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: Consumer Reports Loves The New Impala
They like it enough to give the new near-full-sized sedan 95 points, putting it third behind the BMW 1-Series and Model S. This makes it the highest-scoring sedan ever and the first domestic car to top the best sedan rankings in 20 years.
This shouldn't be too much of a surprise as we called it Pretty Damn Good.".
It's not actually "Recommended" yet because there's no reliability data, but it's a win for Chevy.
I was busting Jake Fisher at CR Auto's half-shaded-in Harvey Balls this morning about it, but he had a pretty good response:
No it's not exciting - it just is a very well rounded car. It's really a luxury car - but it actually handles well and accelerates and brakes better than a GTI While it earns the high rating, it doesn't mean that it's the best car for everyone. Personally, I would chose something sportier even if it gives up something in terms of ride and rear seat comfort.
2nd Gear: More GM Good News
GM Made $1.2 billion dollars last quarter, roughly what Ford made, although they made $2 billion in North America. What's the problem? Europe, for one, where they lost $110 million according to The Detroit Free Press.
That's actually not bad as this time last year they'd lost $394 million.
Most of the good news is in the U.S. where the sales of pickup trucks is bringing in tons of money, and they didn't even have most of their new trucks on dealer lots. Still, they've dropped a little in U.S. market share from 18.2% to 18% but, as Nathan Bomey points out, they still have 13.9% of the important Chinese market.
3rd Gear: Chrysler Extends Life Of Caravan, Wrangler, Avenger
It's not entirely clear what Chrysler will be doing with Dodge in the future, but for now The Detroit News has the scoop on the next couple of years for some of their big products.
The Avenger, which we thought dead, is actually going to last until 2015 as they work on a better Chrysler 200. The Jeep Wrangler has to last until mid-2018 and the Caravan will last until 2017 when, everyone expects, they'll cut it altogether so they can focus on the Chrysler Town & Country.
The worst news is that they're moving the Barracuda (which is replacing the Dodge Challenger) back.
The downside to all of this is some of those vehicles look dated, but it'll give them a chance to focus on getting new product right.
4th Gear: Maruti Suzuki Raking In That Cash
Yes, Suzuki failed in the U.S., but it's making money everywhere else according to The Wall Street Journal.
Net profit for the last quarter was about $105 million, thanks largely to cost-cutting, and helped move Suzuki to more profits.
And because currency rules everything around me (CREAM!), the drop in the yen versus the rupee also made it cheaper to import parts.
5th Gear: Bring Us That Honda Wagon, Damnit
They've basically wagon-ified the Honda Civic in a Mazda5-style MPV kind of thing, rolled it out in China, and called it the Honda Jade. I love it.
I wasn't at all aware this thing even existed until Ash from China Car Times pointed it out. It looks great. Please bring it to us Honda. Pretty please.
As a dad that is currently looking at new seven seat vehicles for a 2014 purchase I cant bring myself to sit in any MPV’s from the likes of Ford or Kia, they all just seem too ‘white collar, mid 30′s, growing a beer belly‘, but this Jade seems like its a mixture of wagon and people hauler, plus its Civic based so it probably drives half decently. Guess I’ll have to give this a real look at early next year!
Reverse: Henry Ford writes fan letter to Mahatma Gandhi
On this day in 1941, the American automaker Henry Ford sits down at his desk in Dearborn, Michigan and writes a letter to the Indian nationalist leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The letter effusively praises Gandhi and his campaign of civil disobedience aimed at forcing the British colonial government out of India.
Neutral: Which Big FWD/AWD Sedan Would You Get?
The fast Maxima? The lux-Azera? The well-rounded Impala?
Photo Credit: Getty Images