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: Alaska Gas Prices Hit $6 A Gallon
Screw $5 a gallon. In Alaska, you could be paying more than $6 a gallon. It's already happening at a handful of gas stations in one town. Alaska may be one of the country's biggest oil-producing states, but that won't help you if you also don't want a refinery located nearby. Our petroleum-loving buddies at GasBuddy, found the four most-expensive stations in Alaska are all in one far-flung Alaskan town, Bethel. But, after more than $6 a gallon in Bethel, prices fall to a still insane $4.79 a gallon at the Shoreside Petroleum station in Cordova. The last time prices were this high? Right before the Carpocalypse. That's not a good sign.
2nd Gear: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GLK Looks Ready To Cut A Bluetec Bitch
Two weeks before it's set to make its first public appearance at the New York Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz has revealed a face-lift for the 2013 GLK. Going on sale across North America in August, the sharp-edged GLK gets a series of subtle styling changes like reshaped bumpers, more prominent protection plates and integrated daytime running lights up front, revised LED headlamps and tail lamps, more prominent roof railings and 17-, 19- and 20-inch wheel designs. Although there's a new AMG body kit there's still no full-on AMG performance model. But hey, as long as it looks like a performance model, right? But engine choices now include a twin-turbocharged, 2.1-liter four-cylinder diesel engine for the new GLK250 Bluetec 4Matic.
3rd Gear: First Rule Of GM PR Fight Club: Don't Talk About Gubm't Money!
Who owns GM now? Although it's a question being posed really only by those seeking to use "Government Motors" as a political football, it didn't stop GM communications chief Selim Bingol from answering it in a post on his new
btw blog site. What we learned is GM's repaid $23.1 billion of the $49.5 billion loaned to them. Which leaves $26.4 billion left to repay. But oh, wait, the government owns 500 million shares of common stock. Which - at the current price of $25 per share - is worth $12.5 billion. Which leaves a gap of $13.9 billion. WHY ARE THEY BRINGING THIS UP!?!?!
4th Gear: Honda's American Affirmative Action Campaign
Bloomberg tells us this morning that Honda, the first Asian automaker to build cars here in the U.S., is now also putting more non-Japanese in key roles. New North American Chief Operating Officer Tetsuo Iwamura's new seven-member board will manage activities from product planning to production to sales in North America. A whole three of those seven members — who decide U.S. initiatives — will be U.S. natives, and it's the first time Americans held such responsibility. Wow. Affirmative action, FTW!
5th Gear: Fisker Teases Nina With A Sharpie Pen
Fisker's teased the Nina crossover ahead of the New York Auto Show in two weeks' time. And that's really all we've got to say about that. It's a bunch of black lines on a white background. What more is there to say, really? Well — it's probably bigger than a toaster, but smaller than a semi truck.
6th Gear: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, Now With Mo' Better Interior!
Thanks to the Hyundai-made men at The Korean Car Blog, we've got a Korean-language brochure on the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, giving us a closer look at what we can expect from the new Hyundai crossover. Looks like a more upscale interior, and... yeah... that's about it. See for yourself here.
⏎ White suburban man with job rides Detroit bus! [Curbed Detroit]
⏎ Gov. Rick Snyder doesn't ask Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne about possible move to Michigan. [Detroit Free Press]
⏎ Voice command promising, not perfect. [Detroit News]
⏎ VW will add 800 workers to build more Passats in Tennessee. [Automotive News]
⏎ Ford lays the foundation for a new $1B factory in India. [Washington Post]
⏎ Jaguar-Land Rover Forms New Joint Venture with China's Chery Automobile. [CarScoop]
⏎ Latest images from testing for the Nissan DeltaWing from Sebring International Raceway. [Highcroft Racing / Facebook]
Today in Automotive History:
On this day in 1983, the Pentagon awards a production contract worth more than $1 billion to AM General Corporation to develop 55,000 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV). Nicknamed the Humvee and designed to transport troops and cargo, the wide, rugged vehicles entered the spotlight when they were used by the American military during the 1989 invasion of Panama and the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s. [History]