Mini Does A Backflip… With A Car!

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 week we did things a little differently by putting the stories 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 heart-click to the top.

1st Gear: Mini Pulls Of World's First Backflip In A Car

In case you missed it yesterday, the fine folks at Mini launched a rally Mini Countryman in the air, flipped it around, and landed it on its feet. It took Geulrian Chicherit four years to get this stunt ready.

You can read the full story here.

2nd Gear: Fisker Is Probably Going To Be Sold To The Chinese

Mini Does A Backflip… With A Car!

Per Reuters, everyone's favorite fiery hybrid maker Fisker will be taking money from one of a few Chinese suitors. Yes, your government's money is going to help fund a car company and that car company is then going to be sold to the Chinese! Progress!

The most likely suitor is Geely, who also owns Volvo, although State-owned Dongfeng is also making an effort to buy a majority stake in the company. Should they get the cash it could mean funding for the much cheaper Fisker Atlantic.

3rd Gear: Toyota And Honda's Suppliers Involved In Massive Price-Fixing
Mini Does A Backflip… With A Car!There's a great report in the Wall Street Journal today about what U.S. officials are referring to as the "largest price-fixing investigation ever" involving parts suppliers for Toyota and Honda. Specifically, Denso, Yazaki Corp. and Furukawa Electric have all admitted they were involved in keeping prices up and have forked over $1 billion in fines.

This explains why the FBI raided suppliers in Detroit back in 2010. This all goes back to the keiretsu, which are "networks of parts suppliers closely allies with companies." Read the article and get a glimpse into Japan's business environment.

4th Gear: Russia's Building Land Cruisers For Toyota

Mini Does A Backflip… With A Car!

Watch a few Russian dash cam videos and you'll notice enough Land Cruisers to fill a yurt the size of the Superdome. Given the popularity of the vehicle, Toyota's gotten together with OOO Sollers-Bussan to start building the Land Cruiser Prado SUV at a plant in Vladivostok, according to The Detroit News.

Being that far east and adjacent to a major, warm weather port means access to supplies, although they'll be shipping most of the trucks out via the Trans-Siberian railroad.

5th Gear: Downtown Detroit Better Than The Rest Of Detroit

Mini Does A Backflip… With A Car!

Not surprisingly, the 7.2-square-mile Downtown Detroit is now wealthier and more diverse than the rest of the city. According to The Detroit Free Press, a report to be released tomorrow will show that people are once again moving into the city, making the area more racially diverse (read: whiter) than areas outside of the CBD. Apartment rates are up and vacancy is down.

Any positive change is good news, although everyone seems recognize that they still have a long way to go before anyone would consider Downtown Detroit a booming, desirable metropolis.

 Photo Credit: Getty Images, Monster Energy