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 parcel it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
1st Gear: Chrysler's having a pretty good news day today. First, they've reported net income of $225 million in the fourth quarter giving the automaker its first annual profit since emerging from bankruptcy in 2009. Second, the plucky little Italian-owned automaker reported January U.S. sales of 101,149, a 44% increase compared with sales in January 2011 — giving it the group's best January sales since 2008. In the Chrysler brand alone they saw an 81% jump in sales year-to-year. Insane, right? But how much of that is fleet sales? Apparently, 28% in the 4th quarter — up from their target of 20%. All I know is I'm seeing a lot of Chrysler 300s, Dodge Chargers and Jeep Grand Cherokees sitting in rental lots when I travel.
2nd Gear: Watch Darth Vader Strike Back In Volkswagen Beetle Super Bowl Ad
Two weeks after seeing Volkswagen's adorable teaser for their Super Bowl ad featuring dogs barking the Imperial March from Star Wars, here now is the automaker's extended-length Super Bowl commercial. More »