This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place every weekday morning. 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: GM, Audi, Jaguar Have Stopped Selling In Russia
As we reported just the other day, the Ruble is on its way to losing nearly half its value, which is a big problem in Russia. Because of the loss of value, automakers are now shutting down sales of cars in the country to stem losses until the currency becomes more stable.
So far, Jaguar, GM, and Audi have stopped selling cars in the country. They'll resume sales once they can set a new price for them, which shouldn't take long. Jaguar-Land Rover suspended sales of the cars until tomorrow, the 19th.
BMW hasn't stopped sales, but Bloomberg reports that they could lose 100 to 150 million euros if the ruble loses half its value.
That could be a big problem.
2nd Gear: Warren Buffett's Chinese Automaker Loses $1 Billion In A Day
BYD, the Chinese automaker backed by Warren Buffett, lost $1 billion in market value in just one day, as the stock price dropped by a staggering 47 percent. BYD says that they have no idea why the stock plummeted like that and that there isn't a reason why they should suddenly lose nearly half their market value.
There was speculation that this was also Ruble related, but BYD doesn't really have a presence in Russia.
Something doesn't add up here...
3rd Gear: REPORT: VW's Brand Strategist Can't Handle The Gig
Klaus-Gerhard Wolpert is a former Porsche man that is now the head of brand strategy at the Volkswagen Group. He's been there since 2010 and manages nearly 100 vehicles, but sources have told Reuters that he is not up to the task.
Instead, Wolpert will be moved to the truck division to oversee modular construction. There is no word on a replacement.
This comes amid VW trying to cut nearly $6 billion in costs by 2017 to help increase profit margins.
4th Gear: The USA Is Competitive
Marketshare between the top eight automakers in the US has never been closer. GM and Ford still occupy the top two spots, but Toyota and Chrysler are not far behind.
Toyota is just 0.2 percent behind Ford for third place, and FCA is two points behind. The spread from GM, which is first, to VW, which is eighth, has gone from 26 percent to just 14 percent since 2000.
Could a shift at the top be coming? We'll have to see.
5th Gear: Morgan Stanley Says Tesla Won't Build 500,000 Cars By 2020
What was that about over promising?
Tesla has said that they will be building 500,000 cars a year by 2020. However, an analyst at Morgan Stanley says that he doesn't even see them making 300,000 cars by that time. He's also cut the stock price target from $320 to $290.
Now, 300,000 is a lot of cars. $290 is a great price. This isn't necessarily a bad thing at all. But when you're Elon Musk and you make huge promises, well, they can come to bite you.
On this day in 1968, the musical film "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" opens in New York City. The movie featured Dick Van Dyke, who had made a splash four years before in the Disney musical "Mary Poppins" and whose eponymous TV show had been a hit since 1961. Its real star, however, was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang herself: a magical flying car that always knew how to save the day.
How will issues with the Ruble impact the global automarket? Will it make a difference?