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?
Sorry for the late and abbreviated Morning Shift today — we were busy with Matt's story earlier on the Ferris Bueller Honda Super Bowl ad!
1st Gear: Ford Posts Best Annual Profit Since 1998, Still Misses Estimates
The Ford Motor Company reported its third-consecutive full-year profit this morning, but fell short of analyst estimates as strong sales in North America were overshadowed by losses overseas. But hey, because of an accounting adjustment in the fourth quarter worth $12.4 billion that increased its 2011 earnings to $20.2 billion, the automaker had its biggest annual profit since 1998. But they can't hold their hat on that hook again — so what's next for the big blue oval? How about a drop in its stock price of 5.49% at the opening bell?
2nd Gear: 2013 Viper SRT To Get Teased On Monday Night
Chrysler's SRT Facebook page tells us this morning: "We're set to launch the 2013 Viper teaser image at 11:59:59 PM Eastern Time on Monday, January 30." Yay! We'll be back Monday night for sure.
⏎ Should Obama Brag About GM? Absolutely. [The New Republic]
⏎ Chrysler turns to high-tech gizmos to raise workers' skills. [Kansas City Star]
⏎ The Chevy Volt Becomes A Political Punching Bag. [AOL Autos]
⏎ Having Thrived in America, Hyundai Takes On Europe. [Bloomberg]
⏎ Renault Execs Hint Again At An Alpine-Renault Renaissance. [Automobile]
⏎ Auto Retailer Heralds a Turnaround, Citing Demand to Replace Aging Cars. [New York Times]
Today in Automotive History:
On this day in 1965, the Shelby GT 350, a version of a Ford Mustang sports car developed by the American auto racer and car designer Carroll Shelby, is launched. The Shelby GT 350, which featured a 306 horsepower V-8 engine, remained in production through the end of the 1960s and today is a valuable collector's item. [History]