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: Oh, Yeah, And He Didn’t Go To Microsoft
Ford CEO Alan Mulally is still Ford CEO and, after another profitable year where Ford earned more than $7 billion, they’re making it up to him with $13.8 million in restricted stock (at the current share price) as reported in an SEC filing picked up by Alisa Priddle.
This is in addition to the money Mulally made as part of his normal salary, bonus, and access to as many Mustangs as he can drive.
Ford appears to do a decent job of making their exec pay match up to how well the company is doing and, as Priddle notes, Mulally made 29% less in 2012 than in 2011 because Ford didn’t hit certain targets (which is to say he was still paid $21 million).
Likely future CEO Mark Fields banked $3.2 million.
2nd Gear: GM Needs To Be Clearer About What’s Happening, Says Ex-Fed
Some ex-NHTSA folk go into lobbying and consulting, helping the people the used to monitor deal with that monitoring. Some, like Joan Claybrook, continue to fight the man.
While Claybrook can sometimes be a nuisance, her gadfly tendencies have their place and I’m in agreement that the response to the GM recall nightmare could be stronger.
Per David Shepardson, Claybrook wants to make sure that GM explains to owners clearly and forcefully why they need a fix:
Claybrook said, “the quality and forcefulness of the company letter to owners of defective vehicles asking them to take the time to bring their vehicles to the dealer for repair determine the rate at which this will occur. Given the deadly and unexpected nature of this ignition defect, it is imperative that GM’s letter to owners be a true safety alert, emphasizing the real possibility of death or severe injury.”
Claybrook said, “GM’s long delay in conducting this recall will impact its effectiveness because owners of older vehicles such as the Cobalt and the others in this recall are less likely to get the repairs made. This fact makes it even more important that your letter be persuasive to the owners.”
3rd Gear: Toyota Getting SkyActive
Toyota’s next subcompact will share the platform with a new Mazda2 reports Hans Greimel, which means it’ll also have a Mazda2 SkyActive engine.
I’m a fan of the Mazda2 (and the new Mazda2 concept), which is about as much fun as you can have with a new car that costs under $15K, but sales have been lackluster and a now untethered Mazda needs partners to survive. This makes perfect sense and will also let the company use more of its capacity in Mexico.
Where does this new Toyota/Mazda go? Details to come.
4th Gear: Hands Off Our Screens, Mobile Companies!
Yes, Android and iOS are coming to your cars, but just how integrated they’ll be depends on how friendly the automaker is (and how badly they need someone else to figure out the future).
More importantly, it depends on how the data — and the money that data produces — is going to be split. The Wall Street Journal has the story, and uses Benz’s MBrace to highlight the split:
Mercedes-Benz’s MBrace communications system is typical of how car makers are beginning to give drivers access to their smartphones and applications while still retaining control of the in-car network. CarPlay appears on MBrace as an icon like a word processor or any other app. The driver can easily toggle between CarPlay and MBrace for music or concierge services.
5th Gear: How Peugeot Fights Back
After departing Nissan Renault for Peugeot, the other Carlos now has a plan for saving the company. Check out this Bloomberg profile for the details, but here’s the best part:
Attending his first car show since joining the French carmaker “is very pleasant,” Tavares said while rushing to Peugeot’s display area, where electronic music throbbed and the 308 hatchback — the 2014 European Car of the Year — was prominently displayed. “I’m a lucky guy.”
He might be the only one that thinks that.
Reverse: Awesome Lady
On this day in 1938, Janet Guthrie, the first woman to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500 races, is born in Iowa City, Iowa.
Guthrie was raised in Florida and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1960 with a degree in physics. After college, she worked as an aerospace engineer; however, by the early 1970s, her interest in sports car racing led her to devote herself full-time to the sport. In 1976, she was the first woman to compete in a National Association of Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) Winston Cup superspeedway race. The following year, she broke the gender barrier again, becoming the first female driver in the Daytona 500, where she finished in 12th place and earned Top Rookie honors. Known today as the “Super Bowl of stock car racing,” the 200-lap, 500-race first was held in Daytona Beach, Florida, in 1959.
Neutral: Is Mulally Worth It?
Or this exec pay run amok?
Photo Credit: Getty Images