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: It's A Win-Win-Win For Chevy
So Chevy is dead in Europe and that's… great news?
Daniel Howes makes the point in The Detroit News and, while it's improbably cheery, it does make a good point:
GM's decision to correct what CEO Dan Akerson has called "the mistake" of pushing the bow-tie in the backyards of its Opel and Vauxhall brands also is something refreshingly new. It's evidence that a post-bailout GM has the guts to admit what isn't working, determine why and move decisively to fix it.
It's hard to change brand perception, and Europeans think of Chevys as muscle cars and land yachts. Instead, they got rebadged Korean shitboxes. It's as if BMW came over to the US for the first time in 2005 and started selling Dacias.
2nd Gear: Mulally Gets The Colbert Bump
After a fairly bungled rollout of the 2015 Ford Mustang on the web and in the auto enthusiast press, Ford proved that it doesn't really matter because they were all over the television. The Good Morning America "reveal" was the best press money could buy, which Ford clearly did given all the advertisements that ran before and after… and during the broadcast.
Oh, your magazine cover leaked? We don't give a shit, Ford PR probably said, George Stephenopolololopuss said it was hot.
Later Ford CEO Alan Mulally went on Colbert and turned as red as his sweater vests when Colbert mentioned that the best thing about the Mustang was getting back seats. You know, to bone in.
3rd Gear: Mulally Not Going To Microsoft Soon
Despite fears that Mulally would depart the Good Ship Dearborn for Microsoft, Edsel Ford II tells reporters that Mulally will stay at least through the end of 2014.
Mulally echoed this with CNBC while talking to Phil LeBeau saying "i'm honored to serve Ford" but demurred when ti came to the question of whether or not Microsoft reached out to him.
How hot is Mulally?
The news may had caused Microsoft's stock to drop and Ford's stock to rise slightly.
This makes a lot of sense since, you know, I don't see Mulally wanting to make out with Surface tablet.
4th Gear: Toyota Is Going To Sell 400K Camrys
No matter how many beige jokes we want, the car American's most associate with a car is the Toyota Camry. It'll sell 400K+ models in the U.S. and be the best selling car for the 12th straight year.
But to keep Camry No. 1, Toyota had to spend more on rebates, discounted financing and other sales incentives. On average, Toyota's incentives are below the the industry average, but incentive costs for Camrys have crept upward.
In November, the average incentive on a new Camry was $2,421, according to Edmunds.com. That's just under the $2,460 for the new Ford Fusion and $2,665 for the Dodge Avenger.
But hey, Kelly Clarkson likes the car.
5th Gear: Honda Giving Dealers $3K Per Car
Want a great deal? Buy a Honda. Sales have been weak lately and, as the WSJ reports, that means they'll do whatever they can to raise year-end numbers.
How much of an incentive? $3K for every car they sell over their December 2012 numbers. That's a great incentive and could lead to some awesome deals.
What would I buy? The 2013 Civic isn't amazing but it's still a good car. The Honda Fit is aging but still a great buy. Reverse: Rock On
On December 6, 1976, the professional stuntwoman Kitty O'Neil sets the land-speed record for female drivers at the Alvord Desert in southeastern Oregon. The record hovered around 400 mph; O'Neil's two-way average speed was 512.710 mph. (The rules that govern land-speed records require that a driver make two passes across a measured course, one out and one back; officials then average the two speeds.) Observers reported that O'Neil's car actually reached a top speed of more than 618 miles per hour on her first pass, but she ran out of fuel and had to coast to the end of the course.
Neutral: Would You Buy A Cheap Honda? At what point is a car so cheap you buy it over a superior competitor?
Photo Credit: Getty/AP Images