In a week of job cuts, gloomy third quarter or fiscal first half results and monetary madness involving Volkswagen shares, there was a little shaft of light in Detroit yesterday as Ford said it would resume the third shift at one of its US truck assembly plants.

The 1,000 workers recruited, or more likely recalled from furlough in the 'jobs bank', will be building a new version of what, at least to the end of September, was still officially the top-selling single model line in the US - the F-series truck, a staple of building sites, boat ramps and hunting lodges, at least in the good times.

Another small glint of hope was Toyota's confirmation today that it will start exports of the giant Sequoia SUV and the Tundra truck from the US to the Middle East and Latin America. The Middle East, where gas prices are not a problem, will take 15,000 Sequoias a year while 1,000 Tundras and 150 Sequoias head for South America. Toyota's currently furloughed San Antonio (Tundra) and Princeton (Sequoia) workers will surely be glad to stop training and community work (there were recent reports from Texas of park bench-painting projects) and get back to building vehicles again.

Meanwhile, earlier in the week, a furious money market scramble briefly saw Volkswagen the most valuable company in the world. Given that those at the screens got us into this mess in the first place, it's hard to have any sympathy whatsoever for short-sellers caught, well, short, and VW did its best to distance itself from the chaos.

There was an ominous sign today that things may be going well off the boil in China with the PSA Citroen Dongfeng JV 'asking' workers to take holidays next month just a day or so after posting some less than stellar results.

As for results, we have covered a vast swathe this week and it seems that suppliers, in particular, are hurting badly. Nonetheless, there was optimism at the Sao Paulo show in Brazil this week where we got a first look at the rebadged Dodge Nissan is building for the region

Research goes on, of course, and many just-auto readers were clearly interested in our look at dual-clutch transmissions. Today, we've published an update on front end modules.

Enjoy the weekend,

Graeme Roberts
Deputy Editor