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: Turbocharge All The Things! According to this report in The Detroit News, Volkswagen is backing away from conventional, naturally-aspirated engines and replacing all of them with turbocharged gas/diesel options.
This means that you'll no longer be able to buy that weird 2.5-liter inline-five that Volkswagen still manages to sell a ton of to people for reasons passing understanding.
Fuel economy is obviously paramount in this decision and, as the article points out, there are some estimates that up to three million turbocharged engines will be sold in the U.S. in 2013, way up from 2.1 million last year.
And that's a good thing.
2nd Gear: Turbocharged VW CUV To be Built In Chattanooga Despite UAW rumblings in the area, there's a report in the Freep today that says their new mid-size CUV will be built in Chattanooga and not Mexico.
Of course, the Freep also says it'll compete with "the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Escape and Toyota Highlander." Two-out-of-three ain't bad.
It should look just like the CrossBlue Concept and be named after the Māori word for passing gas.
3rd Gear: US Auto Sales Will Probably Slow Down The crazy high that automakers in the U.S. are on can't last forever, and Karl Henkel is here to play buzzkill with a story that's sort of a bummer, but also probably true.
Brian Collie, vice president of consulting firm Booz & Co., said during an automotive panel Monday evening that the auto industry is typically a small-growth industry — with annual gains of about 1 or 2 percent — and that after the industry reaches 16 million or 16.5 million, the growth rate is likely to level off.
And if it doesn’t — and if annual sales climb to 18, 19 or 20 million — that could signal that some of the big sales gains have been propped up by external factors like low interest rates and not necessarily product or good economic fundamentals.
“That’s when you can start to be concerned,” Collie said. “Because that’s artificial demand.”
4th Gear: At Least We're Not Europe It could always be much worse. And by much worse, it could always be like Europe where Bloomberg reports that August car sales were the worst since they started tracking them in 1990.
Just 686,957 vehicles were registered in Europe according to sources, which is a 4.9% drop from an already dismal August 2007.
In what's going to be a global pattern, mainline automakers were all down whereas luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes were up.
5th Gear: Fisker May Go Up For Auction Again Troubled Fisker managed to blow $1.4 billion, but you can buy the company by purchasing the $168 million loan from the government at auction says the Wall Street Journal.
Basically, the Feds have given up on someone actually buying the entire loan for its entire value, so it's hoping someone will but it at a rate that allows them to recoup some of the investment that was made.
We're curious if Ze Germans are really going to buy it, and since they actually want to build cars it may not be the worst path.
Reverse: Canada mall sets parking-lot record
On this day, the 20,000-car parking lot at Canada's West Edmonton Mall makes the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest parking lot in the world. The mall has held other records, too: At one time or another it's been the World's Largest Shopping Mall (5.2 million square feet, or about 48 city blocks), the World's Largest Indoor Amusement Park and the World's Largest Indoor Water Park (which includes the World's Largest Indoor Lake and the World's Largest Indoor Wave Pool).
Neutral: How Long Before The NA Engine Is Dead? Natural aspiration may not be long for this world. What will the last NA engine be?
Photo Credit: Getty Images