While you were sleeping, TCC staffers cobbled together a collection of news items to ease you into your morning routine. You can thank us later.
- A release only a mother could love -- It's only Tuesday, but we're certain we've already discovered the worst press release of the week: "Found: Oldest Working Mitsubishi Forklift Truck in America". Can you believe no one's picked up that story yet? [PRnewswire]
- Blowing in the wind' -- On Saturday, the New York Times' Thomas Friedman raised the hackles of Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm when he called GM and Chrysler "losers" and singled out GM as "a giant wealth-destruction machine". A day later, the Gray Lady's editors were all, like, "WTF, Cerberus? Pony up for Chrysler!" Then yesterday, the Wall Street Journal ran an article about the possibility that Obama's auto task force will force both companies into bankruptcy. Kinda makes you feel like the tide has changed since last Tuesday, no? [NYTimesNYTimes, WSJ]
- Half empty or half full? -- Yes, it's true: nearly every member of the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry owns a foreign car. Some say that makes them unsympathetic to Detroit's problems. On the other hand, maybe they know better than anyone what the Big Three are missing. Discuss. [Detnews]
- Two steps forward, one step back -- Good news: more pics of the Fiat 500C have made their way to the web, and they're pretty tantalizing. Also good news: the company has cancelled its planned factory shutdowns, saying that the Italian government's incentive program has fixed things. Huzzah! Not so good news: Moody's just cut Fiat's rating to "junk". Two outta three ain't bad. [Carscoop]
- Seoul defender -- Hyundai is angling to be the first automaker in South Korea to produce a bulletproof car. All we know for now is that the company is girding up an Equus to fight off the bad guys--but then, do we need to know anything else? [MotorAuthority]
- Oscars offered more than just limos -- It's a far cry from the ad magnet commonly known as the Superbowl, but a few car companies showed off new spots during Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony. The Fisker Karma clip isn't cooperating (we'll live), but the Audi Q5 spot is just fine--a little creepy, a little conceptually weak, but it's at least you can see it right here and now. [Edmunds, KickingTires]