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: Oh Saab...
We asked if Saab is cursed, but maybe it's more than that. You ever know that person who was interesting and attractive but only dated losers? Maybe that's Saab.
A Swedish court decided that National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB — the quasi-Chinese company that owns Saab — didn't have enough money for bankruptcy protection. That's right, they're too poor for bankruptcy as the WSJ reports.
National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB, or NEVS, said Thursday that it petitioned a local Swedish court for bankruptcy protection to reconstruct its business and to "make time for ongoing talks" with potential investors. The court, however, said that NEVS doesn't have the liquidity required to fulfill its obligation during the restructuring period. Mikael Östlund, a spokesman for NEVS, said it plans an appeal of the court's rejection.
NEVS said negotiations with two major international automotive companies for joint product development and a potential ownership option "are proceeding," but that the discussions have taken longer than initially anticipated.
It's just... so sad.
2nd Gear: Spiders Lead To Suzuki Kizashi Recalls
Suzuki is recalling more than 19,000 Kizashi midsize sedans after reports of spider webs "can clog a fuel vapor vent hose in some 2010 to 2013 Kizashi cars, cutting off air flow. If that happens, it can cause the gas tank to deform, causing cracks, fuel leaks and possible fires."
I know what you're thinking: They sold 19,000 Kizashis?
3rd Gear: Fiat Chrysler Still On Target For Merger
The complexities of a massive global merger are apparent in this article from Reuters which details how Fiat is happy it isn't going to have to pay off more people than it feared it would have to.
"Fiat has determined that even if all remaining unmatched notices and unmatched confirmations were to be matched, the maximum number of shares for which cash exit rights have been validly exercised will yield an aggregate exposure that is below the cap," it said.
Follow that? Basically, Fiat spent a lot of money to make this merger happen but it triggers an event whereby current Fiat shareholders could demand a cash out at about $10 a share. If enough people with enough shares had asked for the CA$HMONEY Fiat might have run out of funds and had to go raise more capital.
Thankfully, that apparently didn't happen, or at least it happened but didn't exceed the roughly $650 million they set aside. Probably smart on the part of shareholders as the new company could easily be more valuable.
4th Gear: Ford Will Not Be Held Responsible For Aiding Apartheid
A judge today ruled that it's "regrettable" that Ford (and IBM) helped aid a regime that discriminated against and actively harmed black South Africans, but under a 2013 Supreme Court Decision the companies can't be held liable and thus dismissed the claims.
In April Scheindlin ruled that corporations may be liable for human rights abuses committed overseas. She said then that the plaintiffs could seek to file an amended complaint showing that the companies’ actions touched the U.S. with “sufficient force” to overcome the legal presumption that they aren’t liable under the Alien Tort law.
The proposed new allegations, while more detailed, are essentially the same as the earlier claims, Scheindlin said today.
Still not a great look, Ford.
5th Gear: Ford Might Need A Third Shift For Mustangs
If Ford is as efficient at selling Mustangs as they are at squashing lawsuits over their alleged misdeed then they're going to have to ramp up production at Flat Rock where they just started making the new vehicles.
Joe Hinrichs told reporters that "We'll see where demand goes" to determine what kind of production adjustments need to get made.
So you're saying you will match supply to demand? You crazy Joe Hinrichs!
Reverse: You May Have Gone To His University
Charles Franklin Kettering, the American engineer and longtime director of research for General Motors Corp. (GM), is born on August 29, 1876, in Loudonville, Ohio. Of the 140 patents Kettering obtained over the course of his lifetime, perhaps the most notable was his electric self-starter for the automobile, patented in 1915.
Neutral: Who Should Bail Out Saab This Time? I say Fiat Chrysler!
Photo Credit: Getty Images