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: The Detroit Tigers Are Going To The World Series
Last night, the Detroit Tigers beat the New York Yankees 8-1 to take the American League championship, capping a four-game sweep of the Bronx Bombers. They will now face the winner of the NLCS, which pretty much everyone in Detroit hopes will be the St. Louis Cardinals, setting up a rematch of the 2006 World Series. Midway through this season, it didn't look like the Tigers were going anywhere, given their inconsistent pitching and hitting. But they caught fire just in time, beat Oakland, and humbled the Yankees, for whom the TBS announcers repeatedly seemed to make excuses. Sure, the Yankees choked, but nobody wins any games without scoring.
Making the World Series this year is a big deal for a number of reasons. First, the city is a financial mess. Second, the auto industry isn't as strong as everybody hoped. Third, the Tigers truly exemplify what you want in a baseball team: big stars like Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, strong starting pitchers like Doug Fister and Max Scherzer, and some little noticed players who've come into their own, such as Jhonny Peralta and Delmon Young, who was named the ALCS MVP. There are also spunky rookies like Quintin Berry and Avisail Garcia, as well as Austin Jackson, who is a true joy to watch when he's running. Above all, it's a chance for the Tigers' owner Mike Ilitch to finally get that World Series ring. Probably half of Detroit will be taking today to bask in the victory and look forward to next week.
2nd Gear: Seatbelts Will Be Worn Tighter In Stuttgart
Bloomberg reports that Daimler is looking to cut $1.3 billion in costs, as it tries to stave off the impact of the European recession. Although Daimler isn't confirming the cuts, Bloomberg says they're part of the "Fit for Leadership" plan that Dieter Zetsche announced in September. According to Bloomberg, "Zetsche, who also heads the Mercedes-Benz Cars unit, said last month the company's passenger cars business in 2012 will not reach last year's operating profit of 5.2 billion Euros, lowering an earlier forecast. He declined three weeks ago to reiterate the unit's goal of reaching a 10 percent margin by 2013." Mercedes, as we've told you, is on an aggressive plan to broaden its small car lineup, and it needs to maintain its profitability in order to be able to pay for all those new cars.
3rd Gear: Very Expensive, Very Few Of These BMWS
Car and Driver says BMW is launching very limited edition versions of the 2013 X6 and 6-series coupe. The X6 is called the Performance Edition and the coupe is the Frozen Silver edition. The cars are meant to showcase BMW's Individual program, which features very high-end paint and interior features. There will be only 155 of them built — 100 of the Performance Edition, 55 of the Frozen Silver — which Car and Driver says means they'll probably go for half a million dollars on Ebay. But if you're lucky, you can get one "cheaper." For instance, the Frozen Silver actually starts at $99,925, or for a couple of thousand more, you can get all-wheel drive.
4th Gear: Buy A Car, Get A Mitt
The Detroit Free Press reports that former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca yesterday endorsed Mitt Romney for President. As I wrote for Forbes, Iacocca has been more closely associated with Democrats than Republicans, like the Democratic president and Congress who pushed through the Chrysler bailout. But Iacocca has voiced some support for Romney in recent years. However, the Freep also is reporting that Barack Obama has widened his lead over Romney in Michigan, so Romney may need more than Iacocca's help.
5th Gear: The Lexus LF-Lc Blue Itself
The Lexus LF-LC concept is the best car Lexus doesn't build, but we've had signals from Toyota lately that they intend to rectify this. What that ultimately means, we don't know. The least likely scenario is something that looks exactly like this concept, ditches the hybrid drivetrain for a V10, and destroys all comers. More likely, it'll take design cues from the car, pictured in Aussie Motor Show blue above, and become a next generation hybrid SC. Oh well, it's still beautiful.
Reverse: 'Better Than Gold' Becomes A Catch Phrase
On this day in 1982, John Z. DeLorean was arrested for trying to pull off a $24 million cocaine deal to save his faltering car company. He uttered the classic line, "Better than gold," as he looked at a bag of white stuff that was supposed to save his company, only to find out he was dealing with federal agents. DeLorean was acquitted two years later, but faced legal problems the rest of his life. Still, he may be better remembered for his car, which attained iconic status as the centerpiece of Back to the Future. [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.