Good Morning! Welcome to The Morning Shift, your roundup of the auto news you crave, all in one place at 9:00 AM every weekday morning. Here are the important stories you need to know.
1st Gear: Honda, Daihatsu Expand Takata Airbag Recall
At the rate we’re going, every car that’s ever been equipped with a potentially explosive and lethal Takata airbag will be recalled. Yesterday Nissan and Toyota expanded their airbag recall by 6.5 million cars; today, according to Automotive News, Honda and Daihatsu will do the same to the tune of 5 million additional cars globally.
This latest round of recalls from Honda and Daihatsu, now a small car subsidiary of Toyota, will not affect U.S. or Canadian market cars.
Honda’s recall covers 1.72 million vehicles in Japan that were manufactured from 2002 to 2008. Those 17 nameplates were made in Japan, Thailand and the United States. The remainder of the recalls falls in other regions. Honda said it will announce the regional breakdowns locally. Daihatsu’s recall affects cars only in Japan.
The global tally is now about 36 million cars. When does it end?
2nd Gear: Decision On A Hybrid Porsche 911 Coming Soon?
It seems all but inevitable that the Porsche 911 will get a hybrid variant at some point, but the question has been when? We’ve seen what look to be hybrid mules of the current 991 model, but then Porsche has said it won’t happen with this generation.
But now, according to Automotive News Europe, a decision on that could be coming as soon as this year. CEO Matthias Mueller:
“Why not?” Mueller said. “That is a technique which we at Porsche are very familiar with, so we can suppose that we could have plug-ins all over the model range, not only to save fuel but also to boost the performance of these cars.”
3rd Gear: Speaking Of Porsche, It’s Awkward
Ferdinand Piëch may be out as the board chairman of the Volkswagen Group, but he’s still a huge shareholder in its companies, especially Porsche. At the company his uncle started, Piëch owns a 13.6 percent stake, which made it extremely awkward that he missed the last shareholder meeting. Here’s why they need to get him back in the game, via Reuters:
Arndt Ellinghorst, an analyst at Evercore ISI, said it was “crucial” to get Piech back to the table because of an agreement among the Porsche and Piech families to vote unanimously on strategic matters, though he added his return could probably only be achieved via broader management change at VW.
Winterkorn, who is also chief executive of Porsche SE, told the shareholder meeting he was determined to work with Piech as before — a point echoed by Matthias Mueller, chief executive of the Porsche AG sportscar company that is part of the VW stable.
“We have worked together successfully for more than 30 years,” Winterkorn told reporters at the meeting of more than 4,000 shareholders in Porsche AG’s home town of Stuttgart.
4th Gear: GM Invests $1 Billion At Warren Tech To Add 2,600 Jobs
The Detroit News reports General Motors’ sprawling Warren Tech Center in Warren, Michigan is about to get even more sprawling with a fresh injection of $1 billion that will create 2,600 jobs.
Projects include building new design studios and a new parking structure for design employees, rebuilding and renovating research and development buildings, constructing a new information technology building for its growing operation next to the current information technology innovation center, building a new parking deck for innovation center workers and creating more testing facilities in the Advanced Energy Center.
GM has been investing more than $5 billion at its U.S. plants through 2017.
Reverse: Goodbye Daimler Chrysler
On this day in 2007, the European-American carmaker DaimlerChrysler, created in 1998 in a $36 billion merger, announces that it is selling 80.1 percent of the Chrysler group to the U.S. private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.
Is the world ready for a hybrid 911, or should Porsche wait until the next generation to unveil one?
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