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: WTF Is Up With Chrysler?
Is there a strategy behind the Chrysler IPO or are the two sides — Fiat and the UAW healthcare trust that owns 41.5% of the company — just bluffing at this point? I have no idea and this morning's news isn't helping much.
The Wall Street Journal ran a big piece on Sunday about how Chrysler was "going full speed to get an IPO done by mid-December, ratcheting up pressure on the company's two owners to strike a deal that would allow majority owner, Fiat, to buy full control before Chrysler lists."
This made sense. A recent development in the saga had insiders at Chrysler pricing the company's IPO at around $10 billion, which would only give the UAW trust $4.15 billion — less than Fiat is currently offering.
Of course, this doesn't mean Chrysler actually wants an IPO. No one really wants an IPO (maybe investors) but the UAW trust was tired of waiting around for Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne to get them the right price and forced Chrysler into this process. By forcing a lower price, Fiat could get them to back off the IPO proposal and sell outright.
Now, less than 24 hours later, Reuters is reporting that Chrysler's IPO isn't going to happen until later, if ever.
Italian automaker Fiat said on Monday its U.S. unit Chrysler would not launch an initial public offering before the end of the year and it was not possible to say if and when such an offer would be made as this depends on market conditions.
Three things that are possible here:
1. The WSJ got it wrong, which I sort of doubt. 2. People at Chrysler are either not all on the same page or they're just bluffing to test the UAW trust's resolve. 3. They've actually tested the UAW's resolve, the UAW came back to them privately and said "whoa, whoa, whoa" and they think they're better off getting some price somewhere in between the IPO valuation, what Fiat wants to pay and what the UAW wants.
It's also possible that Chrysler lost its backbone in the last 16 hours. This is how screwed up this situation is.
What's that? Anything they need to do to hold onto the sales crown. The Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car for 11 years and they're going to get a 12th and then a 13th no matter what it takes.
This year is in the bag (thanks in no small part to incentives) but they're going to give "significant attention" to the Camry in 2014 to keep it up top.
Fay declined to elaborate on changes the company is considering for the current Camry, released in 2011 as a 2012 model.
"It's safe to say we'll be doing something with it," he said. "We'll be paying significant attention to Camry next year."
"Luxury brands have an opportunity to capture a market of Americans who are starting to feel wealthy enough to jump into these vehicles," Plache said. "They're also appealing to Baby Boomers who are looking to downsize, but don't necessarily want to give up on luxury."
The bellwether for this trend will be the CLA, if it continues to grow in sales we'll see a glut of near-luxury cars over the next three years.
4th Gear: Ok, People Still Like Cheap Cars
How do you get people to skip Black Friday sales at Best Buy? Simple: $1 cars.
For the fifth year in a row, a dealership in Houston is doing a $1 car sale again.
"There's a crowd following you around, and it can be 50 to 200 people," Minner says. "If you mark a car $1, they go crazy. But if you mark one that they think is too high, you hear moans and groans."
5th Gear: Carlos Tavares Going To Peugeot
While the next GM CEO isn't Carlos Tavares, it's not that far off with the man-from-Nissan going to Peugeot.
Tavares, who left Renault three months ago, will join Peugeot as the automaker struggles to return to profit, stop cash consumption and expand outside Europe. As the third CEO to lead Peugeot in the last seven years, he would also be charged with bringing stability in an industry where strategic plans take years to unfold. During that time, rival automakers in France, Germany and Italy have all been led by the same CEO.
Tavares is kind of a cold mofo, so watch out.
Reverse: Is There Video Of This?
After a howling wind- and rainstorm on Thanksgiving Day, Washington state's historic floating Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge breaks apart and sinks to the bottom of Lake Washington, between Seattle and its suburbs to the east. Because the bridge's disintegration happened relatively slowly, news crews were able to capture the whole thing on camera, broadcasting it to a rapt audience across western Washington. "It looked like a big old battleship that had been hit by enemy fire and was sinking into the briny deep," said one observer. (He added: "It was awesome.")
Neutral: What Would Make You Buy A Camry? Or do you already own one? It's a popular car.
Photo Credit: Getty Images