THE THRILL IS...GONE?
Despite record auto sales a great malaise of "ho-hum" has overtaken the
nation's auto industry. Even the blogger born with the most auto DNA,
Auto Extremist Peter De Lorenzo, in his January 25 Rant, "The End of Cardolatry" sees the industry on the
"edge of a cliff" facing a "monumental shift" that he attributes to the commoditization of
transportation, autonomous connected cars and "the last remaining
auto-fueled generation slowly but surely shuffling off of this mortal
Very possibly De Lorenzo's jeremiad was prompted by a series of
General Motors moves as reported by Joann Muller, Forbes
Detroit Bureau Chief "It (GM) invested $500 million in Lyft and said it will work
with the ride-sharing company to develop a fleet of on-demand autonomous
vehicles. It also announced a technology partnership with MobileEye to
crowd-source advanced mapping data for self-driving cars. And it
introduced the Chevrolet Bolt, the first long-range, electric car real
people can afford to buy – which also happens to be the perfect car for
the sharing economy."
Or it might have been triggered by the $500 a
ticket Motor City car show for the "1 Percent" prior to the North
American International Auto Show. It featured cars
from the high-end of the market which De Lorenzo derided "because it has
been devoid of rhyme or reason for well over a decade now."
De Lorenzo's appraisal is a far more inclusive and pervasive indictment
than Wally Wyss'
in the December Newsletter about the
death of performance. That brought a few dissents and some concurrence.
De Lorenzo's rant is buttressed by the lackluster media response so far
to this year's auto shows. Even the Consumer Electronics Show where car
companies have been making news that did not stay in Las Vegas in recent
years was a bust. As blogger Otto Blopnik noted in his spoof
report, "There was chaos, calamity and confusion at the Consumer
Electronics Show in Las Vegas when it was discovered among the more than
2,000 actual exhibits that a useful gadget had 'inadvertently' been put
on display." The mammoth show established bigger is not necessarily
The much anticipated Faraday Future reveal at CES was what Motor Trend
writer Scott Evans deemed mostly an assembly of various existing
technologies encased, in what another writer deemed a "schoolboy's dream
design." According to Autoweek's Mark Vaughan the showpiece will never
be built and while what Faraday says it will build in a new
billion-dollar plant outside of Las Vegas sounds good, it also sounds
like a faraway dream. Possibly enough smoke and mirrors however to
cajole more dollars from Faraday's backer, reportedly one of China's
richest men. Meanwhile the numbers are up for auto show attendance but
the excitement is down and very possibly cars are no longer the "heart
beat of America."
Winding Road has opened a Winding Road Race Store. It is the
publication's second retail race gear store and is located at:
18437 Mt. Langley, Suite N, Fountain Valley, CA 92708.
Telephone: 512-942-9443 . .
.Erik Sass reports in Publisher's Daily, Spanish-language
broadcast channel Univision has acquired a controlling interest
in The Onion, a satirical news publisher. He says,
"Univision is buying The Onion, in part, because of its
substantial millennial following. Its own broadcast TV audience
ages." . . . . Sass also reports, CBS Interactive and its
tech publishing property CNET have joined forces to
launch a new online automotive destination called "Roadshow." It
focuses on the growing convergence of cars and digital
technology, as carmakers integrate new capabilities for
everything from navigation to diagnostics, security,
communication, entertainment, and even self-driving vehicles.
There's a "Shootout" segment pitting cars against each other he
says, and it is backed by an email newsletter and millions of
car listings. More from Sass includes word that Hearst has
consolidated all of its automotive publications under one roof:
Professional Journalists: The 2016 Automotive PR Survey in progress now.
Your feedback is appreciated and needed. Click
here to participate.
For more information please contact
2025 AD is a new web site devoted to
automated driving: www.2025ad.com . . .
Shelby Knick says
her original TV series, Racer Girl, is scheduled to air on
network, VELOCITY this spring and two other digital networks.
The series producers are looking for partnerships to develop fun
and interesting segments for the show. (No contact provided) . .
. The award-winning Kelley BlueBook TV streaming videos of car
reviews are now available on Roku.
Fixed Ops Journal, a new quarterly magazine from Automotive News
focused exclusively on the management of the parts, service and
collision departments of franchised new-car dealerships. . . . .
TU-Automotive has been purchased by Penton, owner of
Auto. Tu-Automotive is a persistent provider of myriad events
and digital information for the fast growing automotive
technology industry. And, an indefatigable source of news
releases about those events. . . . . While Al Jazeera America is
closing down its Cable TV and digital operations in the U.S, as
of April 30, it will also expand its worldwide digital network
in the U.S. market.
