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: Fiat To Revise Its Companies' Business Plans
Reuters says Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne plans to revise the business plans for both Fiat AND Chrysler on Oct. 30, due to the problems that Fiat is experiencing in Europe. Marchionne disclosed his intent yesterday in Columbus, Ohio. Usually, when a company decides to revise business plans, it isn't good news. Fiat had been moving toward the eventual combination of Fiat and Chrysler in 2014, but Fiat's quickly deteriorating situation in Europe might mean that will take longer. We know Marchionne wants to begin building Chryslers in Italy, and the late October revision could bring an update on that.
2nd Gear: Get Ready For Another New Car Company: Qoros
Bloomberg says Qoros Auto Company plans to introduce its first car in China next year, even though the startup does not yet have a factory, a model name or a dealer network. Established as a joint venture between China's Chery Automobile Co. and an Israeli holding company, Qoros says it will invest 16 billion yuan ($2.5 billion) through 2015 and produce about 150,000 units annually at a planned factory in Changshu, a 90-minute drive northwest of Shanghai, according to Bloomberg. Chery, the biggest Chinese car exporter and maker of the hit QQ mini car, teamed up with Israel Corp., a Tel Aviv company with interests in shipping, oil refining, chemicals and transportation, for the 50-50 joint venture. The company is run by Volker Steinwascher, 69, a former Volkswagen executive. He admits the world doesn't need another car brand, but thinks the growing China market can accommodate a newcomer.
3rd Gear: BMW M4 Spied At Nurburgring
Autocar got a look at the BMW M4, a new nameplate that marks the expansion of the 3-series lineup. The pictures show the coupe's lower suspension, wider wheel arches and distinctive quad-exhausts. Autocar says the M4 replaces both the coupe and convertible versions of the M3 in favor of 4-series badging, leaving the M3 as a stand-alone four-door sedan. The marketing scheme mirrors that of the 5-series and 6-series, with BMW charging a premium for the more upscale model as it seeks to provide more distinct driving and styling experiences from the standard sedans. M4 is set to reach the market sometime next year.
4th Gear: Japan's Loss Is Korea's Gain in China
Bloomberg says the territorial dispute between Japan and China has one winner: Korea. Hyundai and Kia will probably sell more vehicles in 2012 than the 1.25 million they had projected, Hyundai Motor said in a statement. Combined deliveries rose to 127,827 units last month, or 9.5 per cent higher than the previous record set a year earlier, it said. The news comes amid word that Japanese automakers are cutting their China production in half, waiting out the political fallout. But, the gains could be short lived. "Although the China sales results are definitely good news for Hyundai and Kia as a whole, the benefits from the anti-Japan movements aren't likely to last long," said Lee Sang Hyun, an analyst at NH Investment & Securities Co. "Also, Japanese automakers that resume production will try to make up their losses."
Reverse: Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie And Meteors
On this day in 1992, a meteorite fell from the sky and crushed a Chevrolet Malibu in a driveway in Peekskill, N.Y. The meteorite weighed 28 pounds, was shaped like a football and warm to the touch. The orange 1980 Malibu took a direct hit to its trunk, went straight through and burrowed into gravel beneath the car. Now, that's a story to tell your friends. [History]
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