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: Ford Earnings Go Up, Stock Price Goes Down
Ford reported its tenth straight quarterly profit Wednesday but despite that seemingly good news, its stock price fell 6%. Why? The AP reports that it was in large part because the carmaker decided to hold off on reinstating a dividend to stockholders — something we all expected from Ford after statements to that effect earlier this week. Investors were also irked by slowing growth and rising costs in the company's third quarter. Even though Ford earned $1.6 billion and beat expectations, investors wanted to see more the huge gains from 2010, said David Silver, an analyst with Wall Street Strategies. Ford's profit jumped 70% in the third quarter last year, as sales rose sharply from historic lows in 2009 and buyers snapped up new models such as the Fiesta.
2nd Gear: Elon Musk Announces More Vaporware
Autocar reports that next year's Tesla Model S sedan is just the first model planned by the Californian electric car maker in an aggressive vaporware roll-out that includes an all-new Roadster and a range of cars to rival the BMW 3-series. The 5-series-sized Model S will spawn a crossover Model X variant next year, and it's likely to be followed by a convertible in 2013. Tesla CEO Elon Musk also confirmed to Autocar that in 2014 the firm will launch a new Roadster, which will no longer be based on Lotus mechanicals. Although Tesla has made a loss on every Roadster sold, Musk said the car was significant in helping to establish the firm and electric cars in general. "Bob Lutz has said the Roadster prompted General Motors to do the Chevrolet Volt," he said. "We're trying to change the industry." Yeah, good on you to give credit to "Maximum" Bob, but completely ignore the rest of what he says — which is that the "change" is coming from spurring the rest of the industry to act, not to make the damn cars yourself, you fool.
3rd Gear: Scion FR-S Unveiled In Toyota Form?
Earlier, we showed you these brochure scans of what appear to be a final production model of the Toyota FT-86 / Scion FR-S may finally show what the real car looks like and end the protracted concept car nightmare parade. Maybe. Sort of. Hopefully. More here.
4th Gear: UAW OK's Chrysler Deal Despite Resistance
The Detroit News reports that United Auto Workers leaders confirmed ratification Wednesday of the union's pact with Chrysler Group LLC, despite opposition from a majority of skilled trade workers. In a combined tally, Chrysler's production and skilled trade workers voted 54.8 percent in favor of the contract, which secures work and jobs at Chrysler's U.S. factories, but is far less generous than agreements with General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co.
5th Gear: Suzuki Pulls Out Late... From Detroit, Los Angeles Auto Show
Automotive News reports that American Suzuki has withdrawn from next month's Los Angeles Auto Show and will again skip the Detroit Auto Show in January. Suzuki had planned to appear at the Los Angeles Auto Show but decided "very recently" to forego the event, said Jeff Holland, spokesman for American Suzuki. Suzuki last appeared at the Detroit show in 2008, Holland said. Suzuki did participate in the Los Angeles show last year.
6th Gear: Classic Ferrari Sells For $3.6 Million, Others Don't
Although a 1958 Ferrari sold for $3.6 million last night as collectors competed for the finest classic cars Bloomberg reports they seemed to pass on others. Three of the top four lots failed to sell at a London RM Auctions event, including another Ferrari, a Lamborghini and an Aston Martin. Is this a softening of the 1%'s love of bidding up the price of classic cars? Find out.
⏎ Peugeot GTI to return. [Autocar]
⏎ Sharp Says Thai Floods to Hurt Sales as Toyota, Ford Cut Output. [Bloomberg]
⏎ Smallest Scion ever debuts: iQ minicompact. [Associated Press]
⏎ Chevrolet staffs to learn Disneyland-style service. [Detroit News]
⏎ GM Invests US$275 Million in Ft. Wayne Plant to Build New Chevy and GMC Full-Size Pickup Trucks. [CarScoop]
⏎ BorgWarner sues Cummins over patents on titanium turbochargers. [Automotive News]
⏎ Mazda Chief to Open Los Angeles Auto Show. [Raman Media Network]
⏎ Innovations breathe life into hearse industry. [Detroit News]
⏎ Daimler, Renault mull premium-car alliance. [Automotive News]
Today in Automotive History:
On October 27, 2006, the last Ford Taurus rolls off the assembly line in Hapeville, Georgia. The keys to the silver car went to 85-year-old Truett Cathy, the founder of the Chick-fil-A fast-food franchise, who took it straight to his company's headquarters in Atlanta and added it to an elaborate display that included 19 other cars, including one of the earliest Fords. "I do have this disease of collecting cars," Cathy told a reporter. "I was very sorry [the workers at the Ford plant] lost their jobs," he said, but "since I was gonna get the keys, I was glad for that." [History]
Got tips for our editors? Want to anonymously dish some dirt on a competitor? Know something about a secret car? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.