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: Fisker Atlantic May Not Arrive Until 2015
Reuters reports that Fisker's next model, the BMW-powered Atlantic, isn't likely to arrive until late 2014 or early 2015. In a presentation late yesterday afternoon to investors, Fisker said the mid-sized hybrid will enter pre-production testing sometime in 2014. It usually takes months after that for cars to be ready for buyers. Fisker says it has sold 2,000 of its first car, the Karma, since it started production last year in Finland. The Atlantic is supposed to be built in the old GM plant in Wilmington, Del., but plans for the car were put on hold earlier this year when the government froze $335 million in loans. The company says it has raised $1.2 billion from investors since 2007. But it's certainly had a rocky history thus far.
2nd Gear: GM Doesn't Plan To Replace Joel Ewanick
Automotive News (sub. required) reports that GM is not going to fill Joel Ewanick's global marketing job. Instead, GM has appointed separate executives to run Chevrolet and Cadillac marketing, which are basically its two global brands. GM recently selected Robert Ferguson, its former Washington lobbyist, to serve in the Cadillac job, which made some people scratch their heads. And, the company is apparently conducting a search for a Chevrolet marketing chief (we predict someone from inside Chevy will end up in that job).
Now, we know Ewanick's tenure ended badly, but you could make a case for having one executive in charge of global marketing, if only to keep everything sorted out. GM's problem over the years has been that its staff functions operated as silos, with nobody in one part of GM talking to the other part of GM. On the other hand, eliminating the global marketing job does make the company leaner, which is a key goal for GM CEO Dan Akerson.
3rd Gear: Volvo Is Killing The C30
Motor Trend says Volvo has confirmed plans to kill the C30, the small hatchback that helped the company revive its brand image in the United States. Now, however, Volvo says it must revamp its lineup "to better position Volvo for the future and the next stages of our model portfolio."
The C30 debuted in 2007, and it was a distinctly non-square Volvo. There was a lot of influence from Ford of Europe, and it appealed to a younger demographic. You might even say it looked a little futuristic, at least in a Volvo context. But C30 never sold very well, partly because of its price: the entry level car starts at $26,395, and the top of the line car tops $33,000. So, wave goodbye to C30 after this model year and if you own one, you have a souvenir of the days when Ford considered Volvo its ticket to luxury market dominance.
4th Gear: Would You Get On A Race Track In A Fiat 500?
Road and Track says SCCA team owner/driver Anthony Rimicci plans to start racing a Fiat 500 in January. His company, Santo's Italian Car Service in Northridge, Calif., has worked on Fiats for decade. (Yes, I'm sure he's heard the joke.) "I'm going pro racing in a Fiat — what could go wrong?" Rimicci said. "While most people look at us like we are crazy, the response we've gotten from the car has been pretty incredible. All the ladies say ‘it's so cute!'' (Cute, but is he kidding? But Road and Track swears this isn't a joke.) His team, which will enter the SCCA World Challenge, will consist of two Fiat 500 Abarths.
5th Gear: The Juke-R Makes Its First Delivery
The $600,000 Nissan Juke-R is not the most beautiful car you can buy for that much coin, but it is the only five-door, Nissan GT-R-engined five-door hatchback blessed and built by the company. Juke-R #001 gains some revised aerodynamics and a little more power at 545 horses. We'd like to see this crazy Hyper-CUV on the track, but would be happy to discover it anywhere but rotting, undriven in some Dubai garage.
Reverse: A Momentous Day For Chevrolet
On this day in 1958, Chevrolet introduced the El Camino, giving Ray Wert years worth of Jalopnik material and answering the still asked question, "what if you combine a car and a pickup truck?" The El Camino actually was playing catch up to the Ford Ranchero, which came out two years before. And Chevrolet made some huge promises for its model. It was, ads decalred, "the most beautiful thing that ever shouldered a load!" "It rides and handles like a convertible," Chevy said, "yet hauls and hustles like the workingest thing on wheels." Yeah! The El Camino has been gone since 1987, and yet, somehow, it seems like it always will be with us. [History]
In keeping with our new discussion system, here's a place for you to own the floor. We're asking each day what you think about an issue that comes up in TMS.
Today, we want to know whether you think Volvo can be revived, or has its day past? Did you ever own one? Did your mom insist on one? Remember there's no right answer or wrong answer. It's Neutral.