This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:30 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: VW's Plant Is Set To Organize... Kind Of
VW's plants in Germany all have some sort of formal worker representation that they call a "works council." In what has to be a first for an automaker in the US, VW has approached the UAW (NOT the other way around), about creating a similar council at their Chattanooga plant.
There has been concern that UAW involvement would send away investment in the area and might make VW reconsider building more cars, like a new SUV, at the Tennessee plant. VW says that definitely isn't the case. And I think that makes sense, since they approached the UAW.
2nd Gear: The Mean Streets
For the first time in nearly a decade, the number of people that were killed in car accidents has risen. The most recent data from NHTSA is for 2012, and 33,561 people were killed, that's a 3.3 percent rise.
Now, that might not sound like a lot, but it is the first rise in fatalities since 2005. The increase over 2011 isn't cause for alarm though. 2011 was the safest year on the roads since 1949, and the slight increase means the roads are still way safer than they have been in ages
3rd Gear: Mishap At Tesla Doesn't Equal Delays
The industrial accident at Tesla, like anything Tesla related, just won't leave the news. People have now expressed concern that Tesla would face delays because of the accident that injured three employees.
Tesla doesn't think that there will be delays and doesn't seem concerned. Musk has said that he thinks that there is "a bit too much attention paid to Tesla, good and bad."
I think I agree.
4th Gear: VW Issues Beigekrieg Recall
A worldwide recall has hit VWA worldwide recall has hit VW, with about 2.6 million cars involved. It's not a recall for just one car either. 750,000 cars in the US and China are being recalled for possible transmission issues. 800,000 Tiguans are being recalled for faulty fuses along with 239,000 Amarok pickups. Add in advisories sent out to inform other countries, and you have 2.6 million cars included.
That's a lot of cars.
5th Gear: Bentley Goes All British
Bentley goes back racing next year with the Continental GT3, and in proper British fashion, they're going with an all-British driver lineup. Guy Smith, Steven Kane, and Andy Meyrick will be driving the Continental GT3, a car with so much weight taken out of it it's amazing that it doesn't just float away on a breeze.
On November 15, 1965 at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, 28-year-old Californian Craig Breedlove sets a new land-speed record—600.601 miles per hour—in his car, the Spirit of America, which cost $250,000 and is powered by a surplus engine from a Navy jet. He actually drove across the desert twice that day, since international world-record rules require a car to make two timed one-mile runs in one hour; officials log the average speed of the two trips. During his first trip, Breedlove zoomed across the flats at 593.178 mph; during his second, the first time any person had officially gone faster than 600 mph, he managed to push the car up to 608.201 mph. "That 600 is about a thousand times better than 599," he said afterward. "Boy, it's a great feeling."
If the UAW and VW become involved, is it a good move or a bad one?