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march 2015 newsletter

The Road Ahead
Road Ahead: Artifical Intelligence

For those who want to look a little farther down the road, check out the March issue of The Club of Amsterdam Journal. In it, David Smith, Chief Executive of Global Future and Foresight, describes and provides sources for predicting likely effects to come with evolving technologies – nearly all of which will impact communications and transportation. Among them are:

Automation: "as automation impacts a broader set of knowledge worker jobs. 47% of jobs in the US could be at risk from automation through 2025."

Quantum Computing: "The enormous processing power of these computers could significantly reconfigure political, business, economic and social norms within the next fifteen to twenty years."

Cognitive Computing: "Cognitive computing systems learn and interact naturally with people; ultimately helping human experts make better informed decisions..."

Interclouds: "a networked global 'cloud of clouds' - which allows workloads to migrate to public and hybrid clouds." And, "It could also form a platform for the Internet of Everything."

Software Designed Networks: Already a $2 billion market, it, "helps remove the physical limitations of networks, which are being pushed to their limits by social media, mobile devices, and cloud computing."

Atomic GPS: ". . . the use of atomic physics for more accurate sensing without the need for satellites."

Prescriptive Analytics: " . . . a combination of multiple predictive models running in parallel, one for each possible input action, and able to recommend a course based on numerous variables."

Social: "...use of social networks will be to increasingly replace e-mail as the preferred electronic communication platform within the corporation."

Avatars: "Ultimately avatars are enabling companies and organizations to leverage human-like images to communicate their messages."

Haptic Interfaces: The marriage of the physical and online. "As it evolves in complexity, it is probable we will see this technology extend beyond smartphone interfaces and video game controllers and into retail circles."

Instant Language Translation: "...not only convert each word into the target language, but analyze entire phrases and infer their meaning before offering up a translation."

Virtual Retinal Displays: "...a combination of optics to reflect an image directly onto your retina, effectively using the back of your eyeball as a screen."

Imaging The Mind's Eye: "ultimately, we're...going to be able to dump our ideas directly to digital media."

Wireless Electricity: "magnetic resonance - created by coils of conductive materials like copper - could eventually replace wires as the main power source for everything in our lives."

Smith concludes his listing: "With each new technology, first we do things differently; then we do different things." . . . And, for those concerned about Artificial Intelligence, which is preceding apace with the aforementioned technologies, Benjamin A. Bratton advises in his Feb. 23 piece in the NY Times, Stone feature, Outing A.I.: Beyond the Turing Test, "Our popular conception of artificial intelligence is distorted by an anthropocentric fallacy." By attributing human qualities to A.I. we are in danger of giving it more power than it deserves and may fail to utilize what it offers. As to A.I. and robots, Jason Alan Snyder in Engage: Affluent predicts they will bring better jobs for current low wage workers, better living for the well-to-do and once again, squeeze the middle class.


new roads

Randy Leffingwell, Cam Ingram and Kevin Watts have launched  Roads Scholars Magazine. Leffingwell serves as editor of the monthly electronic publication that introduces readers and their friends or clients to information and ideas the trio find fascinating and relevant in the automobile and car-collecting world. They say, "we've engaged some of the most interesting automotive writers, thinkers, and historians to do this." During the next several months, one or two of them will be featured in each issue. Andrew Reilly and Paul Dean are guest writers in the current issue.

Publisher Gary Grant has launched "Driven – Canada's Automotive Authority." Andrew Ling, Chris Chase and Ronnie Fung are on board as contributing authors for the new venture whose purpose is, " provide automotive entertainment coupled with meaningful resources for Canadian automotive consumers." Among those resources: A Preferred Dealer Program highlighting dealers their readers "would be comfortable sending their Moms to."

And another recent launch, Legendary Car Life by Michael Knab aims "to give car enthusiasts the latest news and perspective on what's going on in the car culture. We report on cars from every era, nationality, and racetrack. And we talk about and with the people behind them." Check: . . . An old name but a new look for its web site makes an easier read and resource for car reviews and comparisons. . . . ShowBoats International may have been around but it just added a monthly auto columnist Brett Berk.


autowriters spotlight

Esalen hot tubs, silk robes and incense came to mind when Sue Elliott identified herself as "Chief Joy Officer" in an email a while back. Could it be the enthusiastic young writer for Muscle Car Magazine first met some 20 years ago on the East Coast had forsaken horsepower and hypoid gear sets for séances and saffron? Most who practice and survive in auto writing for 20 years or more usually stay with it in one guise or another. Her apparent defection prompted the question "Is there life after auto journalism?"

