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: Just Go Buy A 2013 Kia Soul
The 2013 Kia Soul is far from the greatest car you can buy, but it's not a bad car, and Kia was so desperate to sell as many of their outgoing models as they could as the 2014 Kia Soul hit dealerships they did something kind of insane — although not entirely unheard of.
According to Automotive News, Kia sent out a memo on December 2nd telling Kia Dealers that they'd get $1,800 for every single 2013 Kia Soul sold on December 2nd.
While incentives aren't unusual, what is unusual is they were all to do this at the end of the day well beyond the time most dealerships could move any significant amount of Kias. Oh, and it's worth noting that December 2nd is the last sales day of November, meaning that it would boost November sales.
So what does a dealer do with this information? Easy, they find every 2013 Kia Soul they can get their hands on and they report it "sold" even if they haven't sold it yet. Who looks their nose down at a free $1,800?
It worked, too, with Kia Soul sales up like 70% year-over-year.
This is where you come in. Those cars are "sold" on December 2nd, meaning that's when their warranties start. Dealers obviously want to move those cars quickly, as well, so they can start selling more 2014 Kia Souls. If you were cross-shopping a 2013 Kia Soul with something else, now is the time to go see a Kia dealer and see if you can make a deal.
How do you know if the vehicle was sold under this program? Easy, just ask if the warranty starts on December 2nd.
2nd Gear: Mercedes Beats Audi
Mercedes-Benz is now the second largest luxury brand in the world (BMW is still #1), having edged out Audi thanks to a 54% increase in compact cars like the CLA and A-Class according to Bloomberg.
Granted, a lot of this has to do with timing. Mercedes' long-term plan is all coming together now and they're producing a ton of models. Audi and BMW are both behind, with a new MINI and a new A3 still a little while off.
Can't fault Mercedes, though. They had a good plan and it's working.
3rd Gear: What's Up With Holden?
We've heard Chevy is dead in Europe and Holden might be dead in Australia, but a lot of that depends on subsidies that the Australian government might make to GM's Aussie arm.
You've got some weird factors contributing to the decline of the Aussie car industry, with nothing more harmful than a monetary policy that's made the Aussie dollar way way too valuable.
The local car-making operations of GM, Ford Motor Co. (F) and Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) have been hit by an Australian dollar that surged almost 50 percent against the U.S. dollar from 2009 to 2012, making exports uncompetitive and boosting the appeal of imports. Facing a deteriorating budget position, Prime Minister Tony Abbott's coalition government plans to cut A$500 million from subsidies to the car industry by 2015.
GM has a good bargaining chip here because, should Holden stop producing cars in Australia, that industry would likely die.
4th Gear: Just Become A 'Journalist'
Automakers want you to come to the Detroit Auto Show if you're a journalist. They will fill you with food and take you go-karting.
If you're a regular person who wants to go, though, you've got to spend $1 more to get in, with adult admission up to $13, children and seniors will now be $7.
Yeah, just become a journalist.
Reverse: And Ford Didn't Even Realize They'd Done It
On December 10, 1915, the 1 millionth Ford car rolls off the assembly line at the River Rouge plant in Detroit.
Neutral: Would You Buy The Last Car Before A Redesign? Are you more likely to buy the first car in a new generation, or the last version of an aging generation?
Photo Credit: Getty Images