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:You're SYNCing With What?
While not officially confirmed by either party, I have to belief that Chris Woodyard has it right in saying Ford's Windows CE-based SYNC is going to become BlackBerry QNX-based SYNC.
Of course, we knew this was coming and we knew the outrage would be righteous. I'm not one of the outraged. SYNC is based not on some new version of Windows Surface, but rather Windows Embedded Automotive, which itself is just an auto-specific version of Windows CE — a program released 17 years ago.
While SYNC works fine, it's a little slow and not at all the best platform. QNX may have been acquired by Blackberry, but let's not confuse it with something long-developed by Blackberry. They do use this Unix-based software to underpin their new products, it was developed by seemingly more clever people. It's also the basis for a lot of products we regularly use.
2nd Gear: Morgan Stanley Raises Price Target To $320
If you were among the first people to buy Tesla stock, and you haven't sold it yet, Morgan Stanley would advise you to keep on keeping on as analysts there raised their price target to $320. Wowza.
That's a huge jump over the $217 it closed at and, if the pre-market movement is any guide, that's going to cause an even bigger day. The reasoning?
The proposed "gigafactory" battery plant and Tesla just generally being Tesla.
3rd Gear: Here Come The Hydrogen Cars When we look back in 100 years I'm curious if history will judge California's Zero Emissions mandate as something of little impact, or if we'll see actual usable technology come out of it. Clearly, the credit system has helped Tesla get to where it is now. But what of the hydrogen car?
California wants at least 15% of new vehicles sold in the state to produce zero emissions by 2025, and its regulations require auto makers to sell electric vehicles or fuel cell vehicles to meet the requirement. Its mandate means that fuel cell cars will get double the emission credits compared to electric vehicles.
The tests are an effort to determine how pricey hydrogen vehicles will compete with far less expensive gasoline- or diesel-powered cars. The biggest problem so far is their cost. Next is figuring out how to get the cars to fueling stations, where they are pumped with compressed hydrogen.
I'm not yet convinced these problems have been solved or will be solved before we embrace an alternative.
4th Gear: Acura Finally Trying To Figure Its Shit Out Acura builds a fine crossover, but their sedans are largely also-rans overshadowed by more interesting and more popular competitors. Though we've been saying this for a while it felt like those concerns were falling on deaf ears.
Alas, good news from Bloomberg as they're mixing up their staff to address this issue. In particular, super-super-serious Erik Berkman is moving from president of Honda R&D Americas to division manager of the "Acura Business Planning Office," who's plan is to… make a plan, I guess?
If you see this guy make sure to ask him to explain how he'll return Acura to its '90s era greatness.
5th Gear: Mike Rowe Says Ford Didn't Drop Him, And I'm Probably Swell Just yesterday I was lamenting that I didn't think I'd gotten under anyone's skin the same way that Sam Biddle has at Valleywag in a while. Well, I didn't have to wait long! It seems the subtle nuance of my "Shill for the oppressors" joke was lost on Mike Rowe, as well as the implication that I felt the whole reaction to his Walmart advocacy was a little overblown. As this Facebook post indicates, he did not get the joke.
Oscar Wilde said, "the only thing worse than people talking about you is people not talking about you." I don't know that I agree with Oscar, but one things for sure - there's no such thing as "free press." I just goggled myself and the results are too rich to ignore. Lets start with this journalistic masterpiece from Matt Hardigree. http://jalopnik.com/ford-drops-shi...
My whole point in bringing this up was that the AdAge piece that referenced the breakup didn't give any reason why and seemed to avoid the elephant in the room, which made me even more curious about the timing. Rowe says the reason for the split was "benign" and I have no reason to doubt him. Here's why he says the AdAge piece was so thin:
Bottom line - We "played nice" in Ad Age because the people involved are all, well...nice. I'm just at a point in my career where I want to associate myself with messages that speak directly to the issues that are important to me.
Great. I've invited Mike to come on Jalopnik and do a live chat with us. If you follow him on Facebook or Twitter, or happen to run into him, please encourage him to come on over.
Reverse: At the drive in…
American drive-in movie theaters experienced their golden era during the 1950s, but some Floridians were watching movies under the stars in their cars even before then: The city of Miami gets its first drive-in on this day in 1938. The Miami drive-in charged admission of 35 cents per person, which was more than the average ticket price at an indoor theater, and soon had to trim the price to 25 cents per person.
Neutral: QNX-Based Sync? Smart move or wrong move?
Photo Credit: Getty Images