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: The Great F-150 Shortage Is Nigh
Dealers know the 2015 Ford F-150 is coming, and they don't want production shortages and changeover from stopping them from selling as many damn 2014 F-150s as people can get.
There are people who like the last model year of a vehicle. Many of those people are Jalopnik readers.
From Karl Henkel:
Mark Smith, president of Dick Smith Ford in Raytown, Mo., said his dealership has requested additional 2014 F-150s since this summer as pickup demand continues to accelerate.
"We've been ordering as many of the current model as we can," Smith said in a telephone interview. "There will be some plant downtime that we have to contend with."
File that under "good problems to have."
2nd Gear: Ford's Building An Online Museum Of Archived Material One of my favorite stories I've ever written was this one about John Dillinger and Henry Ford, which would have been nearly impossible without help from Dean Weber and the Ford archives.
That's why I'm so pleased to see that Weber and his team are putting their archives online. As Alisa Priddle reports:
In recognition of the public's desire to peruse Ford history, the company and the Henry Ford museum are working together to digitize documents and pictures for all to see.
"People have a great emotional connection to the company's heritage," Weber said. "We're digitizing our heritage to get more online and reach new audiences."
The collection will be available at thehenryford.org.
3rd Gear: GM Dropping Peugeot Like It's Hot
Confirming what we already suspected, GM is abandoning its 7% stake in Peugeot as that company (PSA Peugeot Citroen) is just far, far too screwed up to deal with as it focuses on improving Opel and Vauxhall.
That means Peugeot is going to have to look for a Chinese partner to save its ass and that Chinese partner is probably Dongfeng.
4th Gear: Speaking of China... Bloomberg has a report today about an industry analysis that says the China is over-micromanaging its auto industry instead of building an environment that's competitive and fair.
"A fair and competitive market is the most effective mechanism for promoting innovation," according to the report by the academy, which provides research to the State Council, or cabinet. "This isn't to say the government isn't important. On the contrary, it is asking more of the government, to transform from being a direct participant to that of an enabler."
So… modified, regulated capitalism instead of random nonsense control economics.
5th Gear: GM Is Going To Kill The Australian Auto Industry To be 100% fair, the Australian desire for small, efficient cars and the unfortunately valuable Australian dollar are going to conspire to kill the Australian auto industry. GM is, perhaps, only doing what makes sense in killing Holden.
The impact of this will be great, and will almost definitely kill the Aussie car industry.
While we think of carmakers as building every part of their own cars, that's far from the truth. It doesn't make sense for every carmaker to build its own alternator, for instance, so they use a supplier. With Ford, Holden, and Toyota all producing cars in Australia it allowed them to save money with the same supplier base.
Now that Ford is out and Holden is leaving, it's just Toyota, and that's a lot of pressure on one company and not enough of a market.
"The Australian dollar has claimed an iconic brand of cars," said Martin Whetton, an interest-rate strategist at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Sydney. "The announcement will be a major blow to confidence in the run-up to Christmas, as job losses will exacerbate an already heightened sense of insecurity."
Currency Rules Everything Around Me, CREAM!
Reverse: An Odd One
On this day in 2003, Seattle preservationists load the city's iconic Hat 'n' Boots Tex Gas Station onto a tractor-trailer and drive it away from the spot where it had stood for almost 50 years. The hat, a 44-foot–wide Stetson, went first; the 22-foot–tall cowboy boots followed it one at a time. (The giant hat had always been mostly for show—it had perched atop the filling station's office, luring drivers off the highway. The boots, on the other had, were eminently functional: The left one housed the men's restroom and the right one housed the women's.) The buildings were famous examples of mid-century roadside Pop Art—eagle-eyed viewers can even see them in the opening credits of the film "National Lampoon's Vacation"—and the move, to a nearby park, saved them from demolition.
Neutral: What Do You Want To See From The Ford Archives? Ford has such a rich history my mind is racing with all the possibilities. What do you want to see?