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: Ron Burgundy Is A Success?
It was recently announced that Will Ferrell would be doing 70 ads for the Dodge Durango as Ron Burgundy. We were all giddy that it was happening. And to basically nobody's surprise, the ads have been a hit.
The campaign has been up for five days, and the spots that are already online have 2.7 million views. Chrysler looks pretty smart for using Ferrell, but the smarter part is the cost of the campaign is less than normal. The tie in with Anchorman 2 means that the producers and Chrysler split the costs of the ads, which don't appear to be all that expensive anyway.
How much could it cost to get Ferrell in front of a curtain next to a Durango? Great Odin's raven, that was a shrewd move Chrysler.
2nd Gear: Ford And U-Mich Are Working On Batteries
The University of Michigan will announce the creation of an $8 million research center to focus on the development and testing of batteries. Ford, among others, contributed funding to the project, so expect them to make pretty heavy use of it.
It's another step in the race to create battery packs that charge faster and last way longer. And the lab won't only be used by Ford either, as apparently a number of manufacturers and suppliers are interested in utilizing the facilities for their own development purposes.
It should open next fall.
3rd Gear: GM Truck Prices Rise, Like The Opposite Of A Rock
Bob Seger would be kind of ticked. The 2014 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra have each been redesigned in the last year, and while it was promised that they would be priced the same as their predecessors, that has all changed.
Now that the 2013 models have been cleared off the lots, the 2014 trucks have received a $1,500 price increase. GM says the "price adjustment was planned" and will be offering incentives on the trucks until the end of October. Those incentives? They're worth $1,500.
Why not just raise the price at the end of November then?
4th Gear: 2014 Toyota Corolla Is Already Being Recalled
Toyota has issued a recall for about 10,000 cars, and it includes the Avalon, Camry, and the 2014 Corolla. No, it's not for a terrible, devastating, fire-causing issue.
The issue is a possible short in the wiper system, which could cause the wipers to fail and then you could crash. Dealers will just replace the wiper switched.
5th Gear: Some Guy Named Sebastian Wins A Race
Yesterday's Japanese Grand Prix was a pretty good one, but it ended the way a lot of races end: A man named Sebastian won it.
For a while, that didn't appear to be the case though. Lotus' Romain Grosjean got one hell of a start and shot from fourth to first in the first corner. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton got together, which cut Hamilton's tire and sent him out of the race.
Big Jean led for about half the race, but pit stop strategy and, ultimately, pace, were better from the Red Bull team, which led them to pip Grosjean and send him back to third at the finish. And even though I'm tired of Vettel winning all the time, it's another pretty crazy time, like we had with Michael Schumacher, where one driver is in the right car at the right time.
Cherish it now, because this doesn't happen often.
On October 14, 1857, engineer and inventor Elwood Haynes is born in Portland, Indiana. Haynes designed one of the very first American automobiles, the Haynes "Pioneer." He was also an accomplished metallurgist: He patented stainless steel, stellite and a cobalt-chromium alloy that was used to make sharp dental and surgical tools. Haynes died of influenza in 1925.
Neutral: I'm Ron Burgundy?
What do you think of the Will Ferrell/Ron Burgundy/Dodge Durango ads? Hilarious? Awful? Smart or stupid?