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: How This Gorgeous 30-year-old Concept Car Predicted The Future This morning we reintroduced (or, in many cases, introduced) you to Holden's very first concept car — the 1969 Holden Hurricane. Not only does it still look insanely gorgeous 42 years later, but the advanced technologies it displayed — a rear-view camera, route guidance system and digital instruments — show yet again why GM's down-under division was years ahead of its time. Read more here.
2nd Gear: McLaren's New F1 Super Car Gets More Super By The Minute
Autocar reports that McLaren has put the first prototypes of its successor to the F1 super car on the roads, with a goal of launching by 2014. The goal: to surpass every vehicle in the world, including the Bugatti Veyron, the Porsche 918 Spyder and whatever Ferrari comes up with as a successor to the Enzo. The expected price for such aspiration has also climbed from about $630,000 to $1.5 million.
3rd Gear: Ford UAW Workers Approve Contract
The UAW announced minutes ago that Ford workers have approved a new four-year contract after a vote that might not have been as close as it seemed. Before the final day of voting, 63% of workers had cast a ballot in favor of the deal, which should prompt an increase in Ford's credit rating.
4th Gear: Foreign Cars Making Foreign Car Companies Lots Of 'Merican Money
Foreign cars are selling in the United States at the biggest price premium to domestic cars and trucks in almost 12 years thanks to a weakening dollar versus the Japanese yen. According to Bloomberg, the price for a new imported car climbed to a record high of $31,536 in August. That was $7,614 more than the average domestic-made car, the biggest gap since December 1999, and a big contributing factor to the sales surge of Chevy Cruzes and Ford Focuses over the once-mighty Toyota Corolla.
5th Gear: Hyundai, Kia Claim They'll Increase U.S. Sales By 14%
Bloomberg reports that Hyundai and Kia Motors gained in Seoul trading after the Maeil Business Newspaper reported they plan to increase combined sales in the U.S. by an astonishing 14% next year. Shares of Hyundai climbed 2.3% to 222,500 won as of 10:15 a.m. on the Korea Exchange, while affiliate Kia advanced 3.2%. Yet again, I'd like to remind everyone that we were the first to welcome our new Korean overlords. Just sayin'...
6th Gear: Lancia Gets Chryslers For Thema And "Best Voyager Ever"
Today the new Chrysler 300-platformed Lancia Thema and what the Fiat-owned auto brand's calling the "best Voyager ever" make their debut. As the first two Lancia models emerging from the alliance between Fiat and Chrysler, we're wondering whether just rebadging a Chrysler Voyager minivan (we call it the Chrysler Town & Country here in 'merica — we called the Plymouth version, when there was a Plymouth, the Voyager) really makes this minivan the "best Voyager ever." I happen to think the Chrysler one looks more pretty and is, therefore, actually the "best Voyager ever."
⏎ People spending more on car repair. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
⏎ Hillary Clinton to visit GM plant in Uzbekistan. [Detroit News]
⏎ A V-12 in a Ford Ka? Forza 4 Makes Realism Customizable. [New York Times]
⏎ Ford's Sync takes on texting and driving. [Washington Post]
⏎ Fitch downgrades Italian auto giant Fiat's rating. [AFP]
⏎ 9-year-old driver: A dumb mistake or a bad dad? [Detroit Free Press]
⏎ Sorry The Morning Shift was an hour later this morning — spent a while on the Holden post earlier. I couldn't help it — that concept car was just so cool.
Today in Automotive History:
On October 19, 1982, the automaker John Z. DeLorean is arrested and charged with conspiracy to obtain and distribute 55 pounds of cocaine. DeLorean was acquitted of the drug charges in August 1984, but his legal woes were only beginning. He soon went on trial for fraud and over the next two decades was forced to pay millions of dollars to creditors and lawyers. Nevertheless, DeLorean occupies an important place in automotive history: Thanks to its starring role in the 1985 film "Back to the Future," his gull-wing sports car is one of the most famous cars in the world. [History]
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