Marketing in an
ad-free future was given major space in
Age's January 11 issue. Pleasing as that sounds to the average consumer,
Neff's piece details the many other ways being tested, developed or used
to overcome ad-blocking and get ad messages to us. Following his report,
Lindsay Stein details how
Public Relations may demand the center stage in
this new marketing environment.
Ford has created an Automotive Wearables Experience lab in Dearborn,
Michigan to test and develop wearable technology connecting to cars . .
. Tesla used the Internet to deliver "self-parking" and "fetch
features" to its cars on the road and restrictions limiting divers' unsafe driver
practices while the car is in auto-pilot . . . . Tesla is at the top of
the Brett Berk's list in The Drive of the "Eleven Best Electric Cars You
Can Buy In America." It is followed by Chevy Volt and the little-heralded
Mitsubishi i-MiEV. . . .Another list: "Ten Modern Car 'Inventions' You
Thought Were New but Are Not" is provided by Hannah Elliott of Bloomberg
News. Among them: High Beams (1915), Radar for Crash Avoidance (1950)
and Push Button Ignition (1914).
The plea for funds to help
racer Tony Adamowicz, who is stricken with brain cancer, was not very
clear in our last edition. If you want to contribute go to:
Auto writer, photographer Brenda Priddy is inviting auto
enthusiasts to join
her on a trip to Cuba to enjoy what she calls, "the world's largest classic car
show." American cars have not been imported to Cuba since 1959. The guided tour begins in Miami May 13 and returns May 21. More
information and to sign-up click
here. Contact Brenda directly at
or by phone at: 480-861-3456. The deadline for reservations is
Forty million cars on the
road will be connected to the Internet this year for one or more
services, according to Chuck Martin
in Media Post. . . . If you are in the cold belt you may want to check
out Lauren Fix's
"Busting Cold Car Myths interview on
The Weather Channel.
Peter Aylett has gathered 80 international artists to offer some of the world's finest automotive art. He has started the
year by introducing
Michael Brooks, a fresh talent from the island of Jamaica —the19th nation to be represented in his gallery.
See more at out
David Bull may be out of his 2016
Ferrari Myth calendars but he'll be glad to sell you autographed copies of Günter Raupp's
The Pininfarina Book, prefaced by
Paolo Pininfarina. Check
www.bullpublishing.com or call
Brett Berk offers
a review in The Drive of
Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans
that makes this documentary about making a racing movie
seem worth seeing.
In the same vein, Media Post editor-at- large Bob Garfield's
"The Digital Transformation Playbook" by
Rogers, makes it sound worth plowing through. Garfield's most fascinating section of the book is:
"documents the rise of platforms, businesses built on creating marketplaces for two or more independent parties, all of whom get value from the process.
Airbnb, Uber, Facebook, eBay, PayPal,
LinkedIn, PlayStation and so on." All make money using content supplied by others.
pit notes |
Karl Greenberg reports for Media Daily that recent research
among teens 13 and older, word of mouth has actually
increased for everything but cars, which, as a percentage of
daily talk, is way down. He says Keller Fay Group Consumer
Research firm found that teens ages 13-17 were the only age
segment to see a decline -- 27% -- in the number of people
who are talking about cars daily. By contrast, among people
18-29, car buzz is up 23% to 27% of the cohort, and up 17%
among people 30-39 years of age, and 10% among consumers 40
to 49. Greenberg notes the research also suggests that
American car brands have suffered the largest declines in
word of mouth among the demographic, on average.
Autonomous Kia Soul EV
increased demand for content or native ad writers and
imaginative PR also brings a challenge: the FTC warns that
digital native ads that appear in news feeds of publishers'
sites, social media posts, search results and email
potentially can be deceptive, unless advertisers clearly
disclose that the ads are, in fact, ads. Write something
that is clearly labeled an ad but reads and looks like it
isn't. . . . Greenberg also reports Kia will invest $2
billion to "fast-track a program called Drive Wise,
which it says is the future Advanced Driver Assistance Systems."
And, that Ford is tripling its fleet of fully autonomous
Ford Fusion Hybrid test vehicles.
Surge pricing raised
the cost of a five-kilometer Uber ride on New Year's Eve in
Windsor, Ontario to $84.00, the Windsor Star reported. The
city is working on
ways to fine Uber drivers until and if,
some agreement can be reached . . . . .Tech World News
Starship Technologies in 2016 will launch two pilot
projects -- one in the UK and one in the United States -- to
test a driverless vehicle designed to make short-distance
deliveries. The unit is equipped with GPS so customers can
track the progress of their deliveries in real time. When
the vehicle arrives at the doorstep, a customer can unlock
it using a smart phone.