Pursuing those thoughts recently proved the images wrong and the question poorly framed.

Elliott is now CEO, "Chief Energy Officer" of a new web site launched just this month with cofounder/partner Johann Gauthier: WorkplaceEnergetics. Autowriters Spotlight: Sue ElliottShe reports they already are working with several companies and several prospects – including some in the automotive world. She describes Workplace Energetics as an international firm that empowers businesses to release fear and resistance, generate forward momentum and increase productivity, sales and profits. It offers to:

  • Amplify Your Personal Power

  • Energize Your People and Your Business

  • Achieve Epic Results

It is the latest and in ways, her synthesis of a maze of seemingly rapid, disparate switches and tangents in her life. Some were brought on by the Internet's ravaging of legacy print (note the collapse of Source Interlink Distribution and TEN prediction) and a good deal by her own apparent overabundance of anandamide — the so-called bliss molecule.

Over the years she has worked in the automotive, beauty, environmental, health, food and wine and personal growth fields, as a writer, editor and consultant, creating magazines, books and new marketing communication initiatives in each.

Sue was born into and thrived in the rabid Southern California car culture. Her father owned gas stations in the San Fernando Valley and she recalls falling in love with her first car while still a toddler – a neighbor's '66 Mustang. Even earning an Ivy League degree (Phi Beta Kappa Cornell '86) could not cure her infatuation with cars that were fast and quick.

After working briefly on a business magazine in her home state she headed for the Big Apple and a two-year stay at the now-defunct women's magazine Savvy. She was able to merge avocation and vocation when she landed a job at CSK Publishing as managing editor of its MuscleCars, Vette, High Performance Mopar and High Performance Pontiac. While there she helped launch Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords and Bracket Racing USA. She rose to executive editor for all those magazines and was Editor-In-Chief of High Performance Pontiac when CSK relocated her to California and named her West Coast editor for the other six magazines as well.

In 1992, she started Easier Way Media, Inc. offering product development services to publishers, working with them to envision, develop and actualize new publications for newsstands nationwide. A separate division, High Performance Prose provided PR services, to clientele in the automotive, personal growth, art, hospitality, health and beauty fields when she sold it.

She kept her freelance consulting alive even while spending a year in-house at Petersen Publications and five years as a Product Information Specialist for SEMA.

Next came editing and co-authoring two business books for Merritt Publishing in Santa Monica, followed by two books: The Barrett-Jackson Experience and Overhaulin': The Magazine for Primedia. The producers of the Ovehaulin' TV series liked her book on the show so well they retained her to ghost write two books for the star of another show they had: Living With Ed. The first was Living Like Ed. The second, Ed Begley's Guide to Sustainable Living, was finished after she moved to the NAPA Valley where she found time to indulge in her passion for foods and wines.

When Primedia sold its consumer magazines to Source Interlink Media she worked with Source's Popular Plates brand to produce newsstand recipe magazines featuring top chefs. Among them were: Comfort Food, Holiday Baking and Chef. Produced separately from the brand was Grilling. She conceived and produced two books for Motorbooks' Idea series: Automotive Custom Interiors and Street Machines.

Her nearly 20-year passion and interest in personal growth led her to create Law of Attraction Magazine in 2011. As founder and editor-in-chief working with Source, she produced 7 issues with a "Best of" issue on sale now in every Barnes & Noble store. This led to what she describes as, "transformation coaching." Reaching out with a web site and blog she coaches personal transformation through the web, Skype, telephone or in-person. The coaching inspired "Inspire Profits" in 2014, which evolved, to in 2015.

As Sue Elliott's journey demonstrates, the question for auto journalists faced with shrinking demand for their services is not, "Is there life after auto journalism?" but "Is there life in the auto journalist?


passing scene

GM brands may dominate in a dealership customer service study by J.D. Power and Associates as Karl Greenberg reports in Marketing Daily but a January survey of 3,450 women car shoppers by Anne Fleming, puts Volkswagen on top followed by Ford and Chevy.  . . . Greenberg also provides an update for "smart watch" car connections. Hyundai, he reports, is joining Audi, BMW and GM with varying apps for watches. He lists which app does what and the connectivity needed. Among functions possible now are: climate control; remote car locating & starting, unlocking doors, voice commands and running diagnostics.

