new fleet of FCHVs, the researchers finally had a chance to test out their theories.
Neutral: Who Will Be The Biggest Winner In November? RAM? Jeep? Subaru? Place your bets.
Photo Credit: AP Images