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: ONE BILLION DOLLARS!
Actually, Ford's profits rose to $1.23 billion in the second quarter of 2013, the biggest second quarter profit for the company in more than a decade.
There's a lot of good news in this report for almost everyone. As Karl Henkel points out, Ford's updated expectations of their profits to $8 billion on total U.S. industry sales to 16 million cars and light trucks. There's also an expectation that they'll lose less money in Europe.
Via Phil LeBeau, we get this from Tom Webb on Ford Credit, which shows delinquencies down, repos down, and lease returns up (which is good as people get new leases).
This reflects that Ford is doing better, but also the economy is doing better.
2nd Gear: Toyota Board Gets First Outside Director
As it continues to try and improve the way it does business, Toyota's added the first outsider to the Toyota Motor Company Board. And he's an American. Gung Ho!
Mark Hogan, a former GM exec, was asked by Toyota's Akio Toyoda to help out in North America and an advisory board. He must of done a good job because now he's going to the big board in Japan.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Toyoda was interested in Hogan's experience in Latin America with GM as the company tries to expand there.
You have to respect the way Toyoda continues to mix things up.
3rd Gear: Toyota And Ford Split On Hybrids
Combining the last two gears, Ford and Toyota are breaking up their hybrid relationship. People forget that Toyota and Ford have actually shared a ton of hybrid tech, much to the benefit of Ford. I can imagine Ford saying to Toyota "Yo, thanks for the help but we got this now."
Specifically, Ford and Toyota had tried to build a RWD hybrid platform for trucks together and… I guess it didn't work out? Now Ford's just going to build their own.
While we'll still be seeing cars with jointly developed tech for a long time, The Detroit Free Press reports a Ford-developed system should debut around 2020.
Toyota and Ford are still tied up on telematics and other tech and that will continue.
4th Gear: Ok, Just A Little More Ford News
Jesus, Ford, give it a break on the news today. Y'all taking August off or something? This isn't Europe. You don't get to do that.
Per Reuters, Ford is going to continue to sell the current F-150 for the first six months after the new truck's launch.
Perhaps learning from their experience with the Lincoln MKZ launch, Ford can't risk having a gap with truck sales so strong. People want their damn trucks and Ford's damn sure they're going to keep them in dealerships. Hopefully, the new truck looks like the Ford Atlas Concept.
5th Gear: Hey Look, A Renault
How slow is the product news this morning? I'm writing about the Renault Megane Knight Edition, which is themed around an actual, like, jousting knight I guess?
It gets "shiny GT style body armour" and "sword-sharp alloy wheels" and "parking sensors," though even they couldn't come up with a medieval explanation for parking sensors.
It'll only cost a few hundred extra bucks "despite a cavalry of additional features."
This press release for this is about as charming as the bubonic plague.
Reverse: KIA Lives
On this day in 1998, South Korea's government opens the bidding for the Kia Motors Corporation, the country's third-largest car company, which went bankrupt during an economic crisis that gripped much of Asia. Hyundai managed to win the auction that October, having offered the highest bid; Daewoo was the runner-up. As a subsidiary of Hyundai, Kia made improvements in its cars' quality as well as their reliability, including the introduction of a new warranty program in 2001.
Neutral: Does It Feel Like The Economy Is Better Where You Are? The picture from Ford is rosy, but does that match up to what you're seeing where you live?
Photo Credit: Getty Images