Human operators monitoring them can take manual control
of the vehicles in a pinch and speak to people through
speakers built into them. . . . However, Chuck Martin's IoT
Daily report of GI Gadgets' tabulation of 200 million points
of interactive social data to see what's hot and what's
viewed negatively, put Starship's delivery robot in the
negative category because it is a "stupid idea" and
to steal." A flying car, the TF-X from
Terrafugia, led the hot
The world television premiere of the one-hour special SEMA:
BATTLE OF THE BUILDERS 2015 is on Velocity Monday, February
1 at 10 PM ET/PT. It chronicles the best automotive
designers and builders in the world as they prepare to debut
their newest creations for thousands of car super fans at
the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas . . . . .BMW and Nissan have
partnered to build 120 quick-charge locations in 19 states,
Karl Greenberg writes in Marketing Daily. It is "one
network among several that BMW has helped develop with
automakers like VW, leading to a footprint that covers 100%
of the automaker's market for its electric vehicles," per
Robert Healey, electric vehicle infrastructure manager at
BMW of North America. The stations can complete an 80%
charge in about 20 minutes . . . . Facebook is adding Uber
messaging and plans to add other ride-hailing apps in the
future, the New York Times reports.
awards and events
2016 Honda HR-V named one of three "Green Cars of The Year"
A jury of 53 North American auto journalists named the Honda
And Volvo XC90 as "Car and Truck of the Year," respectively. The
awards were announced at the NAIAS. . . . Tara Mello reported on
Cars Blog that Ron Cogan, editor and publisher of
Journal, announced the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, the
and the Volvo XC90 as the magazine's "Green Cars of The Year."
SEMA is asking for nominations to its Hall of Fame that
honor outstanding persons in the industry who have enhanced the
stature of, or significantly contributed to, the industry and/or
association's growth. To submit a nomination, visit
before the deadline on Friday, March 11, 2016. . . . Jeff Gordon
is the first recipient of AutoWeek's Denise McCluggage Lifetime
Achievement Award . . . The 2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road won
Petersen's 4-Wheel and Off Road's 4x4 of the Year Competition
while the Ram 1500 Rebel won the magazine's pickup truck honors.
Bobby Akin, Judy Stropus, Archie Urciuoli. Brian Cleary photo.
Judy Stropus, former professional timer/scorer, race-car driver, and award-winning publicist, was honored by the
Road Racing Driver Club's with the 2015 Bob Akin Award, considered the top award in motorsports for amateur, vintage/historic or semi-professional drivers. The annual award winner is selected
by Bobby Akin (left in photo ) Archie Urciuoli (r) and Brian Redmand and approved by RRDC president
Bobby Rahal.. . . . . . Scott Pruett was presented the 2016 Phil Hill Award by the RRDC for his outstanding service to road racing.
Carl Goodwin was recognized by his local newspaper, The Chagrin
Valley Times, for his books extolling the early days of vintage
racing, quoting him from one:
"The cars were those driven by the racers for daily
transportation, often to work and they loved those cars. They
were not professional racers, but car salesmen, stockbrokers,
engineers and others with regular jobs. There were no sponsors
or prize money in those days, just a love of fast cars."
WAPA offered a presentation of the
MyCarDoesWhat Education Campaign
intended to inform drivers about the potentially life-saving
technologies available. MyCarDoesWhat is a joint effort between the
University of Iowa and the National Safety Council. . . .A recent
cocktail bash christened Global Automakers' new collaborative space at
1050 K Street, NW, Suite 650, Washington, DC. . . . The Boyertown
(PA) Museum of Historic Vehicles held its first ever-special event recently:
a Cars, Cocktails and Candy (!) soirée. Possibly a first of its kind
The lengthy and informative history of the Shelby-DeTomaso P70 Can Am
racer recently distributed under the Amelia Island Concours d' Eegance aegis prompts the conclusion something like it will
be on display at the March 10- 13 event. The seven-foot-plus, sterling
silver Wheeler-Schebler Trophy, created by Tiffany's for the
Indianapolis 500 will be on display as well as its successor, the
Trophy along with the Harley Earl Trophy awarded at Daytona and a number
of other trophies saluting some of the most famous events or
achievements in motorsports.
