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?
Last month we did things a little differently by putting the gears inside the comments below to make it easier for you to comment on individual gears. I think there were some benefits to it, but let's try it out the other way.
I still encourage you to make your own gears in the comments that we can star to the top.
1st Gear: Volkswagen Still Wants To Play Hungry Hungry Hippo
VW is apparently not content to own only 12 brands (bonus points if you can name all of the dozen brands under the Volkswagen AG's umbrella in the comments). The company is now amongst the largest automakers and definitely the most profitable thanks to more competitive pricing and vehicles with wider appeal.
Now VW's CEO Martin Winterkorn says he'd buy some other stuff if it comes up, telling Reuters:
With 10.6 billion euros in net cash resources, VW is open to making acquisitions, Winterkorn told Reuters in an interview, noting "there are always opportunities one cannot pass up."
In theory, Alfa could be next, but Sergio ain't selling.
2nd Gear: Well, This Is Embarrassing
Speaking of VW, the German automaker is recalling the VW Sagitar, Golf, Magotan and CC (explanation for the names here) in China because a substandard gearbox was causing accidents.
How'd they get busted? A bit on state-run Chinese TV that also got in Apple's face for bad customer service.
When the Chinese are getting on your case over the bad quality of your products you know something weird is going on.
3rd Gear: Mitsubishi Is Going To Try And Sell Cars… In The U.S.
I really have no clue what the hell Mitsubishi is doing. At one point it was sporty alternatives to the increasingly boring Japanese offerings. They abandoned that. Then it was tiny, EV cars. Those didn't sell. Now it's all crossovers.
I wish them all the best. I do. It would be great to have a thriving Mitsubishi in the United States. Hell, it would be great to have one that survives the next three years since everyone else here assumes they're going to go full-on Suzuki pretty soon.
Mitsubishi North America's Masatoshi Hasegawa told Automotive News they need a mid-sized sedan, a Lancer replacement, and an SUV bigger than the Outlander.
Oh boy. Almost. We agree a not terrible Mitsubishi mid-sizer would be great (the Galant became the worst car sold in America). A new Lancer? Awesome. A bigger SUV? Eh…
Keep holding your breath because we're still a couple of years out. In the meantime they're going to spend more on advertising to keep themselves alive.
4th Gear: Mr. Akerson Goes Back To Washington
Remember that time the Big Three took private jets to Washington, D.C. to beg for money and it spectacularly backfired? Yeah, Akerson is going back.
This may partially be in response to the whole executive compensation thing and to make everyone feel a little bit better about the company now that it's no longer in free fall.
5th Gear: Don't Drive Your 2013 Dodge Challenger V6
There are about 4,459 of the 2013 Dodge Challenger V6 models out there right now and, should you own one, we'd suggest you follow Chrysler's advice and not drive it.
The recall notice is because of a wiring harness that can overheat and lead to fires, which then leads to… fiery deaths.
Also, they're telling owners to keep the vehicles away from other structures that might catch on fire if the Challenger bursts into flame.
[INSERT JOKE ABOUT FIAT/CHRYSLER/FERRARI HERE]
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