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: They're Refusing Fiat Dealers Who Couldn't Make A Deal!
Alfa's got an issue on its hands. They're only going to be selling the Alfa Romeo 4C for a while so you can't exactly build a whole dealership around it. So who gets it? Chrysler dealers? Fiat dealers? Maserati?
According to The Detroit News, it'll mostly be Maserati dealers plus a few "best-performing Fiat dealers" and those dealers "know who they are."
So, yeah, either put up or shut up Fiat dealers.
2nd Gear: Detroit Worries About The UAW
You'd think the Big 2.5 automakers would salivate over the prospects of the UAW faltering, but as the AP points out, the "devil you know" is better than the alternative.
They worry that the 382,000-member UAW could be absorbed by a more hostile union. Such a merger could disrupt a decade of labor-management peace that has helped America's auto industry survive the financial crisis and emerge much stronger, according to a person with knowledge of executive discussions.
Another union might not be as willing to keep labor costs competitive with overseas automakers, says the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are confidential.
Thus the vote in Tennessee exacerbated worries that it'll one be the SEIUAW.
3rd Gear: Jaguar Wants Your Data
Jag wants to know how good it is to be bad by getting your data. Jag dealers don't want to do that. And thus the showdown begins.
As Automotive News reports, dealers worry that if there's a leak they'd look bad, as well as accidentally violating any federal regulations.
Jaguar Land Rover says 'Don't worry Jagbros, we've got it' and will start doling out financial penalties to dealers who don't comply. Welcome to the future.
4th Gear: VW Badly Wants To Make Its Truck Business One
You may not know this, but VW builds a lot of trucks under a few brands, including MAN and VW trucks and, soon, maybe all of Scania. How do you make all those different trucks and still keep margins high? Synchronize.
VW's picked up ex-Daimler exec Andreas Renschler as head of their commercial truck division and put some money down to get the rest of Scania, which it owns most of the WSJ reports.
5th Gear: BASF Is Getting Into The EV Battery Business
Despite some problems for EV companies, German chemical company BASF is still hoping to touch the zenith of progress and invest its resources into building a better EV battery.
The German company is betting customers will flock to electric cars, using its chemical products to create a battery that will enable vehicles to run longer. BASF, with an annual 1.7 billion-euro ($2.3 billion) research budget, has made battery materials one of 10 areas it's targeting for growth.
"We are committed," Adrian Steinmetz, head of global business management at BASF's battery materials unit, said in an interview at the company's headquarters in Ludwigshafen across the Rhine River from Mannheim. "Having this long-term strategy is typical of BASF. It's the reason why this company has existed for 149 years."
Here's hoping for a beer-powered car. Reverse: Happy Birthday Professor
Alain Prost, the four-time Formula One (F1) champ, is born on February 24, 1955, near Saint-Chamond, France. Prost's four championships in the mid-1980s and early 1990s were bested by only two other drivers: Germany's Michael Schumacher, who collected seven championships between 1994 and 2004, and Argentina's Juan Manuel Fangio, who won five championships between 1951 and 1957.
Neutral: Will Alfa Succeed? Or will the brand we love just fade away?
Photo Credit: AP Images