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: Chevy Wants To Find New Roads, European Roads Are Too Old
Volkswagen has four mainstream brands in Europe and all of them are doing well. GM tried to add Chevy to the Opel and Vauxhall mix a decade ago and it was a massive failure, so GM is killing the brand in Europe.
Bloomberg has the best take on this, but it exposes what we already knew about how bad of a gamble it was to turn Chevy into the new Daewoo:
"It was a strategic mistake from the beginning to re-badge cheap Korean cars with the Chevrolet name that's associated with large U.S. road cruisers," said Frank Schwope, a Hanover, Germany-based analyst at Nord LB.
The European reorganization is another "mistake," as GM "could have pushed Opel more up-market and established Chevrolet as a budget brand," Schwope said. "Volkswagen successfully manages four similar marques in Europe — VW, Skoda, Audi and Seat — yet GM isn't able to make one profitable in the region."
So what of the Man U deal? The team is still huge in China and Chevy does well in China.
Good-timing, however, as they announced the same day the auto media is obsessed with reporting on the new Mustang. Opel will continue, and I assume they'll still sell the Corvette and Camaro as Chevrolets.
2nd Gear: Is Holden Dead?
Despite making fun of Ford for shutting down its Australian production, it looks like GM's Aussie arm may be ending production in Australia as well.
While nothing is official, ABC.net.au has sources inside the government that say an announcement will soon be made that Holden will go away as early as 2016.
If that happened many think we'd see the end of the Australian car industry as there likely won't have the supplier base to support just one manufacturer (Toyota).
3rd Gear: Hedge Fund Taking A Bite Of GM
So, with all this news, why is hedge fund Hayman Capital taking a big stake in GM? Simple, with GM relatively low it's the best time to get in if you want to make a big gain.
"GM equity represents one of the most compelling risk/reward situations of any large cap in the world today," he said in the presentation. "Detroit is back. And GM could lead the way forward on the equity front."
4th Gear: UAW Fees Going Up
The last time the United Auto Worker union raised dues the Ford Mustang was just three years old. Now the UAW plans to raise the dues from two hours of pay per month to 2.5 hours, reports the Detroit Free Press.
Understandably, some of the members aren't that pleased.
"How does my self-serving leadership justify this? They don't have to. They don't answer to anyone," said Gary Pacheco, a longtime employee at Chrysler's Trenton Engine plant.
So that's going to be fun.
5th Gear: How Much Growth Is Spurred By Discounts?
Yesterday's news of a big, strong, happy car market gets the Debbie Downer treatment from The Wall Street Journal who pointed out that the cost was heavy incentives.
In a report Wednesday, Morgan Stanley MS +0.52% analyst Adam Jonas pointed to aggressive month-end discounts around the Thanksgiving holiday weekend as a sign that the industry might be losing its pricing discipline.
"In our opinion, [industry] commentary on pricing was the most alarming we've heard in the last four years and the tone on the incentive environment is changing," Mr. Jonas wrote. U.S. auto sales may be returning to prerecession levels, he noted, but "at what cost?"
The big question is how long will it last?
Reverse: Oh God Help Us
On this day, highway administrators pile into a car and take a ceremonial drive through a paper ribbon at the entrance to the final segment, known as the West Leg, of the infamous Dan Ryan Expressway in Chicago. (Most of the Dan Ryan proper had opened in 1961; construction on the West Leg, or Interstate 57, began in 1967.) The road got its name from Cook County Chairman Dan Ryan, who had written the 1955 bond issue that directed many millions of dollars to the county's expressway-building fund. Today, his namesake road, despite being one of the widest in the world, is known for its frequent traffic jams.
Neutral: Is GM Doing The Right Thing? Did they give up too soon, or is Opel the way to go?
Photo Credit: Getty Images