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: FCA On The NYSE
The New York Stock Exchange will welcome a new sweater today when FCA's stocks (listed as FCAU) hop in a Fiat 500 and drive under the ocean from the Milan stock exchange to lower Manhattan.
Who should buy? Let's hear Morningstar analyst Richard Hilgert out, via Bloomberg:
While Hilgert says the shares are under-valued and should trade for $18, he cautioned that the stock isn’t for everyone.
“Only investors willing to accept the risk of a turnaround company with a highly leveraged balance sheet, operating in an industry that is cyclical, capital-intense and highly competitive should consider owning the shares,” Hilgert wrote in a note to investors Oct. 9.
Well, now we've got a target at least.
2nd Gear: Talk About A Crappy Week To Join
Brent Snavely, over at the Freep, has CEO Sergio Marchionne saying what we're all thinking:
"Of all of the weeks that (Ford CEO) Mark Fields and (GM CEO) Mary Barra could have given bad news to the market, this is not a good week to have done it," Marchionne said Friday. Ford told investors Sept. 29 that it had reduced its forecast for 2014 profits by at least $1 billion, citing a weaker-than-expected European market, especially Russia, and higher-than-expected warranty costs due to recalls.
Marchionne said Fiat Chrysler wants its shares on the New York Stock Exchange in order to attract the same shareholders that invest in competing automakers.
"The objective in coming to New York is to try and get us evaluated and benchmarked against them," Marchionne said Friday night at a new Chrysler dealership in Farmington Hills. "I think we provide a viable alternative for anybody who is interested in the automotive sector."
Hey, start low, sell high... or something.
3rd Gear: Ex-Con Suing New-Old GM
Today's most unlikely story comes from Reuters, who tells the tale of Roger Dean Gillispie, a security guard for GM who spent 20 years in prison for crimes that he says (and the courts now seem to agree) he didn't commit.
But he's suing New GM, and the question before a judge is the same question that exists for a bunch of other people suing GM.
GM spokesman Jim Cain said "we do not believe New GM is in any way responsible" for the events alleged by Gillispie, which would have occurred 18 years before New GM existed.
GM argued in court papers that if Gillispie or the switch plaintiffs have claims stemming from pre-2009 conduct, they cannot proceed against New GM.
If U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber agrees that Gillispie or the switch plaintiffs can sue the new company, GM could potentially be on the hook for tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, based on some plaintiffs' lawyers estimates of liability if they succeed in their suits over recalled cars made before 2009.
The world is a strange place.
4th Gear: New GM Is Getting Smarter
You can't get to a 10% margin — the gold standard for the automotive industry — without saving money basically everywhere.
Thus, GM is convincing suppliers to move closer to their plants in order to save money on shipping and, apparently, also improves quality.
Earlier this month, GM said it expects to save $700 million in material and transportation costs this year in North America, and save $900 million in 2015 and 2016.
Company leaders previously had stated they planned to trim material and transportation costs by $1 billion by 2016 in North America.
Maybe if I move closer to work my quality will get better.
5th Gear: More On Hyundai's $10 Billion Land Deal
“Does Hyundai need the land for sure? Why is the company going to buy it in an expensive Gangnam area?” an outside director said he asked at the meeting. “Is there no other choice?”
Executives replied that Hyundai needed to house about 30 of its affiliates under one roof to improve efficiency. The conglomerate also would build an automobile theme park at the new location to enhance its brand image, they said.
One thing they didn’t provide: the price.
Such is the Korean system of corporate oversight.
Reverse: We Should Bring That Back
The world's first art museum on wheels—an "inspiration for the nation," says a representative from the Smithsonian—opens today in Fredericksburg, Virginia. It was called the Artmobile. At the dedication ceremony, the state's governor declared that the project "initiates something new in the cultural and spiritual life of the Commonwealth which has never been done before anywhere."
Neutral: What's The Closing FCAU Price? $18? $19? $15? $30? Put your guesses in.
Photo Credit: Getty Images