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: This Is The Chevy Cruze Wagon
Chevy's released this one image of the Cruze Wagon it'll unveil next month at the Geneva Motor Show. The new wagon is the third form factor — joining the sedan and hatch. The exterior design features a — in our mind anyway — tasteful-looking roofline (especially with what appears to be an optional utility-first roof rack. The wagon's 15.4 feet long and gets storage capacity of close to 53 cubic feet once the rear seats are folded. The Cruze Wagon will get the same engine options as its brothers and will hit showrooms in Europe sometime this year but there's no word yet whether we'll see it drag its ass out into the U.S. anytime soon.
2nd Gear: Ford Plays The C-Suite Shuffle, Jon Huntsman Joins Board
Ford CFO Lewis Booth and global product development chief Derrick Kuzak will both retire on April 1st. Now we're told that Booth, 63, will be succeeded by Bob Shanks, Ford's vice president and controller, the automaker said today. Kuzak, 60, will be replaced by Raj Nair, currently vice president of engineering for global product development. No, nobody knows when Mulally's going to retire or who's going to succeed him — so quit asking! (But our bets totally on Mark Fields. Mullet, FTW!) Oh, also, that one guy who was running for President who was Mormon but isn't Mitt Romney? He's joining Ford's board of directors.
3rd Gear: AMG Ain't Going Diesel
Remember that report that AMG was going to develop diesels to follow BMW's M division? Yeah, according to Autocar, that ain't gonna happen anymore. Citing the example of AMG's new twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8, AMG boss Ola Kallenius said: "The technology of performance gasoline engines is converging with diesel tech. Direct injection, downsizing and turbocharging are all having an effect."
4th Gear: 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR Racers Test At Sebring
The new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR race cars, still in plain white straight-from-the-factory livery, made their world debut as three U.S. customer teams gave them their first race track test prepping for next month's 60th Anniversary Mobil 1Twelve Hours of Sebring. Continuing to power the new 911 GT3 RSR is the same four-liter six-cylinder boxer engine generating 460 hp mated to a Porsche sequential six-speed paddle-operated gearbox.
5th Gear: GMC Acadia To Preview Pickup Truck Design
GM North American President Mark Reuss told journalists in Detroit there would be more separation between Chevy and GMC — not only in pickup trucks, but across the lineup. Dave Lyon, executive director for GMC Design, spoke to PickupTrucks.com about the Acadia's new look and design features — but also what that means for the rest of the GMC lineup.
6th Gear: New Nissan Titan To Get More Ram-Like Toys
Speaking of what's next — PickupTrucks.com also sat down with Richard Miller, Nissan's product planning guru at the Chicago Auto Show this week. Although, he couldn't get too specific about the next Nissan Titan — he did come up with a few nuggets of new information. Specifically, there'll be more toys. You know, like the Ram — the truck Chrysler should have just let them build the next Titan off of.
⏎ Nissan to join V8 Supercars in 2013. [stuff.co.nz]
⏎ New Mitsubishi Outlander shown. [Autocar]
⏎ Company helps make safe Volvos stylish. [Detroit News]
⏎ With Phibian, Gibbs Technologies Unleashes a Land Shark. [New York Times]
⏎ Bentley Gets David Hilton As New Design Boss. [Motor Authority]
⏎ Chicago Auto Show's all about economy. [Detroit News]
⏎ Opel losses mount, GM seeks union-backed cuts. [Automotive News]
⏎ Chrysler seeks bank partnership. [Detroit Free Press]
Today in Automotive History:
On this day, five years ago, our own Matt Hardigree wrote his first post for Jalopnik. It really sucked. But he's gotten much better! Hell, he even uses mid-word punctuation uniformly in his stories now! Wish him a happy Gawkerversary in the comments below. [Twitter]