1st Gear: Will Power's Double-Barrel Salute Earns Him $30,000 Fine
To say Will Power was incensed at officials' decision to restart the IZOD IndyCar Series MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 is an understatement. Power's reaction — caught live on ABC by the almost gleeful producers — was an instant hit in the social media world and for fans throughout the series who thought the decision to restart the race was a sham. However, most knew that Power would be hit as well, in the form of a fine or public reprimand. On Thursday, the IZOD IndyCar Series announced Power's penalty: a $30,000 fine or community service.
2nd Gear: GM's CEO Wants You Working 12 Hours A Day At Your Ikea Desk
General Motors' fall PR offensive has begun with two long magazine pieces, both suggesting GM CEO Dan Akerson is kind of a sonofabitch who doesn't put up with much of what's passed for standard operating procedure at GM. And as the Bloomberg Businessweek story shows, he doesn't care about fitting a mold, or how people react to being expected to work 12-hour days: "I'm not a car guy...nor should the CEO be worried about rear axle ratios on the next transmission." OK, then. A highlight of Alex Taylor's Fortune piece: Marketing chief Joel Ewanick was given $50,000 to redecorate his office, but went to Ikea and Crate & Barrel and saved $48,000.
3rd Gear: Bentley SUV? Bentley SUV
Here's how Bentley design Fuhrer Wolfgang Dürheimer describes a potential Bentley SUV to Car und Driver: "From the front view, you will immediately identify it as a Bentley. It comes from the lights and the grille . . . quite vertical, with mesh. I think it's absolutely important that if you approach the car, you see it's a Bentley. From the back it will be the same, because nobody has the oval-shaped exhaust pipes that we have, and of course we will make it nice and neat in the back." Jawohl.
4th Gear: BMW, Porsche Go On Hiring Spree
Porsche and BMW, predicting record sales for their luxury German cars this year, are vying to find enough Wunderkinder to make them, according to Bloomberg. An aging workforce and declining enrollment in technical studies caused the shortfall of available engineers in their home country to rise to an all-time high of about 77,000 last month, according to the VDI German engineering association. BMW aims to hire 800 people at its factory in Leipzig, as part of a 400 million-euro ($577 million) expansion for the production of the i3 electric city car and the i8 hybrid super car. Porsche is recruiting more than 1,000 workers for its plant about 11 miles away, where it plans to add the new Cajun compact sport-utility vehicle.
5th Gear: Honda Civic Hatchback Goes To Finishing School
Honda is gearing up for the Frankfurt Motor Show world premiere of the Euro-only 2012 Civic hatchback. Honda tells us that its development team has focused on ensuring that the new Civic will offer optimal interior refinement. The company's engineers used the Swindon factory's anechoic chamber in fine-tuning every detail: for example, they had to modify the design and construction of the roof lining after studying its interaction with the rest of the bodywork.
6th Gear: Saab Story — There's A Lot Of Chapters Before 11
Bloomberg reports Swedish Automobile NV, the owner of carmaker Saab Automobile, postponed the publication of its first-half results to Aug. 31. The company "decided to delay publication as it is currently still in the process of finalizing the semi-annual report," it said in a statement today. Zeewolde, Netherlands-based owner was scheduled to report results today.
⏎ Mercedes caught testing 320 hp AMG A-Class. [Autocar]
⏎ Home is often the handiest car wash for your vehicle. [Edmonton Journal]
⏎ British used car prices fall as buyers downsize. [Guardian.co.uk]
⏎ August Auto Sales Look Sluggish; Could Ford Lose Share? [Barron's]
⏎ GM: No OT for its plant in Flint. [Detroit News]
⏎ Bonuses, new jobs keys to auto deal. [Detroit News]
⏎ Original "Pink Panther" car hits auction block. [Autoevolution]
Today in Automotive History:
On this day in 1959, the British Motor Corporation (BMC) launches its newest car, the small, affordable–at a price tag of less than $800–Mark I Mini. The diminutive Mini went on to become one of the best-selling British cars in history. [History]
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