This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place every weekday morning. 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: Why Do You Think Bernie Is Always Smiling?
If you determine value by what someone is willing to pay for something, then it's fair to say that F1 is worth $8 billion because John Malone's Libert Global Pic, along with (interestingly) Discover Communications is in talks to get 49% of the sport for about $4 billion according to Bloomberg
CVC Capital Partners and Lehman Brothers (yes, that Lehman) currently own about half of the sport and want to get the most out of it they can, though they've got that whole Bernie trial hanging over them. Lehmen, apparently thinks it's worth about $9 billion.
That's not a huge gap and something that may be bridgeable in the near future. The interesting part for us is this:
The acquisition would give Liberty Global and Discovery sports content to go along with their other European cable-TV assets. Discovery boosted its stake in Eurosport International, a European sports media group, to 51 percent earlier this year. The two companies together bought U.K.-based TV company All3Media last month, in a deal valuing the producer of shows such as "Undercover Boss" and "Embarrassing Bodies" at 550 million pounds ($934 million).
2nd Gear: How To Sell The Chrysler 200
If you've rented a car in the last ten years you've probably driven a Chrysler mid-size sedan. If you aren't from the 1920s, you probably found it a less than pleasing experience. The new Chrysler 200 is much better, so how do they bridge that gap between perception in reality?
The word from Karl Henkel is that they're going to use Oliver 'I Speak French But I Think 'Murican' Francois and his strong instinct to build an ad campaign that serves the product.
This time, Francois appears to have found a balance between attention-grabbing and product-promoting. Its television spots, which debuted this week, highlight the new car's built-from-the-ground-up-with-American-blood-and-sweat roots. And they show off the 200's sweeping new exterior and bold interior. It elbows Toyota and Honda by calling the 200 "a car that proves a well-made sedan doesn't have to cross an ocean to be worthy of American driveways."
"We are Born Makers," the ad says, "We made this."
And "Imported From Detroit" now becomes "America's Import."
They can't possibly do worse than the Dart campaign, right?
3rd Gear: If You Forgot About VW/Suzuki It Ain't Over Yet
Remember when GM and Suzuki were partners? No… Remember when Volkswagen and Suzuki were partners? Not that, either? Really? But they produced all those cars…
Suzuki has yet to find a good partner and the failed partnership has resulted in a nasty court case that's been dragging on for a couple of years now. Essentially, VW says Suzuki bought diesels from Fiat, which sucks, and Suzuki says VW didn't share their hybrid tech, which sucks.
Now Suzuki wants to buy back the nearly 20% stake that VW has and that VW doesn't want to share. They're in arbitration but this Reuters report says there's no date set for a resolution.
4th Gear: BMW And Tesla Talked About Electric Cars
Tesla Execs and BMW Execs reportedly met sometime this week to talk about their charging problems, which makes sense because Elon Musk said he asked BMW to free all its patents. Unfortunately, he said it using a meme and Ze Germans had no idea what "RELEASE ALL THE THINGS!" meant.
This actually ties into a popular theory we had about why Tesla Free Willy-ied all his company's patents (sort of): What's the point of having a supercharger network if you're the only one who can use it?
Most EV carmakers use a common standard for charging but Tesla doesn't. By freeing up the patent on their tech they let other people use and potentially build Tesla-standard chargers.
In a conference call on Thursday, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said there had been talks with BMW about how to promote the use of electric vehicles and how to make better use of Tesla's network of charging stations.
5th Gear: Skoda Wins In Two Car Awards
Why are small diesel cars great? You can kind of tow things with them as the Tow Car Editor for Practical Caravan discovered (I swear I didn't make that up):
"Last year's overall winner, the ŠKODA Octavia, remains our favourite small tow car. Despite some strong new contenders, the result never seemed in serious doubt.
"A good turn of speed is desirable, but stability is essential for any good tow car. The ŠKODA has this base covered, towing with the security of a much bigger car in most conditions.
Go Skoda Octavia 2.0-liter TDI CR 150 PS! And what a lovely, flowing name…
Reverse: The French Love Long-Distance Racing
On this day in 1895, Emile Levassor drives a Panhard et Levassor car with a two-cylinder, 750-rpm, four-horsepower Daimler Phoenix engine over the finish line in the world's first real automobile race. Levassor completed the 732-mile course, from Paris to Bordeaux and back, in just under 49 hours, at a then-impressive speed of about 15 miles per hour.
Neutral: How Much Is F1 Worth? Would You Buy It If You Had The Cash?
And what's up with Discovery?
Photo Credit: Getty Images