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: Bomb-bomb-bomb bomb-bomb Iran… With Cars
A curious side effect of the temporary deal with Iran is that, assuming it holds up and becomes permanent, international carmakers might have access to about 77 million people. As Bloomberg reports, that's a big incentive for a lot companies to start eyeing Iran.
While the U.S. and other governments want to keep Iran from being able to blow up other people, a car is a sort of basic human right and it's been since 2011 that cars and parts have been able to flow in the country. Iran's local car manufacturing is fairly weak and in 2011 they imported 458,000 cars from PSA Peugeot Citroen.
Yes, Iran is a country that's often ruled by a mix of wacky, tie-less asshats and mysterious clerics, but it's also a large and mostly educated market with people who just want to have a replacement water pump for their Peugeot 206. They've got a slightly more moderate leader who says he wants to end the sanctions agains the country and seems willing to tone down the "death to _____" rhetoric.
I don't think we'll see in U.S companies directly trying to court the Iranian market for a few years as, even a more moderate Iran is still Iran, but GM does have a deal with PSA Peugeot Citroen and Chrysler could get in via Fiat.
2nd Gear: The Senator From Ford Still Likes Ethanol
While most enthusiasts, and most car companies (and many environmentalists) are against forcing ethanol at blends above 10% into the fuel supply, politicians have been sending mixed messages.
The EPA has said it'll move forward to reduce corn-based ethanol in fuel going forward, a move supported by most automakers. Debbie Stabenow, a usually car-friendly Senator from Michigan, says she's opposed to what the EPA proposed, reports David Shepardson.
Here's what she said:
"It's important to have competition at the pump. The oil industry knows that they are not going to be able to stop this going forward, that once we move to cellulosic ethanol they won't be able to hide behind the corn debate anymore and they're suddenly going to have real competition and consumers are going to have real choice. This is about the oil industry taking their last push to stop competition."
Michigan, as the report notes, is the nation's 11th biggest producer of corn in the U.S.
3rd Gear: Fisker Bankruptcy Now Faster Than The Cars Themselves
While the U.S. will ultimately lose about $139 million on Fisker, some Hong Kong billionaire ended up with company through the firm Hybrid Technology.
The good news, via the AP, is that a Delaware bankruptcy judge has the hearing on its proposed sale set for January 3rd, which is fairly quick.
Maybe Fisker will rise again in some form?
4th Gear: Ford Finally Reaches Peak Fusion
Ford hasn't been able to produce Fusions fast enough to keep up with increased demand for the attractive midsize sedan, which is why they added production to the company's Flat Rock, Michigian plant this year. Now they're going to idle that production, according to Automotive News.
This doesn't mean the Fusion is doing poorly, merely that supply is finally catching up with demand and the inventory is now at an 88-day supply, compared to 48-day last year.
However, it's worth noting that crazy Toyota Camry incentives probably aren't helping matters much.
5th Gear: Programming Note
We'll be here during the Thanksgiving break if you need a break from your family and football, though our post count is probably going to drop a little bit this afternoon through Friday and there may not be enough news for a TMS tomorrow.
We still have a few fun features planned for the rest of the week so definitely come back.
Reverse: Who Says Drivers Aren't Athletes?
On November 27, 2007, the Brazilian racecar driver Hélio Castroneves and his partner, professional ballroom dancer Julianne Hough, win the fifth season of the TV show "Dancing with the Stars." The runners-up were former Spice Girl Mel B ("Scary Spice") and her partner, dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy. After his victory, Castroneves returned to the Indycar racing circuit, but his good luck did not hold: though he finished second overall in the 2008 season (and fourth in that year's Indy 500), in 2009 the racer found himself in federal court, charged with conspiracy, fraud and income-tax evasion.
Neutral: Would You Care If A Car Company Sold Vehicles In Iran? Do you care about selling cars to Iran? If Ford sold the Mustang in Tehran would you not buy it in Tyler, Texas?
Photo Credit: Getty Images