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 parcel it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?
1st Gear: Saab To Crush Last 100 Cars
Autocar is repeating unconfirmed reports from Saab's Swedish HQ say that up to 100 cars will be crushed over the next 48 hours as part of bankruptcy — all cars built before Saab folded — including pre-production examples of the Saab 9-5 wagon as well as the handful of Mexican-built 9-4X crossovers that found their way to Sweden. A single 9-5 wagon will reportedly be preserved for the Saab museum, whose future is also uncertain. Oy — what a revoltin' development this is.
2nd Gear: Fiat To Build 500 Wagon For U.S. Market
After sales that have been — disappointing — in its return to the U.S. market, Fiat is now looking for a boost with a new wagon version of the 500. Yes, you heard that correctly. The Italian stallion majority owner of Chrysler will introduce a five-door model of the 500 at the Geneva Motor Show in March, said Olivier Francois, head of the Fiat brand. The new model, he said, will be sold in the U.S. starting next year. And no, it's not a 17-foot-long Fiat 500 limo.
3rd Gear: GM Close To Choosing Cadillac ATS Spot For Super Bowl
So, we're told that of the five ads GM's bought for the Super Bowl in a couple of weeks, one of them will likely be a Cadillac spot. Our sources tell us that although no final decision has yet been made, we're told that the Cadillac spot currently under consideration would be for the Cadillac ATS. What? You were expecting an STS commercial? Maybe 'Cadillac Style?' Good luck with that.
4th Gear: America's Infrastructure Hates Electric Cars
President Obama wants a million plug-in and hybrid vehicles cruising America's roads by 2015, despite experts telling him that's impossible. According The Daily Beast, he might actually listen to Ford CEO Alan Mulally who said "The infrastructure is just not there yet," in a recent interview with Newsweek. "It's a very tough economic case ... These are very expensive vehicles because the batteries and electronics are very expensive." And that ain't the only reason. Hopefully, Mulally's quote is not the new tagline for the Ford Focus EV or Ford Fusion Energi.
5th Gear: Buy An Expensive GT500 You Can't Drive
Those heading out to the "Big BJ" (Barrett-Jackson auction) will be able to bid on an extra special piece of Shelby history, reports MustangsDaily. The insane 2013 Shelby GT500's going under the gavel. Specifically, a GT500 prototype driven by Shelby himself and tested at Sebring, the company's proving grounds in Arizona, and Route 66. Sadly, you won't be able to drive it on the latter as it can't be registered for the street. Can we interest you in an Omni GLHS you can drive anywhere?
6th Gear: Mini Recalling 89,000 Turbo Models
A NHTSA investigation's leading Mini's parent company BMW to recall 89,000 of its turbo models because a faulty circuit board might lead to water pump failure and actual fiery death says The New York Times. So far there have been 12 fires but no deaths. Affected models include Cooper S and JCW models build in the last 3-to-5 years.
⏎ Detroit duds: Here are the worst new car debuts. [USA Today]
⏎ Is Gas the New Electric? [Automotive News]
⏎ Daytona test shows pack racing is back, but is that a good thing? [Sports Illustrated]
⏎ Chrysler says once is enough. [Windsor Star]
⏎ Auto industry works to win back engineers. [Automotive News]
⏎ Facebook as the Latest Must-Have Auto Accessory. [Forbes]
Today in Automotive History:
On this day in 1953, a prototype Chevrolet Corvette sports car makes its debut at General Motors' (GM) Motorama auto show at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The Corvette, named for a fast type of naval warship, would eventually become an iconic American muscle car and remains in production today. [History]
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