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 parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
1st Gear: The Great Subarapture Is Coming
Americans want Subarus. They want them hard. They want to be inside Subarus. Sales were up 25% year-over-year in April and the company now thinks they'll hit their 2016 goal of 380,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. this fiscal year.
As The Wall Street Journal points out, this could mean problems for the company as they may not be able to produce enough vehicles to meet demand.
Specifically, the Japanese-built 2014 Subaru Forester is already down to a 16-day supply and that's before the busy summer months. If you want one I'd get in line now.
2nd Gear: 2014 Chevy Malibu Refresh Coming Today
The current 2013 Chevy Malibu scored a "50" on the Jalopnik Review standard, which means it is as average as possible. Not bad. Not great. Just average.
That's bad for GM because the new Fusion is great, as is the new Mazda6. The new Nissan Altima is also much better. We hear the 2014 Chevy Malibu is going to look bonkers as they try to salvage their weak performance in the strongest market segment.
Will it actually look great? We're anxious to see. Here's a chart from the Freep showing just how bad they're doing.
3rd Gear: U.S. Tells States Not To Approve Self-Driving Cars For All
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration isn't yet a fan of self-driving cars. While they're excited about what can happen, they're not big on what's happening now.
Specifically, as David Shepardson reports, NHTSA wants states to implement policies for self-driving test vehicles on the road so we're not threatened by the vehicles. They also want those drivers to get special licenses.
NHTSA itself is launching a four-year program to figure out exactly what to do about the cars as the Google car marches on.
Per Bloomberg, Toyota had a sales drop in April with Prius sales down from prior highs, but various factors will probably lead to a stronger May on the back of an increase in Prius vehicles.
Seriously, you can't stop Americans from buying Prii.
5th Gear: Tesla A Real Automaker, Planning Another Crossover
Despite our general mixed feelings about crossovers, we're intrigued by the Tesla Model X as a weird solution to the problems of being a modern (and very rich) family.
The Tesla we most look forward to, though, is the Tesla "affordable car" that's aiming at BMW 3-series territory and a cost of around $30K. That's awesome and Reuters has more details saying it'll be on the "Gen 3" platform and come out by 2017.
Oh, and there will be a crossover version.
Reverse: Ford And The Commies Sitting In A Tree
After two years of exploratory visits and friendly negotiations, Ford Motor Company signs a landmark agreement to produce cars in the Soviet Union on this day in 1929.The Soviet Union, which in 1928 had only 20,000 cars and a single truck factory, was eager to join the ranks of automotive production, and Ford, with its focus on engineering and manufacturing methods, was a natural choice to help. The always independent-minded Henry Ford was strongly in favor of his free-market company doing business with Communist countries. An article published in May 1929 in The New York Times quoted Ford as saying that "No matter where industry prospers, whether in India or China, or Russia, all the world is bound to catch some good from it."
Neutral: What Would You Want Out Of A 3-Series Tesla? Something like an ATS would be great. At least 200 miles of range. $35K.
Photo Credit: Getty Images