Domino's Pizza is getting in on the act. According to Restaurant News, the fast food chain is developing an app in conjunction with Visa, Inc. and tech consulting firm Accenture to develop a concept "connected car" for mobile purchases from automobiles.

Video: Apps for the Indecisive Kip Easton

And, if you're lost, your car is stuck and you have no cell phone, you can relieve your distress, Amy Corr of MediaPost Online reports, by simply tapping your watch equipped with a Bud Light Button app. It has a locator function that will enable a local retailer to bring you up to 100 cases of the brew. . . . Trying to decide (be it if or how many) is no longer a problem. There is a new generation of apps available to help with day-to-day decision making, Kit Eaton tell us in his New York Times piece: Aids for the Indecisive, When Options Abound. There are at least four of them to choose from if, as Eaton notes, you are able to decide on which one. No more daisy petals or 'eenie meanies.' Click here for video.


pit notes

A good look at and the specs on "the world's fastest and most powerful production car" the Koenigsegg Regera Megacar is provided by Ed Jones writing for the duPont Registry.
Autowriters Pit Notes: Koenigsegg Regera Megacar

Carrie Thompson sent along a graphic (as she terms it) from England on the Evolution of the 250+ MPH Super Car. It highlights the first super car in 1926 to the Bugatti Veyron of today - taking you on a journey of amazing cars evolving with more power,Autowriters Pit Notes: Evolution of the 250+ MPH Super Car sleekness and stunningly fast 0-60 times. Stats for each car, include:

* 0-60 speed
* Top speed
* Engine size
* Production years
* Price on release
* Number produced
* and more!

View the full graphic here.

CarMagazine's list of South Africa's 12 top buys in 2015 includes a Chevy Sport Campus; Ford Kuga (crossover) and Ford Double Cab Ranger, as reported by Biz Community  . . . .The Detroit News' Melissa Preddy reports, "For employees disenchanted with their 9-to-5 grind, or young people looking for alternatives to liberal arts college, a career working with adrenaline-inducing vehicles might not be too far out of reach." In interviews with performance and repair shop operators, she found concurrence that there is a dearth of people with the skills needed for many well- paying jobs in the field.

Ron Beasley forwarded a piece and photos of a sleek silver Mercedes self-driving car tooling the streets of San Francisco. The story was written by Sally Jane Evans for the UK's Daily Mail with ample photos from various internet sources. See:

Pit Notes: Mercedes Driverless Car

Britain already has controlled tests of driverless vehicles underway in four of its cities and, according to Ann Reddaway of, the UN is working on a global regulatory framework for autonomous cars. For details: cars. . . .In Peter Suciu describes and provides an impressive look at the self-driving car Volvo plans to test with a fleet of 100 autonomous vehicles on the streets and highways of Gothenburg, Sweden in 2017. Video below.

Pit Notes: Volvo Self-Driving Car

Driverless cars will consume more energy than cars with drivers Isaac Arnsdorf writes in a Bloomberg News report on a University of Michigan research study. He says the chief reason, they'd use more energy than conventional cars: more trips.

It appears from Karl Greenberg's Marketing Daily report of the Indy Car - USA Today marketing agreement, that it is a win-win deal but not a native advertising, paid content arrangement. In return for providing the media company "special access to develop content around the sport and its races," it gives the sport's sponsors, "entry to USA Today's Sports Media Group around advertising and IndyCar-themed special sections." Close but different, maybe.

Mothers Big Rig Hits the Road

Mothers has announced the 2015 schedule for its trick truck's tour. Check here for details:

Brett Berk provides a different look at the Geneva Auto Show where the accent usually is on the glamour. His Men's Journal piece highlights tech trends at this year's gathering. . . . Also from the Geneva Auto Show, The Bold Ride Daily pictured two new concept tires from Goodyear: the BHO3 and the Triple Tube. The BHO3 is an idea that would help give electric cars better range, and the Triple Tube is a tire that would self-adjust its shape depending on the type of driving.

