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: Pebble Beach!
This weekend is the Pebble Beach Concours d’ Elegance, the centerpiece of a long weekend starring expensive, classic cars in California. Some incredible rides will be on display, and others will be sold at prices that exceed the GDP of several European nations.
Our brave correspondents Damon Lavrinc and Travis Okluski will be there bringing you updates all weekend, like the amazing Crash d’Concors that Damon hit up yesterday.
If the auctions are your thing, here are six cars to watch from CNBC this weekend, excluding that Ferrari 250 GTO that went for $38 million last night.
2nd Gear: Woodward Dream Cruise!
On the other side of the country, and the other end of the car spectrum, is Saturday’s Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit. It’s a massive celebration of all things American (and the occasional foreign car!) that draws hundreds of thousands of spectators.
Here’s the schedule of events from MLive.com. Our man in Detroit Aaron Foley will bring you dispatches from the show, hopefully while sitting in some sort of hulking, awesome old Cadillac.
3rd Gear: Brazil!
It’s where General Motors is gonna invest a ton of money, according to Reuters. About $2.8 billion over the next five years.
Brazil could use the investment. Its economy has been in a decline in recent months, leading to a slash in vehicle output and a weakened demand for vehicles by consumers. Other car companies have slashed their payrolls this summer. GM must think this shall pass.
Speaking to reporters in Brasilia after meeting President Dilma Rousseff, Barra said the new investment will be spent on new products, technology and maintaining plants. She said there were some mid-term challenges ahead, but that GM was committed to one of its most important markets.
4th Gear: Deals!
As we reported in yesterday’s Morning Shift, July was an unexpectedly weak month for car sales when compared to the strong streak we’ve seen the rest of the year. So automakers like Ford and Chevrolet are telling their dealers to get a jump start on summer clearance deals to pick up the slack, Automotive News says.
The two top-selling brands in the United States have launched Labor Day and summer promotions offering 0 percent financing for 72 months across wide swaths of their lineups. Chevy is sweetening the deal with 90 days of deferred payments on some of its most popular nameplates.
“We’re not going to wait until the end of the month,” Chevrolet Vice President Brian Sweeney wrote in a memo sent to dealers on Wednesday. “We need to get it going.”
Now might be a great time to buy one of their cars, if you’re in the market for one. (Or if you’ve read too many Fiesta ST reviews and are overwhelmed with temptation.)
5th Gear: Loans!
Auto loans have now jumped to their highest level in eight years, according to the AP. And it’s fueled in part, of course, by those controversial subprime auto loans, but folks with solid credit are financing cars more too.
The automakers’ financing arms account for most of the increase in subprime loans. In the second quarter, the dollar value of their subprime loans was triple that of the banks. Economists at the New York Fed said that loans by auto financing companies are much more likely to become delinquent than those by banks.
Still, auto lending to credit-worthy borrowers has also jumped, the report said. As a result, just 22.2% of auto loans were subprime in the second quarter. That is still below the 25% to 30% that existed before the recession.
Reverse: Screw You, Edison
On this day in 1899, in Detroit, Michigan, Henry Ford resigns his position as chief engineer at the Edison Illuminating Company’s main plant in order to concentrate on automobile production.
Neutral: Anyone going to Pebble Beach or Woodward?
Do you have plans to enjoy the best car weekend in America? Have you been before? If either is true, tell us about it and share some pictures!