Best in show: The list of contenders for 2009's World Car of the Year Award have been announced. Not on the slate: the slick, black bug from VW's "Das Auto" commercials. His acceptance speech would be too long anyway. [WorldCarFans]
Speaking of Germany: Folks in the land of lederhosen can now turn in their old autos (nine years and up, please) for a €2,500 government credit toward something newer, shinier, and more efficient. The government budgeted for 600,000 trade-ins, but they received 420,000 calls in just two days. Ach! [Autoblog]
UAW says "uncle" to the General: Gettelfinger & Co. are letting GM eliminate its beloved jobs bank, meaning that no work at GM factories = no pay for union employees. This whole "change" thing seems to be catching on. [CNNMoney]
Buon Compleanno (eight days late): On February 20, 1909, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti published the Futurist Manifesto in the French newspaper Le Figaro. The manifesto "was one of the first documents to celebrate the automobile as an object of beauty and to cite speed and acceleration as aesthetic elements." He and his comrades were onto something. [NYTimes]
Not necessarily in good hands: You may like to tinker with your car, but tacking those "upgrades" onto your insurance policy ain't always easy. As one State Farm rep said, "Just because you painted the car with purple polka dots and it cost you $5,000 doesn’t mean that it increases the value of the car." [Insure]
Hell on (three) wheels: Matias Conti's Transformable Spin Vehicle is possibly the most badass tricycle we've seen in a while. And we've seen the Aptera 2e. [AutoMotto]
Drop it like it's hot: The Mini Cooper Convertible debuted a few weeks ago, and the company's encouraging drivers keep the top down as much as possible. That's a nice idea, but not so practical during thunderstorms or blizzards or in certain neighborhoods. Or in car washes:
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