Goodyear Tires

Michael Karesh's True Delta web site, that accumulates actual drivers experience with their vehicles has added some new stats and graphs to report on reliability of brands and models over time. Karesh says, "The new features report the repair frequencies of 2009-2014 cars over the past five years. They're set up so the repair frequencies are by the age of the car, with their "birthdays" set to March (about halfway through the model year). If the model years have all trended similarly, the lines would be nearly the same. They usually differ, though. If a line starts high then rapidly drops, this indicates some glitches early in a cars run. If the line starts low then starts shooting up at one point, this suggests good initial reliability, but an increasing number of problems after the inflection point. Sometimes there's a blip in the line. This often indicates a specific problem common at a specific age, e.g. water pumps or fuel pumps that fail around age two, etc." Used car buyers have found the graphs help when making their purchase decision.


awards and events


Frank Aukofer received a WAPA Golden Quill Lifetime Achievement Award for his consistent decades of quality journalism, both as a general reporter and automotive journalist. Aukofer has penned a nationally syndicated auto review column, now called DriveWays, since 1975. Another fellow, Henry Ford, was honored with the Golden Gear Award for his vision to transform the automobile more than any other single individual in history.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles cleaned up at the Texas Auto Writers Association's Auto Roundup Jeff Yip reported in the Houston Chronicle. The manufacturer won eight of the 20 categories in the testing, including the Chrysler 300 as Car of Texas. The Alfa Romeo 4C Coupe was named "Best Value". Toyota's Sienna won Best Family Car of Texas. The tests were moved forward from their usual late April staging in order to present trophies to the winning manufacturer at the Dallas Fort Worth Auto Show March 25.

Consumer Reports testing of 2015 models ranked Tesla Model S best overall with Subaru's Impressa and Legacy and Forrester winning in their categories as did GM's Chevrolet Impala and Buick Regal in theirs. Toyota's Prius and Highlander topped their categories, as did the Audi A6 and the Honda Odyssey. . . . The Road Racing Drivers Club Evening with Bobby Unser presented by Firestone in Long Beach, Cal. honors the three-time Indy Champ on Thursday, April 16, prior to the running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.


The "best towing pickup" in five categories will be announced at TFL's Golden Hitch Awards dinner April 8 at The Grizzly Rose in Denver, CO. For reservations and details go here. . . . Collector Car Day is Friday, July 10 and SEMA encourages auto enthusiasts to join in celebrating this 6th annual national event recognized by a U.S. Senate resolution that "collection and restoration of historic and classic cars is an important part of preserving the technological achievements and cultural heritage of the United States." For Collector Car Day event listings by place or to list an event in your area go here.

SEMA is also accepting reservations now for booths at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas Nov. 3-6. See: or email or call 909-396-0289 for more information

And, if you plan to attend the Los Angeles Auto Show, Nov. 12-29, you are advised to book a room early for the best rates. . . . High-profile sponsorships and exhibits are available for the annual Center for Automotive Research (CAR) Management Briefing Seminars August 3- 6 in Traverse City, Mich. To explore these opportunities, contact Lisa Hart at 734.929.0465 or lhart@cargroup.


regional news


Vicious weather delayed NEMPA's annual Winter Vehicle Testing two weekends in a row but, apparently, it got off on the weekend of March 14. Results to come. The extreme snow also prompted delay of its February 26 meeting to March 26th. . . . IMPA plans to recruit sponsors for its monthly luncheons, thereby reducing the costs for members outside of New York City confronted with tolls and parking fees in order to attend the meetings.

Blogger Victor Sasson all but bites the hand that fed him following IMPA's March luncheon. Bosch was the host and the topic was the company's Total Cost of Ownership Study focusing on diesel engines with executives from Diesel Technology Forum, Volkswagen and General Motors providing their insight. Unfortunately, illness prevented the Bosch representative from attending or he might have had a rejoinder for Sasson's Shocking Car News blog summary of the discussion "...the appeal of diesel engines over hybrid technology is that the former is more profitable to automakers while yielding comparable mileage." . . . IMPA plans five, full-day Professional Learning sessions during the next 12 months. They are: Skill Building, Personal Branding, Content Creation, Digital Media and Social Media. . . . The Grand Prix Festival of Watkins Glen presented by Chemung Canal Trust Company returns Friday, Sept. 11 for a daylong celebration of the Glen's racing history.


