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: Paul Ryan Voted For A Bailout He Doesn't Support
The Washington Post reports on presumptive Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's effort to spin his yes vote on the 2008 effort for a Congressional auto bailout. Ryan, a Republican congressman who represents both Janesville, home to a shuttered GM plant, and Kenosha, Wis., which had a Chrysler facility, now says he thinks the Bush and Obama administration support for the auto industry was a bad idea. "It didn't help Janesville," he said of his Wisconsin hometown during an interview with ABC affiliate 9News in Oxford, Ohio. "They shut our plant down. It didn't help Kenosha. I represent there; they shut down the Chrysler plant." Of course, Mitt Romney is firmly against the support the auto companies got.
Given the large labor populations in swing states like Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, we're looking forward to Ryan and Romney trying to angle their message. Then again, we're interested to see President Obama try to defend his support of the bailout in basically every other state.
Much as you might not like it, carmaking and politicking are still intertwined.
2nd Gear: Want To Buy Dan Akerson's Corvette?
The Wall Street Journal (sub. required) reports GM CEO Dan Akerson is parting with his 1958 Chevrolet Corvette — and if you want to own it, you can make a bid. Akerson is auctioning the turquoise beauty with the proceeds benefiting Habitat For Humanity Detroit. Details will be here. The two-seater is powered by a 245-hp, V8 engine and will be on display during this weekend's Woodward Dream Cruise.
3rd Gear: Mercedes Finally Pulls The Plug On Maybach
The New York Times reports the hammer has finally fallen on Maybach, Mercedes' ultra-luxury ultra-flop. It says the word "discontinued" appeared on Mercedes' price sheet for 2013. And so ends an effort by Mercedes to revive a legendary name, and compete with Rolls Royce and Bentley. Daimler confirmed late in 2011 that it planned to pull the plug on Maybach (pronounced MY-bock in case you didn't know). It spent $1 billion on it, but sales languished around 200 units per year, versus the 1,000 Mercedes hoped it would sell. Earlier this year, the Times says Mercedes-Benz USA offered cash rebates of up to $100,000 on two Maybach models. There have been estimates Mercedes lost $500,000 on every Maybach it sold.
4th Gear: Montreal In Shock Over Bus Accident
The Montreal Gazette says city officials are stunned at a spectacular accident in which a bus rolled over and crushed a BMW, killing the bus driver and a passenger in the car. Montreal's low floor buses are legendarily solid, and about 1,470 are on the streets during weekdays. "They aren't very easy to turn over, this is only the second time I have heard of this in 27 years," a Montreal bus driver told the Gazette. The accident, in the industrial area called Dorval, injured seven of the bus' 14 passengers.
Reverse: Car Buff Gets Biggest Autobiography Advance In History
Here's a question: which famous figure with auto industry ties got the biggest advance to write his autobiography? Nope, it's not Lee Iacocca. It's Gen. Colin Powell, who is known for his deep love of Volvos. In 1993, Powell got $6 million to write his book, My American Journey. It was the fastest selling book in Random House history. [History]
In keeping with our new discussion system, here's a place for you to own the floor. We're asking each day what you think about an issue that comes up in TMS.
Today, share your thoughts about the Maybach. Was it worth Mercedes' time and money to introduce such an expensive car? Was it the bad timing (economic downturn) or bad product? Remember, there's no right answer or wrong answer. It's Neutral.
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