With our new design comes the return of Morning Shift, our one-stop daily morning roundup of all the auto news that's actually important to you — right here on Jalopnik every weekday at 9:00 AM. It's all of the most important automotive news on the internet wrapped up neatly in a bow for you every morning.
Redesign Note: Loyal Jalopnik readers, if the redesign is scaring you — use "Jalopnik Classic." Also, your feedback is being heard and implemented. Please continue sending in bugs either by email or on our bug report comment page — your feedback is being used. For example — big thumbnails in the right sidebar! Opposite Lock is back and working! So is the tips page!
1st Gear: If this weekend's Super Bowl audience hits record levels, then the $3 million-plus price of a Super Bowl ad spot will be "a bargain." So far, our worth-the-money winners are the adorable Star Wars Volkswagen ad and the Bumblebee spot. Check them all out at our Super Bowl Ad Watch page.
2nd Gear: Speaking of the Super Bowl, General Motors plans to scare small children with the Robonaut 2 when it appears with Howie Long in the big game's preview show. We're sorry, but "R2" looks like a creepy spaceman with a severed lower torso. In other news, Honda's less-useful Asimo is still cute and adorable.
3rd Gear: NHTSA ordered Ford to recall over 280,000 F-150 pickup trucks from model year 2009 and 2010 because "the interior door handle housing embossment retaining the interior door handle spring may fracture." What this means is that in a side impact crash, "the door handle spring can fail causing the door latch to open." Which then, likely, will lead to fiery death!
4th Gear: Toyota's Prius hybrid has lost its title as Japan's best-selling vehicle for the first time in 20 months to the Honda Fit in January. Oh no, however will the environment be saved now?!
5th Gear: Car and Driver says we'll be seeing a Tesla "Model X" crossover styling buck at Frankfurt. Autoblog says no, but expect it to be unveiled sometime this year. This seems to us like much ado over vaporware.
⏎ There's apparently something akin to range anxiety for parking spaces at the Super Bowl. Who knew? [NYT]
⏎ Bad Mazda news: Mazda posted a $33 million (2.7 billion yen) loss for the last quarter of 2010. Damn the yen. [Automotive News]
⏎ Good Mazda news: Over the past 21 years and 10 months, Mazda sold 900,000 Miata/MX-5s. [AutoExpress]
⏎ GM's future strategy will continue to be "don't sell cars here in the United States." [Detroit News]
⏎ Rolls-Royce has appointed a new head of exterior design: Giles Taylor. He's 43 years old, British, and he comes from Jaguar. Maybe he just didn't like curry very much. [NYT]