An apparent disconnect between the Atlanta Auto Show and the Greater Atlanta Auto Media Association (GAAMA) brought this response from the show's PR office when asked if GAAMA was involved with the show, "Yes they're having a meeting.". . . . Special displays at Charlotte Motorspeedway will celebrate "100 Years of Dodge" during its April 9-12 Auto Fair. . . . Applications for Media credential for the 2015 Pinehurst Concours d'Elegance vintage car showcase are being accepted online now through April 24. Hotel information is available there as well. . . . Marty Schorr's "Car Guy's Who Lunch" meetings in Sarasota not only bring numbers, 50 or 60 per event, but an array of high horsepower and interesting cars. He says anyone interested in attending is welcome. Contact him at:


Detroit Press Club members convened for Irish jokes and story swapping on St. Patrick's Day at a familiar haunt for Motor City media, the Anchor Bar. A band of mostly journos playing Irish rock and roll, Bono, Clannad and Drop Kick Murphy's enlivened the event. . . . Teams from Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the United States have registered to compete in the ninth annual Shell Eco-Marathon Americas event, which will be held in Detroit for the first time, April 9-12. The more than 70 teams are designing and building cars capable of achieving as much as 3,000 mpg that run on a range of energies including hydrogen, electricity, gasoline, diesel, biofuels, fuel made from natural gas or, new for 2015, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The best mileage wins.

Far West

Pete Lyons helped launch his long-awaited book on racing at Riverside March 7 with a book signing at Autobooks-Aderobooks in Burbank, Calif. . . . MPG, thanks to TakeTwoTV, slated its firstJohn Krafcik live feed of a one of its luncheon meeting. John Krafcik, president of TrueCar was the speaker. . . . Leslie Long and Gene Mitchell are organizing a Santa Ana Drags reunion for April 18, 2015, from 10 AM to 2 PM at Santiago Creek Park. This event commemorates drag racing at the old dragstrip on the grounds of the Orange County (Santa Ana) Airport from 1950 through 1959. The free event also celebrates the Main Street Malt Shop reunion, the local hangout for young people back when the drag strip was operating. For more information, contact Richard Parks at . . . If you had to ask, you probably would not have qualified for the Wilsonville, OR World of Speed Museum's Slingshot Contest to select the museum's first members. Qualifying has closed and names of the enthusiasts selected along with their "creds" will be posted for public voting on the museum's web site: The winners will be announced April 24, opening day for the museum. Through interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, World of Speed will offer visitors a behind-the-scenes view of the auto-racing world. It will showcase up to 100 vehicles, a workshop and a space for educational activities, which will highlight the professional opportunities available in the auto industry.


road signs

Poynter Media Wire's Benjamin Mullin reported Automated Insights announced the AP will use its software to report collegiate sports. Barry Bedlan, AP's deputy director of sports products was quoted in the story, "This will mean thousands of more stories on the AP wire, which will remain unmatched in the industry." The news service already uses the software to produce 3,000 financial reports per quarter, according to Shelley Podolny in her NY Times Sunday Review Opinion piece: If an Algorithm Wrote This, How Would You Even Know? Not very easily, apparently. Podolny writes: "These robo-writers don't just regurgitate data, either; they create human-sounding stories in whatever voice from staid to sassy befits the intended audience. Or different audiences. They're that smart. And when you read the output, you'd never guess the writer doesn't have a heartbeat."

Kristian Hammond, co-founder of Narrative Sciences, another provider of robo-journalsim software, is quoted in the piece,"90 percent of news could be algorithmically generated by the mid-2020s, much of it without human intervention. As Podolny points out, "But we should be forgiven a sense of unease. These software processes, which are, after all, a black box to us, might skew to some predicated norm, or contain biases that we can't possibly discern."

Not a happy thought considering Automated Insights' software alone is said to have produced one billion stories last year with no human intervention and one professor's patented algorithmic system has generated more than a million books, more than 100,000 of which are available on Amazon.

On another front, Source Interlink Distribution, LLC is reported to have thrown in the towel after losing the contract to distribute Time Inc.'s publications to the nation's newsstands. . . . The number of stories speculating on Apple entering the automotive industry has made the topic somewhat boring: few facts and lots of "could-bes" and "what ifs." AutoExtremist columnist, Peter M. De Lorenzo offers the best advice, "Wait and see." . . . Keith Griffin notes in about autos that this could be the year of the used electric car. There should be about 70,000 used electric vehicles on the road this year. By 2017, that number should rise to 300,000. He quotes Paul Nadjarian, founder and CEO of "This year is going to be the year people know people who bought a used electric vehicle or see one in their neighborhood. It's going to become more mainstream this year. It's still the early adopters but that's fine."


