Ford Fiesta ST Five-Door, Tesla beats a low bar, and Chevy doesn't look a day over 150

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1st Gear: Ford Fiesta ST Five-Door Concept Wants You Inside It
I wonder what the five-door Ford Fiesta ST concept foretells? Could it be a five-door, 180-hp EcoBoosted Ford Fiesta? Although we'll find out at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month for sure, but, yes, of course it does. More here.


2nd Gear: Tesla Loses Double What It Lost Last Year, Still Beats Ever-Lower Bar
Tesla Motors said yesterday its third-quarter net loss widened to $65.1 million from $34.9 million a year ago. Excluding some items, the loss was 55 cents a share, Tesla said in a statement on its website. But hey, the good news is that the average of nine analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg was for a per-share loss of 60 cents — so, you know, they're not sucking as badly as people thought they would be.


3rd Gear: Happy 100th Birthday, Chevy!
Today General Motors is celebrating Chevrolet's 100th birthday. Did you get them anything? Yeah, we didn't either.


4th Gear: BMW Profits To Shrink With Slowing Sales, Spending on New 3
The San Francisco Chronicle and Bloomberg think BMW's days of fat profits are numbered. Sales aren't so strong, the Eurozone economy is on thin ice, and the new 3 Series was expensive to design and will be costly to launch. So much for the ultimate profit machine. Bloomberg's even reporting today that Daimler's Mercedes-Benz division sold more luxury cars than BMW in the U.S. last month, bolstered by new products and weakness in the old 3 Series.


5th Gear: 2013 Volkswagen CC Gets A Pretty New Mouth
The Volkswagen CC gets a midcycle refresh for 2013 with new front- and rear-end styling. The car will be publicly unveiled later this month at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and goes on sale at U.S. dealers in the spring. V-Dub also said the 2013 CC will be "technically and visually updated," getting a set of adaptive bi-xenon headlamps and LED taillights, among other hardware upgrades. At a price point of around $30,000 — the CC, especially a refreshed one, will continue to bite at the edges of the entry-level luxury segment.


6th Gear: So, Yeah, That Happened
So, remember that Justin Berkowitz guy we hired from Car & Driver? We're disappointed to tell you that he lasted all of three days before being lured back to the buff-book world with promises of long-term test cars, fancy letterhead and all the corporate compromises he can stomach — and without even giving two-week's notice! Oh well. It happens every time; we hire a guy with magazine experience and he runs crying back to the womb-like environs of big media. Your loss, kid. Can we blame these guys? Why should anyone spend their working lives writing smart, funny stories about the vast, ever-changing universe of cars and the people who drive them, when they can plunder test fleets, work short bankers' hours, and enjoy boozy long-lead, first-drive events? Writing things people actually want to read?That's too hard! Maybe when these guys tire of catering to an ever-graying readership, an out-of-touch editorial team and a self-absorbed PR apparatchik they'll be back. But by then we'll have moved on. Sorry, it's not you, it's us. Really. It's just more evidence that buff books really and truly are the enemy of auto enthusiasm — because it's hard to be enthusiastic when the gatekeepers of enthusiasm are more interested in selling floor mats than something you actually want to read.



⏎ Speed Freaks Race Utah Salt Flats With Rocket Truck, Barstools. [Bloomberg]

⏎ Chrysler takes aim at Detroit's two-tier wage system. [MSNBC]

⏎ American Auto Companies Are Still in the Truck Business. [The Atlantic]

⏎ Jaguar Land Rover won't exhibit in Detroit. [Autoblog]

⏎ Magna's Q3 profit falls 62% on Europe woes. [Automotive News]

⏎ 2010 Rolls-Royce Ghost Recalled For Potential Fire Hazard. [Motor Authority]

⏎ Saab loses production and purchasing chief. [Automotive News]

Today in Automotive History:

In addition to that Chevy thing, at 12:05 A.M. on this day in 1930, the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel between the United States and Canada is officially opened to car traffic. As Windsor Mayor Frederick Jackson had bragged at the tunnel's elaborate dedication ceremony two days before, the structure—the only international subaqueous tunnel in the world—made it possible to "pass from one great country to the other in the short space of three minutes." (For his part, Detroit Mayor Frank Murphy cheered that the project signified "a new appreciation of our desire to preserve peace, friendship, and the brotherhood of man.") The first passenger car through the tunnel was a 1929 Studebaker. [History]


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