Ford is offering $120,000 grants for startups in Detroit focused on
transportation innovation. It is part of a program called Techstars
Mobility, Driven by Detroit. Up to 12 startup companies will get
$120,000 in funding and three months of training for development of
ideas "aligned with Ford Smart Mobility, the plan to take Ford to the
next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles and data and
The Center for Automotive Research has a number of
events planned for 2016. Among them:
Michigan Connected and Automated Vehicle Working Group Meeting, Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Industry Briefing: Pathways to Engage K-12 Students with the Automotive
Industry, Henry Ford College M-TEC, Thursday, February 25, 201
Powertrain Thought Leadership Roundtable
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
Spring Industry Briefing and Affiliate Dinner
Wednesday May 4, 2016
CAR Management Briefing Seminars
August 1-4, 2016
A calendar of CAR events is available
The Blackhawk Museum in San Ramon Northern California will begin a
lecture series on The Spirit of The Old West on Feb. 27. The museum is
loaning a trio of Alfa Romeo BAT 5, 7 and 9 styling cars from the 1950's
to the Frist Center for Visual Arts in Nashville, Tenn. For a special
automotive exhibit there from May 27 to Oct. 9.
across the finish line
Julie Candler: "the first woman in the United States to write an
automotive column for a major woman's magazine," as cited by the
Congressional Record in 2002. From 1964 to 1982 she wrote for Women's
Day and other outlets. Her fierce coverage about the tragic deaths of
babies and toddlers dying in automobiles for lack of restraints led to
laws for child seats and passive restraints. She also was a contributing
editor to Nation's Business and was still writing at age 94.
Tyler Alexander: A founding member of McLaren Racing in the 1960s (with
Bruce McLaren and Teddy Mayer), and over the next 40 years he was a
mechanic, engineer and team manager, at a time when few Americans were
involved in European racing.
Seyth Miersma former editor at Winding Road, is now Executive Editor for
Motor1.com, a global motoring website, based in Miami, Fl. Email
firstname.lastname@example.org No indication he has moved from his Ypsilanti
digs. . . . Bruce Hotchkiss now writes his auto column for the Tracy
(California) Press, a weekly newspaper. He can be reached at:
Bruce Smith advises, "I've come full circle in my 30-plus-year editorial
career: Back in Eugene, Oregon where I began, and back to full-time
free-lancing for magazines such as Dirt Sports & Off-Road, Jp,
Power, Pickuptrucks.Com, Trailer Life and BoatUS, among others. He can
be reached at: email@example.com or 228-669-1591(c) . . . .
Jim Rutenberg, formerly chief political correspondent for the NYTimes Sunday
magazine, has filled the late David Carr's role as the newspaper's media
columnist. . . . Tom Torbjorsen advises he is now working in a new
career as an Internet Broadcaster "downloading my 30-plus years of
experience & creativity in the automotive repair & aftermarket industry
info." Catch him at: TuneIn.Com
BlogTalkRadio.Com or reach him at
. . . Shirley Jinkins no longer is full time a Fort Worth Star Telegram
but freelances for them Email:
Please let us know if you change jobs, email
or other contact information you would like other professionals to have.
Glenn F. Campbell
APA| Luncheon | Detroit Athletic Club, Cyber Security
MAMA| Chicago Auto Show Breakfast | Chicago, IL
Chicago Auto Show| Media Preview | Chicago, IL
Chicago Auto Show| First Look for Charity I Chicago, IL
Chicago Auto Show|
Public Show | Chicago, IL
Breakfast Club Cruise-In| Petersen Automotive Museum | Los Angeles, CA
Geneva Motor Show | Press Days | Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva Motor Show | Public Days | Geneva, Switzerland
Amelia Island Concours| Amelia Island, FL
NY Int'l Auto Show| Press Preview | New York, NY
NY Int'l Auto Show| Dealer Preview Reception | New York,
Annual Kelley Blue Book Event | NY Int'l Auto
Show| New York, NY
NY Int'l Auto Show| Public Days | New York, NY
"Car guys and gals" trip to Cuba (Havana, Cojimar, Las Terrazas, Varadero, Cardenas, Coliseo & Matanzas)
Thanks for such thorough coverage, Glenn!
FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG firstname.lastname@example.org
A very thought-provoking edition of your newsletter.
TimePiece PR & Marketing email@example.com
The Death of Performance
Another great newsletter as always. Just wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hate to say it, but I think Wally Wyss has hit it right on the head. Most of my friends in the business are saying autonomous vehicles are still 10 to 15 years in the future....legal issues you know. Lawyers and insurance companies can look down the road as well. I am sure they are working together to see that they continue to get their share of the transportation pie....even after cars stop crashing into one another.
Perhaps they will just select a state like Montana and declare it a "human driver" state. Then all the car lovers can move there with their obsolete cars and drive them to their heart's content! Of course this will ultimately crash the collector car bubble....because 30 years from now, no one will even know how to drive a non-autonomous car, never mind having any desire to in the first place.