lane changes

Judith Perez is now the auto contact at Diario Las Americas in Miami. Her email is: . . . Mike Michels has retired as vice president of Toyota Communications. . . .Matt Leaver has moved from Ford press fleet communications to Ford performance communications . . . Dave Kiley, who has been writing on other topics, assured on Facebook, "A few people have asked me if I am giving up writing on cars. Noooooo. Still contributing to Automobile, The Chicago Tribune, and"

David Harris, Formerly Media Relations at the defunct Speed TV, is now with HMS Racing. . . .Michael Wesp is the auto contact at KEKNBC in Longview TX. . . .Contact for The Drive With Alan Taylor, radio show on ERN is automotive producer Jared Alexander, . . . Logan Utsman has departed MGS Communications but plans a new Auto PR project starting in May. He can be reached at:  . . . Trent Riddle, tech. editor at Diesel World Magazine, has a new email address:

Melanie Wade has departed Brandware Public Relations in Atlanta. . . . the email address for one of the most read auto blogs in the U.S., the Houston Chronicle's Heidi's Pics , is . . . Cam Benty who is busy authoring books also does Drivers Talk Radio out of Las Vegas and can be reached  . . . .Zane Binder now is with McClatchy Newspapers and The Tribune Syndicate . . . Sometimes journalist, promoter and PR man Doug Stokes has a new job according to LinkedIn but it is the same job he has been doing for awhile only now he is vice president, communications at California's Irwindale Event Center. . . . Corina Brooks no longer assembles auto pages for the Kitsap Sun in Bremerton, Wash. Material can go to the or Road Warrior columnist Travis Baker:

Gone: John Brieske and the auto inserts he assembled for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. . . . . Brett Berk announced he will write a monthly column as automotive editor for the .001%'s latest glossy distraction, ShowBoats International. . . . Brad Dorfman has departed the Chicago Bureau of Peter Henderson and Michele Gershberg welcome auto news at that domain. . . . Ken Hedler left the Prescott Times and Max Efrein succeeds him as business editor, . . . Therresa Worthington, breaking news and business reporter at the St. George Spectrum (UT), is interested in receiving releases on her beat:

James Miller, the Car Counselor at KPRC in Stafford, TX., has changed his email to: . . . Charles Sanville is a new registrant who posts a You Tube show three times a week and once a week he posts a new auto tool or product feature. As self-described by his email:, he brings a mechanic's perspective to his topics. . . . Truth About Car alumnus Steve Lang has added GT Automotive to his outlets that also include Chicago Tribune Media Group, Gawker and Tribune.


- 30-

Glenn Campbell, Owner, Publisher

Glenn F. Campbell

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March 2015
3-4 Geneva Motor Show| Press Days, Geneva, Switzerland
5-15 Geneva Motor Show | Public Days, Geneva, Switzerland
8-9 TAWA | Texas Auto Rouondup, Ft. Worh, TX
10 MPG | Luncheon, Proud Bird, Los Angeles, CA, TrueCar
13-15 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance
17 MAMA | Luncheon, The Grove-Redfield Estate, Chrysler
18 IMPA | Luncheon, NYC, New York, Bosch
19 SAMA | Luncheon, Ft. Lauderdal, Fl, Int'l Auto Show, Toyota
30 NADA | Press Briefing, NY Auto Show
April 2015
1-2 New York Int'l Auto Show| Press Days, New York, NY
3-12 New York Int'l Auto Show| Public Days, New York, NY
4-6 SAMA | Luncheon, TBA, Chrysler
6-8 WAJ | Media Days, Monterey, CA
8 TFL | Golden Hitch Awards Dinner, Grizzly Rose, Denver, CO
May 2015
28 SAMA| Luncheom, TBA, Fiat 500x


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talk back

Wrong Publication
(But here's his message)

Just reading article on Santa Fe cruz. Saw comment on tail pipe not staying clean and want to let you know clean diesel will stay clean and don't like people running diesel down because they smell or make noise. New tech is a lot better and comments like that just keep the old thinking out there research it and maybe praise the new tech instead of running it down. Our VW tdi's are great and new ford tail pipe is still clean. Nit picking probably, but think about it. Thank you.
Tom Popp

Where are the coupes?

