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: Feds Look At GM’s Recall
Specifically, the Justice Dept. is going to open an investigation into how GM handled the recall.
Two people briefed on the matter say that a deputy chief of the office’s criminal division reached out to lawyers last week gathering information for a possible subpoena to GM; that is a sign the office is mounting a preliminary investigation. The investigation is focused on whether GM notified NHTSA in a timely fashion about the switch problems.
So that’s happening and I assume it’s all going to end right th– oh wait, what?
2nd Gear: House To Investigate Feds
If you missed it yesterday Congress is ready to jump up and down on GM for how they performed. Also, they’ll be looking at NHTSA.
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Michigan, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the committee would examine why GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration failed to act quickly when customers started reporting problems nearly a decade ago.
3rd Gear: And In Other News…
So Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is gonna have to make do with just $5 million, a slight decrease from the year before.
Why? He didn’t quite meet certain performance metrics for Fiat. Don’t feel bad, he also got the right to receive about $25 million in Fiat shares but hasn’t taken them yet.
He also didn’t take any money for any of his work for Chrysler, although I bet they pay for his Blackberry.
4th Gear: Who Would Buy Cars.com?
We told you yesterday that Cars.com could be worth $3 billion, but who would buy it?
Bloomberg reports that Cox Enterprises/Apax Partners — who already own AutoTrader — are interested in bidding for the site.
Cars.com is currently owned by a company made up of some of America’s largest newspaper pubs who, I’m guessing, wouldn’t mind the extra income from the sale.
5th Gear: Skoda Has A Great Month
Skoda, America’s favorite Czech automaker, is well on their way to another strong year in an otherwise still weak European market with sales up 4.6% in February to 67,100 vehicles.
While their best-selling Skoda Octavia was off a little for the month, and the Suberb was somehow down 23.3% despite being awesome, their Skoda Rapid was up a whopping 212.1% for the month.
Keep it up Skoda, we love you.
Reverse: The Italian Henry Ford
On this day in 1921, Giovanni “Gianni” Agnelli, the glamorous, powerful Italian business tycoon who turned Fiat, his family’s car company, into an international conglomerate, is born in Turin, Italy. Agnelli was named for his grandfather, who founded Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, later known as Fiat, in 1899.
Neutral: How badly does this go for GM?
Normal bad, Toyota bad? How bad?
Photo Credit: AP Images