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: Nissan Better Have Good Lawyers
When we first reported on the Nissan BladeGlider we called it a "Three-seater DeltaWing For The Street" because it looks like the DeltaWing project created by Don Panoz and raced with a Nissan engine.
You'd be wrong, according to Nissan, which told Automotive News that "the idea for the BladeGlider, the wedge-shaped concept that drew crowds at the Tokyo Motor Show last week, came out of the clear blue sky."
Even a Chinese automaker wouldn't be so bold, which is why Panoz's lawyers are filing a lawsuit against Nissan, Nissan Motorsports, and anyone else who might think to race a car that he spent so much time (and money) proving would work.
This is a huge bummer because Panoz is clearly right here, but Nissan wants to put this car into production, which serves the greater good and proves Panoz was right all along.
Here's hoping Nissan has another thought "out of the clear blue sky" that maybe they should license the concept from Panoz.
2nd Gear: Tesla "Faithful" Still Believe
Tesla, as a company, is going to be fine. Companies like Amazon and Facebook have all had their own problems with the often volatile stock market and still somehow exist. Was Tesla overvalued? It seems like it. Is Tesla value-less? Absolutely not.
How did it get overvalued? Tesla "True Believers" like Brian Steel, profiled in this Wall Street Journal story probably aren't helping matters.
"Tesla is going to change the world," Mr. Steel, 62 years old, of Tacoma, Wash., said of the upstart electric-car maker, whose rocketing stock rally and screeching pullback have been the talk of the stock market in 2013.
He's also defended the company on message boards, which I'm guessing means TeslaMotorsClub.
Most of the people interviewed for the story seem to have done well enough and still believe in the company, albeit with a realization that no stock will continue to grow perfectly forever.
3rd Gear: Mercedes Starts Selling Cars Online… In Germany
The Mercedes CLA is clearly aimed at a new buyer for the company, which means that they've got to think of new ways to attract them (and the smell of cigars and aged meats probably won't work on young professional women).
Per Bloomberg, the next step is offering about 70 preconfigured models online for purchase.
While it's the same price as buying in the store, they are offering incentives such as tickets to motorsports events (DTM?) and other perks. Of course, every purchase eventually goes through a dealer at some level.
4th Gear: Car Companies Ready To Respond To Leases
All those people who rushed to get a lease when the economy turned around a little in 2010 are about to start turning those cars back in, meaning there's about to be a boom in new customers.
Who gets those customers is a big deal for automakers, who want to keep the gains they made and hopefully, as Automotive News rightly points out, steal some from the other guy.
"There is a tsunami of customers coming up," Jose Munoz, the newly appointed chairman of Nissan North America, said in an interview. The level of Nissan customers with leases ending next year is "coming back to pre-crisis mode, which is several times bigger" than the brand has had in recent years.
Carmakers are directly targeting those customers with maturing leases with incentives and lower payments.
5th Gear: How Big Was November?
Bloomberg has polled the analysts and it looks like November will be another good month, with SAAR (the seasonally adjusted annual selling rate used to determine how many cars will be sold in a year) expected to rise about 0.5 M year-over-year to 15.8M.
The big winners are expected to be Ford, with an average YoY increase of 14%, Chrysler at 11%, and Toyota at 6.5%. The biggest losers? Honda at -1.9% and Volkswagen at -10%.
These are all just early guesses for the biggest automakers so we'll see who was right and who was wrong. The typically on-the-ball Jessica Caldwell is at 15.7 million SAAR and only 7.7% for Ford.
Reverse: 11 Years Later There Are A Million Of Them… Not Really
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: Are You Leasing A Car? Are You Staying With The Same Carmaker?
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