It is a thought that breaks my heart, but as Wally has pointed out....it is coming. There are still horses. And a fair number of people are still interested in riding them and know how to ride them. But in my 40 year working career, I have never seen anyone ride on to work. They are only used on essentially closed courses with professional riders.....
Well Glenn, rather than leave this on a low note. Let me suggest we all get out there and drive the cars we love while we still can. Again, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I've just finished reading the Dec. newsletter from cover to cover . . . okay, okay . . . from screen to screen. I don't agree with Walleyeds pessimism re autonomous cars. If I can squeeze out some time in the next couple of weeks, I'll share a few counter thoughts. And because these thoughts run counter, look for them on the shelf or under the table.
You don't often hear an auto guy calling a lawyer a friend, but Frank Quinn is the exception. Frank in an expert on the car biz. He's a straight shooter and not afraid to give you his opinion. I thought you might be able to pass along some info about him to your other readers.
I've extracted a few lines from the attachment to provide some insight into Frank and his firm:
These attorneys in the firm have handled every conceivable type of automobile claim. These include post-collision fuel fed fire, rollover, crashworthiness, seatbelt, air bag, handling, glazing, unintended acceleration, braking, etc. At the present time attorneys in the firm represent a very significant portion of the automobile manufacturing industry. These include domestic and foreign manufacturers throughout Europe and Asia. Attorneys have or have had national and regional responsibilities for major manufacturers.
While automobile litigation has been a very significant part of the firm's business, the expertise exists for the range of industries including consumer products, drugs, medical devices and industrial machinery.
Frank doesn't do weddings or bar mitzvahs, but he will do motor press orgs if he is in the area.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
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American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association, Inc.
Norma "Dusty" Brandel
President, Exec. Director
Automobile Journalists Association of Canada
Automotive Press Association
Jeff Green, President
American Racing Press Association
Stan Clinton, President
Eastern Motorsports Press Association
Ballston Spa, NY
Ron Hedger, President
Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association
Davis Adams, President
International Motor Press Association
Scotty Reiss, President
Midwest Automotive Media Association
Patrick Olsen, President
Motor Press Guild
Los Angeles, CA
Jason Fogelson, President
New England Motor Press Association
Craig Fitzgerald, President
Northwest Automotive Press Association
Nik Miles, President
Phoenix Automotive Press Association
Cathy Droz, President
Rocky Mountain Automotive Press
Andre Smirnov, President
Southern Automotive Media Association
Bill Adam, President
Southeast Automotive Media Organization
Texas Auto Writers Association
Truck Writers of North America
Tom Kelley, Executive Director
Western Automotive Journalists
San Francisco, CA
Washington Automotive Press Association
Les Jackson, President
quotes to note
"If you let the robot drive, it may take the most rational route. But more times than not, rationality is the opposite of humanity"
What happens when Detroit becomes Silicon Valley
Brett Berk, Vanity fair
"...it's unwise to take nutrients out of the soil with no replenishment. One day, you will find there is nothing left to eat."
The Online Ad Ecosystem, Along With Others, Is Unwell
".... it is the fact as we click on links that align with our ideology, we are shown more links that align with our ideology, until eventually we live under the false belief that only links conforming to our ideology exist -- and that, therefore, the whole world must feel as we do, with only stupid, malevolent or insane people failing to toe the party line."
The Death of Media In The Age Of Trump
Kaila Colbn, Onine Spin
"But how can we be thoughtful when we are constantly distracted by information?"
We're Informed -- But Are We Thoughtful?
Gord Hotchkiss, Online Spin
"Now with ad blockers the captive audience can liberate itself from ad taxation, and with breathtaking speed and righteousness, it has."
It Feels So Good
Bob Garfield: Garfield At Large
"Here's some data that suggest
journalism isn't such a bad career choice after all. ...between
1997 and 2014 wages grew at at an average rate of more than 4%,
second only to the oil and gas industry." according to the
Forget the doomsayers: Media is a fine
career choice thanks to the digital shift
Matt Rosoff, Business Insider
Wallace Wyss, normally a website writer and book author, reports he is doing 5 minute videos of his driving impressions.
He has retained some videographers in SoCal but wants to hear
from any reporters in the Midwest, East and South that have
reliable videographers to help him report from the field from
various events like Amelia Island concours or new car shows. The guest spots will be only 2-3 minutes long, introduced by the host from the studio. Reporters are invited to send sample URLs showing them reporting from an event, even if the event is long past. Those subjects interviewed out on the field will have to sign talent releases. Wyss can be reached at
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