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: It's de Nysschen's Signature Move
One thing always seems to happen when now-Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen is put in charge of a brand: The HQ moves somewhere else.
While at Audi, the HQ moved from Michigan to Virginia. While at Infiniti, the HQ moved from Tennessee to Hong Kong. And, as we all know, Cadillac is moving to SoHo.
It's strange that this keeps happening and Nigel Francis, Car Czar for the Michigan Economic Development Corp., tells Nathan Bomey it's because de Nysschen doesn't like Detroit.
Michigan Economic Development Corp. car czar Nigel Francis said he's "99% sure" Johan de Nysschen, Cadillac president, just didn't want to move to Detroit.
"One of his conditions might have been I want to work from where I live," said Francis.
I'll be honest, that's the first thing I thought when I heard this news but I have no proof of it and it sounds like this guy — whose job it is to attract businesses to Michigan — doesn't have any proof of this either.
GM denies that de Nysschen's personal preferences dictated the move, nor was the move to New York a condition of de Nysschen accepting the job, said Mark Reuss, GM's head of product development.
Cadillac spokesman David Caldwell said the idea of moving Cadillac's marketing to New York preceded de Nysschen's arrival.
"I don't know if the two gentlemen have ever met, let alone discussed each other's personal preferences in detail," Caldwell said in an email about Francis' comments.
Huh. I'm like 99% sure this guy might be talking out of his ass, even if his guess isn't wrong.
2nd Gear: GM Up To Investment Grade
S&P has upgraded GM to "Investment Grade" even after all the recalls because, you know, they sell 18 trillion cars in China or something.
"We believe GM will likely sustain its improving track record of profitability in North America (excluding recall-related headwinds), achieve its mid-decade profitability target in Europe and maintain its strong market share in China," the agency said.
Standard & Poor's said while GM's recalls of 29 million vehicles this year remain a negative factor for the company's business, it expects "ongoing cash outflows associated with the recalls to be manageable." GM earlier this year took recall-related charges of about $2.5 billion, but it faces numerous lawsuits and possible fines for the delay of its ignition switch recall through ongoing investigations by the Department of Justice and 45 state attorneys general.
DON'T BUY BLUTH!
3rd Gear: People Not Happy With Hyundai's $10 Billion Land Deal
They apparently voted on it without knowing the final price.
The result? Their shares plunged.
And then the unions they're in a fight with got a little peeved that, you know, they aren't paying money to their workers.
And the Investors got mad that they weren't turning all of that cash into dividends to avoid taxes.
“This case showed the problems and the vulnerability of Hyundai Motor Group’s corporate-governance structure,” said Chae Yi Bai, a researcher at the Center for Good Corporate Governance, a shareholder activist group in Seoul. “There was no going back for Hyundai once Chairman Chung said he wanted the property, regardless of the opposition from the general public and Hyundai’s investors.”
I don't think this bodes well for Hyundai, not because they're wasting money (they can do that if the want), just because it shows how out of touch the company seems with its own stakeholders. If you alienate your investors and your workers you're putting yourself in a bad spot.
4th Gear: Uber And Lyft Being Attacked At Home
The popularity of Uber and Lyft with some consumers seem sto only be matched by the unpopularity of Uber and Lyft with regulators, taxi drivers, their own drivers, certain other consumers...
As The WSJ reports:
George Gascon, the district attorney of San Francisco, and Jackie Lacey, his counterpart in Los Angeles, allege that Sidecar is misleading customers about how thoroughly it checks the criminal backgrounds and driving records of its drivers.
The regulators are also asking Sidecar to end its car-pooling feature, launched earlier this year, which allows passengers to share rides with strangers for cheaper rides. That service violates a section of the public-utilities code which prohibits transportation providers charging multiple people for the same ride.
All three ride-sharing companies launched car-pooling features earlier this year with the aim of enticing new users to sign up and commute to work.
All good things to be pursuing, but uh... how great are the background checks for regular cabbies?
5th Gear: 2015 Will Be The Big Year, Says Ford
Few people seem to be ready to commit to super strong growth in the U.S. car market beyond 2016, but everyone seems in agreement that 2015 is going to be a big year.
For instance, Ford's President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs, sees 2015 eclipsing
We are forecasting next year it can be over 17 million and we’re preparing for that,” Hinrichs said in an interview on CNBC, according to a transcript. “Some think it could be close to 18 million,” which would be a record.
Following the interview, CNBC correspondent Phil LeBeau tweeted this quote he attributed to Hinrichs: “We’re forecasting annual sales for the industry next year of 16.8 -17.5 million vehicles.”
Hinrichs has never struck me as a dumb person, so pay attention.
Reverse: You Can't Outrun Motorola
On this day in 1928, work begins at Chicago's new Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. (The company had officially incorporated the day before.) In 1930, Galvin would introduce the Motorola radio, the first mass-produced commercial car radio. (The name had two parts: "motor" evoked cars and motion, while "ola" derived from "Victrola" and was supposed to make people think of music.)
Neutral: We Going To Hit 18 Million Next Year? Is 2015 the biggest year in the car market for the U.S.?
Photo Credit: Getty Images