Before there was a Barris TV Batmobile, this 1963 version was built for the Caped Crusader and used in DC Comics promotions. Now restored, the proto-Batmobile just sold at auction for $137,000. Get all the latest car biz news in the Executive Briefing.
+ Ford sales in China have increased 20 percent so far in 2014, propelling total volume past the one-million mark for the first time. More at the Detroit Free Press.
+ BMW and car rental company Sixt have launched their DriveNow car-sharing program in London with a fleet of BMW 1 Series coupes and Minis. More at The UK Telegraph.
+ As planned, General Motors has now officially shuttered its historic Opel assembly plant in Bochum, Germany after 52 years in operation. More at Deutsche Welle.
+ Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates Racing Engines, has denied reports that he will replace 73 year-old Jack Roush as head of Roush Fenway Racing. More at NBC Sports.
+ Veteran Chrysler executive and Maserati North America CEO Peter M. Grady will retire effective March 31, the company announced. More at The Detroit News.
+ Subaru of America is building a new headquarters in Camden, New Jersey, twice the size of its current facility in nearby Cherry Hill and housing a staff of 500. More at Motor Trend.
+ Joe Gibbs Racing has shuffled crew chief assignments for its four Toyota NASCAR Sprint Cup teams, with Darian Grubb heading the effort for new driver Carl Edwards. More at Racer.
+ Chevrolet has appointed 39 year-old Craig Daitch, formerly of SapientNitro and Ford, to serve as senior manager of social media. More at Crain’s Detroit Business.
+ The first officially recognized Batmobile, constructed in 1963 and used for promotions by a DC Comics licensee, was sold at auction for $137,000 in Dallas. More at Reuters.
+ More than 60 trophies were stolen from the Red Bull Formula One team’s Milton Keynes factory by thieves who drove a truck through the entrance. More at BBC News.
+ NASCAR truck racer Driver Darrel Wallace, Jr has asked to be released from his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing and may be headed to Roush Fenway. More at Lucky Dog.
For the previous Executive Briefing from December 5, click here.