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: Wait, Isn't The 12C Not Dead?
McLaren has said that the 12C would live on alongside the 650S, but according to an email that we were forwarded that went out to 12C owners yesterday evening, that is no longer true.
Meanwhile, the final piece of news I wanted to share with you is regarding 12C production which we have decided to cease in light of the success of 650S. The new car has been so well received since its unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show (we already have a six month order bank) we will focus all our capacity at the McLaren Production Centre on 650S.
After three years of 12C production, this represents a natural evolution of our model line-up. I want to assure you that McLaren remains dedicated to customer satisfaction and that we care about the ownership experience of every car we've ever sold.
We did know that McLaren would be focusing its resources on the 650S, but it seems that the 650S is now being considered a full replacement for the 12C instead of a step up in the model range. Not like that's a bad thing, the new car is fantastic. Along with informing owners that there would be no more 12Cs, McLaren is offering a software flash for the 12C which will update the air brake to work like the active aero on the 650S. The flash will be available starting in June.
2nd Gear: TrueCar Files For An IPO
Car pricing website TrueCar has announced plans to go public with an IPO that seeks to raise as much as $125 million.
TrueCar has not announced the number of shares it will sell yet, but the company had a huge jump in revenue to $134 million last year and has received large levels of investment in the last year.
TrueCar will trade as TRUE on the stock exchange.
3rd Gear: Car Exporters Get A Reprieve
While importing a car, like a 599 GTO, can be a hell of an ordeal, it seems exporting them for a heavy profit is a lucrative business that is going strong. Or it was until the feds got involved.
The car export business has been buying luxury cars and then shipping them to China where they'd be sold for multiple times the purchased amount. It's quite the racket. Such a racket, in fact, that feds had frozen the assets of one of the largest exporters, Automotive Consultants of Hollywood.
The reprieve comes from a federal judge in Ohio, who says that there " is nothing inherently illegal about using wire transfers to move money, nor about wires from foreign sources. The court must conclude that the United States has not established probable cause to believe the funds seized are the 'proceeds' of wire or mail fraud."
Will be interesting to see how this works out. If they get off, there will probably be more people looking to get into car exporting.
4th Gear: Should GM Ground Recalled Cars?
Yes. You thought you'd make it through this without hearing about the GM recall. Well, nope. Sorry?
GM is under increasing pressure to make sure that all of the recalled cars are parked for good until they are fixed. GM says that the cars are safe so long as the ignition key has nothing attached to it when it's in the ignition. GM CEO Mary Barra has said that she would let her teenage son drive one of the cars right now before it was fixed.
But people are saying that even with just the key, their Cobalts have turned off multiple times. Is GM just shooting itself in the foot here? Maybe they should err on the side of caution, even if having these people parking their cars could feasibly cost them tons of money in loaners and rentals since we're talking millions of cars here.
5th Gear: Cool Hydrogen News Because Hydrogen Is Totally A Real Thing That Works
Next year, Toyota plans to introduce a Camry-sized hydrogen powered sedan. Toyota USA says they're "bullish" on the car being a success.
The car, which will only be sold in California because hydrogen infrastructure is a thing that doesn't exist, is said to be appealing because of its performance and features. But Toyota has also said that the car won't be cheap, even if fuel cell prices have been reduced by 95 percent from the $1 million tag that was on them years ago.
Will it succeed? I doubt it, but I'm an optimist...
Bill France Jr., the leading force behind the transformation of the National Association of Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) from a regional sport into a multibillion-dollar industry with fans worldwide, is born on this day in 1933 in Washington, D.C. France's father, William France Sr. (1909-92), founded NASCAR in 1948.
Should GM order all cars in the recall parked? Are they opening themselves up to a huge liability by leaving them on the roads and having another potential crash?