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: Holden's bringing back the special edition Thunder nameplate to the VE Series II Ute line-up. Developed to kick-off the 60th anniversary celebrations of Holden's original 1951 Ute, the Thunder SV6 and SS receive charcoal-finished 19-inch alloy wheels, satellite navigation, leather seat bolsters and Thunder badges. The Thunder Ute will be available with Holden's Gen IV V8 (SS model) and for the first time — inexplicably — the special edition nameplate will also come with a 3.6-liter SIDI V6 (SV6 model). Both models come standard with a six-speed manual transmission and optional six-speed automatic. On sale next week around Australia, the Thunder Ute can be purchased for the drive away price of $34,990 (SV6 manual) and $39,900 (SS manual) (both prices in Aussie dollars — or "down under dollars" as we like to call them). The range is available in a choice of 10 exterior colors.
2nd Gear: Fiat has increased its stake in Chrysler Group to 30% from 25% after meeting amended U.S. government requirements for raising the holding. Fiat will sell Chrysler models, including those under a Fiat Group badge, in Brazil and Europe, instead of Chrysler, after executing franchise agreements with 90% of Fiat dealers in Latin America to carry Chrysler products as previously required, Chrysler said on Tuesday. The U.S. Treasury and other holders agreed to the revision, as "it broadens the Chrysler Group-Fiat partnership and then it enhances the Chrysler Group's international position," Eileen Wunderlich, a spokeswoman for Chrysler, said. Fiat's new ad slogan? Share the fire.