This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:30 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: Who Looks Worse Here?
The House Committee report on the Cobalt recall doesn't necessarily prove anything, but investigators continue to flesh out what's going juuuuust a bit more.
Specifically, it shows that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration missed a couple of chances to investigate the issue (something we already knew) and it apparently shows (I haven't gone through all of it yet) that GM decided not to fix the ignition-slipping issue partially because of cost.
The last bit is the most damning, of course. Here's the summary from The Detroit News:
A GM document released to the committee shines light on GM's decision to close an internal investigation into stalling problems in a Cobalt that was opened in 2004. Reasons cited for lack of action were "tooling cost and piece price are too high," "lead-time for all solutions is too long" and "[n]one of the solutions seems to fully countermeasure the possibility of the key being turned (ignition turned off) during driving."
The GM document added that "none of the solutions represents an acceptable business case." The committee said GM hasn't released documents that explain the criteria for an "acceptable business case" and how the decision was made.
When they make the Lifetime movie version of this they're going to call it "An Acceptable Business Case."
2nd Gear: In The Future, All SUV's Will Be Mercedes-Based
In addition to all the Mercedes SUVs, both the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee owe some of their construction to the German automaker. Thus, it should be no surprise that Aston Martin is talking to Benz about adding some Mercedes to their first SUV.
Daimler already has a stake in Aston Martin and will be giving them an AMG-built V8, so an ML-based (or GLA or whatever) SUV is no surprise.
3rd Gear: The Lancer Is Dead, Again
Just to reiterate, the Lancer Evo as we know it is dead, even as it goes out with a bang, and dealers in the U.S. are rightfully worried.
Mitsubishi did not say whether it was planning another vehicle to plug the performance-car gap. But it left the door open for a spiritual successor powered at least partly by batteries.
"Mitsubishi Motors does not have any plans to design a successor with the current concept, as a high-performance four-wheel drive gasoline-powered sedan," spokeswoman Namie Koketsu said, describing the car as having "icon" status. "Mitsubishi Motors will explore the possibilities of high-performance models that incorporate electric vehicle technology."
No word on when it's actually going to stop production, but soonish.
4th Gear: Sergio Wants 4.5 Million Car Sales This Year
Now that Sergio Marchionne is firmly in charge of both Chrylser and Fiat, he wants the combined companies to sell 4.5 million cars — an improvement over the 4.4 million combined sales last year.
The AP reports that Marchionne told investors the merger of two big historic companies is emotional, but that their "strength derives from the union of these two realities."
5th Gear: The De-Monopolization Of The Car Industry
The first decade of the 21st century had Detroit's automakers cutting loose their various enterprises — either by choice or through bankruptcy — with various outcomes.
Parts supplier Visteon, like Jaguar-Land Rover, was a formerly Ford company trending for failure but is now on firm-footing after (though that's after a bankruptcy).
The WSJ has the story of how Visteon turned around and just how much damn money there is in making climate control systems for cars.
Reverse: Well, That's Random
On this day in 1931, Knute Rockne, the legendary Notre Dame football coach and namesake of the Studebaker Rockne line of autos, is killed in a plane crash near Bazaar, Kansas, at the age of 43.
Neutral: Is This GM's Fault Or The Government's Fault?
Photo Credit: AP Images