Hello Autowriters,

I would like to know why the automakers don't make two-door coupes, and very few cars available have nothing but black interiors. I live in Florida and don't want a hot black interior that shows every grain of sand, lint, etc. I currently own a 2002 Solara coupe that is gold with a very nice tan "velour'" interior. I'd prefer that the Solara make a comeback, but in the meantime, I'd settle for a Honda Accord coupe with a light interior. The Accord has six exterior colors available, but only the white model has anything other than a black interior. I don't like white! The same goes for the new Mustang, except ALL with black interiors. I don't get it!! I don't want a four-door sedan, as it's three more doors than I need. I've never owned one in my 71 years.

What's your take on this?

Lawrence Trautman

New Outlet

Hi, I am now with McClatchy Newspapers and the Tribune Syndicate. Thirty large metro dailies and a slew of weeklies plus some electronic media are privy to my weekly automotive test column. I write what I find, good or bad, and answer the question "should you buy this car" in 12" or less.

Zane Binder

Dates To Go "Topless In Miami"

Hi ... Paul Borden announced a date change for Topless In Miami at yesterday's SAMA meeting. Dates now are June 3-5.

Ron Beasley

Honda At It Again
Great Honda video!

Very well done. One has to wonder at the ingenuity of how this was put together. Would love to know how many hours it took to produce this outstanding commercial.
(Also from Ron Beasley)

Internet of Thingz and Carz…

Hi Glenn,

Amusing that your latest email post came in while I was reading this: Senate Report Shaming Automakers Security

You know that everyone's spy agencies are working hard on this. I can see the story now - "The (political target of choice) was killed today when his car mysteriously had its throttle stick wide open and the steering failed, resulting in a high-speed impact with a stone wall." Or some such. Not to mention mysterious accidents to lesser-known operatives

More relevant for the rest of us are "nannies" like automatic braking in collision warning systems that apply the brakes on their own. Fifteen minutes ago I backed a Chrysler 200C out of my driveway. "Automatic braking on" said the proud message in the instrument cluster. Car stopped all by itself twice either from lack of traction on wet leaves or fear it would hit the soft bushes at the side. Annoying, but not potentially dangerous like the Grand Cherokee that *did* apply the brakes unbidden when I was following a car obviously looking for an address a couple of years ago. That car slowed to make a right turn into a side street. I steered around it, but before I could press the throttle to get by the GC applied its brakes and flashed the band of red warning lights all on its own.

That's not the only instance of that happening that I've heard of, and not limited to Chrysler. Pretty much every car I've driven with collision warning has shown multiple false positives, from such "hazards" as parked cars, slow traffic, trees by the side of the road, boulders by the side of the road, etc., etc. Don't get me started on lane-departure warning and self-steering… we're outsourcing thinking and that is **never** a good thing. Moar Feechurz! (to use snarky internetism) is not a replacement for competence and education. But why think when "there's an app for that!"

I did check security settings for the wifi in the 200C. Default is no security, and I have to wonder how many people just go with that. (No special demerit to Chrysler there, it's probably that way for all.) Do you really have to be "connected" all the time? Phones are enough of a distraction.

In a previous lifetime I was a software developer. Mostly tasked with debugging other people's messes. All software has bugs and the more complicated the software is, the more insidious and hard to replicate the bugs can become. Now add the environment of an automobile, or worse, motorcycle, which is inherently hazardous to electronics and electrical connections and wait for trouble. It might not show up for a while.

We have the best-ever new cars now. Give them five or 10 years and they'll be the worst used cars ever. Replacement electronics? Don't make me laugh… after the legally-mandated replacement parts time limit expires the manufacturer doesn't care. They aren't making money off of your 250,000-mile car, they'd rather you buy a new one. Consume mass quantities.

Carey Russ



Pete Lyons' book, Riverside International Raceway, retells the incredible story of what this rocky chunk of scrub desert land came to mean as one of world motorsports' most respected race tracks. It has 500 photos (many never before published) that along with his engaging prose give life to the legends and lore of this race track's 33 years. It is available at: Autobooks-Aerobooks

Autowriters Plugs: Riveriside International by Pete Lyons

Kimatni Rawlins' Automotive Rhythms has partnered with Universal for the FURIOUS 7 Fandemonium Contest. Victors will be awarded elite prizes for their ride from JL Audio, TSW and Mothers. For a chance to win a set of TSW rims, JL Audio sound system or Mothers car care products, register at: For an opportunity to earn tickets to Furious 7 before it hits theaters nationwide on April 3rd, visit Automotive Rhythms Facebook page.

