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: Get Those Cars Fixed
The repaired ignition switches should start making their way into Cobalts and other recalled vehicles as soon as today. But it isn't an overnight fix for the 2.3 million cars that have been recalled. GM's original timeline had the cars being fixed by October, but that even seems optimistic now. They have asked Delphi to add another shift to make the new parts faster.
So the repairs have begun, and maybe soon we can start to get some answers.
2nd Gear: Record March For Audi
Our favorite car brand from Ingolstadt with four rings on the hood and model lines that start with the letter A or Q (is that enough disclaimers?) had a record number of sales in March.
Audi moved a whopping 170,450 cars in March alone, thanks to demand for the freshly revamped A3 lineup, which sold 28,750 of that total number last month.
That steals some of the thunder from Mercedes, who had earlier bragged about their record month of 158,523 cars sold. So congrats to everyone all around. Swell job folks.
3rd Gear: The 500 Abarth Goes Automatic
We've heard the rumor before, but it seems like it's coming true: The Fiat 500 Abarth, one of the finest and loveliest little cars on the road today, will be adding an automatic transmission to the mix to increase sales.
Booooooo, you say, but it's necessary. The sales of the Abarth are slightly off, and it's because the young people aren't driving cars with a manual transmission. In fact, Fiat thinks the addition of a two pedal setup can help sell 2,000 additional Abarths a year.
No, I'm not a fan of this move either, but more Abarths out there is a good thing. Pus, it isn't replacing the manual, it's just an addition to having the manual out there. So don't shoot the messenger (me, don't shoot me).
4th Gear: How Will GM Compensate Victims?
The GM Recall is a mess for a few reasons, a main one being how to compensate victims and families impacted by deaths caused by the recalled cars.
And it's messy because the current GM is not the same company that existed before the bankruptcy. Technically, they aren't liable for almost anything that occurred pre-bankruptcy, but this is a case where they will almost definitely reach back to compensate those involved with the recalled cars.
This is why they brought in Kenneth Feinberg to help them figure out the best course of action to compensate those involved.
5th Gear: Mercedes Is Dominating F1
Mercedes and their split turbo Silver Arrows are just dominating F1, but that doesn't mean this season isn't exciting.
Quite the opposite.
Yesterday's Bahrain GP had a battle between teammates over the last few laps that could have swung either way, but ended in favor of Lewis Hamilton over Nico Rosberg. There was also a nutso crash from noted crasher Pastor Maldonado, who decided that Esteban Gutierrez seemingly didn't deserve to be on the road anymore.
Still, great race, more like this F1. More like this.
On this day in 1947, Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, which developed the first affordable, mass-produced car—the Model T—and also helped pioneer assembly-line manufacturing, dies at his estate in Dearborn, Michigan, at the age of 83.
Instead of going over the GM recall, what do you think of an Abarth with an automatic? Heresy or necessary?