This is the Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:00 AM. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parcel it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
1st Gear:UAW, Ford Shake Hands, Start Counting Ford Motor Co. and the UAW reached a tentative deal on a new four-year contract last night that the union says will save or create 12,000 U.S. jobs, including 5,000 new jobs. The UAW will spill details of the deal to its local presidents later today, which is expected to follow the pattern set by its pact with GM: increases in profit sharing matched by no pay raises and more freedom for automakers to hire low-wage workers. Ford says the agreement will mean bringing work to the United States from Mexico, China and Japan and involve an additional $4.8 billion of new spending on its U.S. factories.
2nd Gear: No Recession For Auto Sales Auto sales in September stayed strong despite a general national freak-out over the state of the economy, hitting their strongest pace since April and rising 10% from a year ago. Detroit led the pack, as Chrysler was up 27%, followed by General Motors at 19.7% and Ford at 9%. Toyota and Honda's sales were still down from post-tsunami effects, while Hyundai set a new monthly U.S. sales record. And BMW took the title of top-selling luxury brand thanks to a resurgence of...sorry, no, because of its SUVs.
3rd Gear: Bob Nardelli and Cerberus Still Delusional Following former Chrysler chief Bob Nardelli's comments yesterday about how Cerberus could have saved Chrysler, former Chrysler PR chief Jason Vines had a few choice words, including: "You tore the core of the company to shreds and rendered it so helpless that GM wouldn't even take it off your hands. Fiat scooped up what was left for free, knowing — if all else failed — they'd be left with the iconic Jeep brand. For free." Click through to see under what conditions PR people consider committing seppuku.
4th Gear: O Alfa Romeo, Wherefore Art Thou Alfa Romeo? Another day, another plan for Alfa Romeo which may or may not change in the years before it supposedly becomes a reality. The gist: 4C super car for us ‘Mericans in 2013; new Spider and Giulia sedan/hatch for 2014, along with an Italian-built compact SUV and a rear-wheel-drive sedan built off the Chrysler 300. Many of the vehicles will be powered by a version of a new 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with direct injection and turbocharging that Fiat plans to boost up to 300 hp.
5th Gear: Big Brothers Stop Fighting Long Enough To Get Back to Looming Over You Insurance giants Progressive and Allstate have settled a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Progressive claiming Allstate had nipped some of its ideas for pay-as-you-drive auto insurance. The two reached some kind of licensing deal allowing both to move forward with plans to let drivers buy cheaper auto insurance in return for giving up some privacy.