Autowriters Plugs: Furious 7 Fandemonium

Bull Publishing has a collection of articles, broadcast intros and profiles by racer, broadcaster, raconteur Sam Posey in hardcover for $29.95. There are 30 black-and white and 25 color photos and an introduction by David Hobbs. "Where The Writer Meets The Road" available online.


motoring press organizations

North American regional automotive press associations provide information and background not easily found elsewhere. If they are too distant for you to attend their meetings, belonging usually gives you access to transcripts or reports of these events and other benefits.

American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association, Inc.

Logo: AARWBA - Automotive Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association

Norma "Dusty" Brandel
President, Exec. Director

Automobile Journalists Association of Canada


Automotive Press Association
Detroit, MI

Logo: APA Auto Press Associaion

Mark Phelan, President

American Racing Press Association

Lo Association

Stan Clinton, President


Eastern Motorsports Press Association
Ballston Spa, NY

Logo: EMPA Eastern Motorsports Press Association

Ron Hedger, President


Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association
Atlanta, GA

GAAMA: Greater Atlanta Automotive Association

Davis Adams, President

International Motor Press Association

Logo: IMPA Int'l Motor Press Association

Dave Kiley, President


Midwest Automotive Media Association
Chicago, IL

Logo: MAMA Midwest Automotive Media Association

Kirk Bell, President

Motor Press Guild
Los Angeles, CA

Jsaon Fogleson, President

New England Motor Press Association
Boston, MA

NEMPA Logo: New England Motor Press Association

Craig Fitzgerald, President

Northwest Automotive Press Association
Portland, OR

NWAPA Logo: Northwest Automotive Press Association

Nik Miles, President

Phoenix Automotive Press Association
Phoenix, AZ

Logo: PAPA Phoenix Automotive Press Association

Cathy Droz, President

Rocky Mountain Automotive Press
Denver, CO

Logo: Rocky Mountain Automotive Media Association

Andre Smirnov, President

Southern Automotive Media Association
Miami FL

Log: Southern Automotive Media Association

Bill Adam, President  

Southeast Automotive Media Organization
Charlotte, NC

Logo: Southeast Automotive Media Organization

Texas Auto Writers Association

Michael Marrs

Truck Writers of North America

Logo: Truck Writers of North America

Tom Kelley, Executive Director

Western Automotive Journalists
San Francisco, CA

Logo: Western Automotvie Journalists

Brian Douglas

Washington Automotive Press Association
Washington, D.C.


Les Jackson, President

quotes to note

"Google estimated in 2010 that there were 300 exabytes (that's 300 followed by 18 zeros) of human-created information in the world, and that more information was created every two days than had existed in the entire world from the dawn of time to 2003"

J. Peder Zane
In the Age of Information, Specializing to Survive – NY Times

" . . . an Apple watch in gold is an important purchase — so you can think ‘What time is it?' and then look at your wrist and say, ‘Oh, yeah. I'm rich."

Sarah Mahoney
The Apple Watch As Stupid Wealth Barometer - Marketing Daily

"I don't see anything good on the horizon for [TEN]," he asserted. "Their future is pretty much doomed."

Kevin Kamen, CEO of print media brokerage firm Kamen & Co. Group. – Source Interlink Begins Its Wind Down-The Deal Pipeline

"Do what the phone people do: talk more about what it does, less about what it means."

Karl Greenberg
GM And Ford Need To Talk To Us About Cars – Marketing Daily

"Your iPhone has over 240,000 times the computing power of the Voyager I spacecraft. . . . a small, handheld device that, by the end of this year, will beat the diagnosis of seven out of 10 board-certified physicians."

Kaila Colbin
The Exponential Revolution Is Coming To Get You –Online Spin

"Under the Articles of War, 'it is unlawful for a warship to go into action without first showing her true colors. ' That's a good rule for marketers and publishers to keep in mind as they consider how to incorporate native ads into their marketing mix."

Andrew Susman
Native Ads: Clear Rules of Engagement Will Help Marketers And Publisher Alike –Online Media Daily

"In the midst of existential crisis, basic honesty followed classified ads and most of the editorial staff right out the door. There are no ethicists in foxholes."

Bob Garfield
Lord, Blessed Is The Man Who Trusts in You. Forbes, Not So Much – Garfield At Large, Mediapost

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