This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:30 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: A Manual, RWD Base Model Colorado Is Coming
When the 2015 Chevy Colorado was announced we noted that there was no manual option listed. Good news, it's coming.
Here's what our new best friend Mark Reuss told Automotive News:
For example, Chevy likely pleased many truck enthusiasts with a belated confirmation that it will offer a manual transmission, though only on the base extended-cab, two-wheel-drive WT model. GM's original press materials referred only to an automatic tranny.
"I'm making a bet on this," Reuss said of the stick shift. "If you look at the past data, it's probably not a financially sound decision. But we're creating something here that hasn't been created before. So we're going to take some risks."
You hear that, monkeys? For all of your bitching about wanting a small (well, smaller) truck with a manual transmission that isn't loaded down with options that you can afford you're going to get one, and Principal Reuss is throwing down the gauntlet.
"We all know the manual transmission in a truck has no future… PROVE ME WRONG JALOPNIKS. PROVE ME WRONG!"
As always, this is an entirely unofficial name for it, but if you buy one of these vehicles send us an email with a pic and we'll laud you appropriately.
2nd Gear: A "Tax Issue" Is Holding Up Chrysler IPO
Chrysler needs a letter from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to clarify tax liabilities after the IPO, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. It hasn't obtained that and didn't want to proceed without it, they said. Bank advisers were considering a valuation of about $10 billion for Chrysler, people with knowledge of the matter said last week.
That still sounds highly convenient to me.
If you were curious, Chrysler will list on the NYSE under the symbol CGC, if it ever lists at all.
3rd Gear: Speaking Of Investors... A post-bankruptcy GM has been a lot better about holding on to cash, as opposed to dumping it in dividends, building up what it's called a "fortress balance sheet" and, like the Romans, I think the fortress exists to protect themselves from Europe.
Nevertheless, Bloomberg says that they may not be able to hang out to it if activist investors try to get a sweet sweet dividend or (maybe) a stock buyback.
GM, understandably, would rather learn from their mistakes and reinvest that money in the company and hold on to cash. Conversely, the company isn't in bad shape anymore and returning a little money to investors probably isn't going to send them stumbling into bankruptcy.
4th Gear: A Non-Pursuit Ford Interceptor Gets 30 MPG Highway Most police vehicles not belonging to the LAPD or CHP are usually driven at relatively normal speeds for long periods of time, thus Ford is offering a Special Service Police Sedan for officers who don't need a twin-turbo V6 to chase down bad guys.
The new 2.0-liter EcoBoost-powered Taurus gets 30 MPG highway and 20 MPG in the city, which is a big improvement over the outgoing Crown Vics.
As Alisa Priddle reports, Ford thinks that over three years this could net fleets with 150 of such vehicles savings of $500,000. If fuel prices go up, the savings could be potentially greater.
5th Gear: And We're Going To Need Those Police Officers
Specifically, we're going to need those police officers to track down stolen tailgates which, according to The Detroit News, is a huge deal now.
It's apparently an easy thing to steal and, since the replacement cost is relatively low, owners tend to not report the issues to their insurance companies.
To deal with the problem, Chrysler is offering a remote-locking tailgate lock that secures all the tailgate and cab doors. Smart. Ford and GM have manual locks, which means people aren't locking them as frequently.
Reverse: Back In 1931
The first cloverleaf interchange to be built in the United States, at the junction of NJ Rt. 25 (now U.S. Rt. 1) and NJ Rt. 4 (now NJ Rt. 35) in Woodbridge, New Jersey, is featured on the cover of this week's issue of the Engineering News-Record. (By contrast, a piece on the under-construction Hoover Dam was relegated to the journal's back pages.)
Neutral: Which 2015 Colorado Would You Get? A 'Jalopnik Edition' doesn't exactly have the rear-end or other options you might like, would you skip the manual for a 4x4 or a bigger engine?
Photo Credit: Getty Images/AP/Garland Police Dept.