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: BEST DETROIT AUTO SHOW EVER! We have a new goal for the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. Originally, it was going to be providing you with the best coverage you can find anywhere. But isn't that pretty old hat for us?
Our new goal is to hang with Vice President Joe Biden and see his thoughts on some bitchin' rides.
Details are scarcer than cutoff jean shorts at the media buffet, but the Freep says he's definitely coming on Wednesday.
A million Jalopnikbucks to the readers who get a picture with him and anything vaguely resembling a Trans-Am.
2nd Gear: Alan Mulally Not Going To Microsoft You can stop the speculation, Alan Mulally made it clear he's staying put at Ford through 2014.
This means he'll get to drive the new Mustang and, hopefully, make the bold decision to reintroduce the Ford Ranger to the market before taking a new job as a vest model.
It should be noted that the news sent Ford's stock up and Microsoft's stock down because, hey, that Mulally guy ain't dumb.
3rd Gear: The Downside Of Acquiring Fiat Good news, Fiat, you got all of Chrysler at a fairly reasonable price.
Bad news, Fiat, your credit rating might get downgraded because you bought Chrysler.
"We are putting Fiat's ratings on review for downgrade because the announced acquisition will materially weaken Fiat's liquidity position at a time when the company is still free cash flow negative," said Moody's Vice President Falk Frey, lead analyst for Fiat. "That said, we anticipate that Fiat's remaining cash on balance sheet, unused credit facilities and operating cash flow generation should be sufficient to meet its anticipated cash needs in 2014."
TL/DR: You spent most of your savings on a new car even though your iguana-sitting business is still losing shit tons of cash.
4th Gear: Buick Sold More Than A Million Cars Last Year 1.03 million cars, to be exact.
As Bloomberg reports, those 1.03 million cars are the most its sold since 1984.
So why aren't you seeing a LaCrosse on every street? A Regal in every driveway? A guy in an Encore getting a handjibber from a beat-boxing tranny prostitute under every bridge?
Simple, 809,918 of those sales were in China. China loves Buicks in the same way that Germans love Hasselhoff and Austrians love taking people hostage.
5th Gear: The Chinese Bought A Lot Of Bentleys, Too You know why people are buying more Bentleys? Because Bentley — now free from Rolls Royce — makes some damn fine automobiles.
2014 was Bentley's biggest year ever, with 10,120 cars sold around the world. The Americas is still the biggest market, with 3,140 cars sold, followed by China at 2,191 vehicles (slightly down from 2012)
Only 1,381 of the cars were bought at home in the UK, but that's still an improvement of about 25% year-over-year.
Overall, Bentley was up an impressive 19% globally.
Reverse: Bugatti's Brother, The Sculptor, Commits Suicide
Like Bugatti automobiles, Rembrandt Bugatti's sculptures are sought out today among art collectors. He was best known for his sculptures of animals; a replica of a dancing elephant he designed was featured as a hood ornament on a 1920s Bugatti Royale auto. At the time of his suicide in 1916, Rembrandt Bugatti was reportedly experiencing financial troubles and suffering from a depression spurred on by the events he'd witnessed as a volunteer paramedic aide during World War I.
Neutral: What Should We Ask Joe Biden? Assuming we find him. Maybe something about Fisker?
Photo Credit: Getty Images, The Onion