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december 2014 newsletter

Happy Holidays to Our Readers!

The Road Ahead

McClaren Mercedes MP4-29

The example of a metaphorical search in last month's Newsletter (linking of a Formula 1 pit crew and an operating room team) has a real world parallel. Lindsay Chappell writes in Automotive News that the McLaren Racing pit crew's techniques are  "trending to become the hot new thing in global business management." He explains, "McLaren has gone manic in analyzing real-time issues during its Formula 1 events. The team wires its participants to the gills, pipes data from all corners of the racetrack in a place like Abu Dhabi back to England, where a command center crunches it with the speed of a McLaren MP4-29, factors in all variables and shoots back decisions about what action to take and when." It has proved so useful that global financial consulting firm KMPG has struck a deal with McLaren to make the technique available in widely varied applications from inventory control, advertising buys, investments, to tooling and more.

The Coroco Scanner, a device that can detect when people are lying has been introduced in Japan Joe Mandese reports in Media Daily News. "When worn on the head, the device senses stress levels indicating the donner's mood expressed as blinking red, yellow and green lights that can indicate whether they are telling the truth." He adds, "The product is more than just a modern day mood ring. It's one of the first mass consumer marketed products to utilize advances in biometric technologies that can determine people's emotional signals, including their unconscious feelings."

Video: Cocoro Scanner on the streets of Tokyo

Amazon's Echo is a device that will do away with keyword search according to Aaron Goldman in Search Marketing Daily. He says Echo has far-field voice recognition that hears from across the room and takes action instead of serving up links or answers. For example, a conversation with your personal Echo, "Alexa" might go according to Goldman:

"Alexa, add batteries to the shopping list."

“Do you need AA, AAA, C, or D?"


“You can get 15% off Energizer, should I buy those for you now?"

In Googling The Future Of Search an earlier article for the same publication, Goldman wrote of the growing "Internet of Things" and listed a number of such "things" Google already has invested in: glasses, watches, TVs, cars, cameras, thermostats, virtual reality headsets and even robots. He used an example from a 2001 Scientific American article by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Internet of Web pages (sorry Al Gore). "In this scenario: a phone sends a message to the entertainment system to lower the volume so its owner can take a call from his sister about their mom's medical condition, prompting a web agent to book a doctor's appointment after cross-referencing everyone's schedules." Berners-Lee is quoted as seeing these connected devices as a good thing: "The real power of the Semantic Web will be realized when people create many programs that collect Web content from diverse sources, process the information and exchange the results with other programs." On the other hand, in our Quotes To Note, physicist Stephen Hawking is not so positive, about this new world where devices will talk to one another, learn from one another and make decisions for us before we humans even know they need to be made.


new roads

Media Daily News reports, Microsoft is Rolling Out Skype For Web . . . . Al Jazeera reports Moinuddin Sarker has leased a 57,000-square-foot facility in Bridgeport, CT. to pursue, with the aid of an investor's $15 million, a process he pioneered: turning plastic into oil. Apparently it works. . . . Plagued by bad press, Uber has joined with whiskey maker Johnnie Walker to offer 250,000 miles of free rides globally to encourage tipplers not to drink and drive during the holiday season, Sarah Spary reports in Brand Republic News. . . . . Deadline News reports ABC has "the first daily newscast for social media hosted by an evening news anchor. Every weekday on Facebook, World News Tonight's David Muir presents Facecast: "The One Thing" a one-minute news roundup of the day's top stories and trending topics shot behind the scenes at ABC News headquarters in New York City.

Autowriters New Roads: Facecast with David Muir Launches

With auto journalists becoming more proficient in the visual arts, a new platform gives them control –and profits- off every video they upload, Joe Mandese writes in Online Video Daily. The platform is dubbed 8 (like the number, but representing the scientific symbol for infinity), he reports. It is located at www.weare8.com (currently in closed beta mode.). Essentially, a marketplace for content, founder Sue Fennessy is quoted as saying 8 gives 100% control, and 80% of revenues, directly to its users.

For a list of other content marketers, Cision offers 50 Top Content Marketers to follow on Twitter. . . . Telematics Update reports the Audiovox Car Connection plugs into a vehicle's OBD-II port and sends data to a central server. The Audiovox device works with three companies currently offering a UBI (User Based Insurance)policy—Liberty Mutual, American Family Insurance and The General Insurance—at a discount based on driving performance. The Car Connection also monitors a vehicle's health and fuel economy, tracks its location, allows parents to monitor their children's driving, and provides driver performance feedback.

Brett Berk writes in Yahoo! Autos of new roads patrons of the Waldorf-Astoria chain of ultra-luxury resorts can enjoy in a Ferrari 458 Italia Spider, McLaren MP4, or Porsche 911 Turbo. A three-hour blast over routes selected Toyota NA CEO Jim Lentz shows off custom made Toyota Hello Bootsby Didier Theys, the Belgian motorsports driver and Ferrari's racing coach is available at six of the luxury resort chain's locations for $999. . . . A glimpse of Toyota's new road to Texas was provided by Madelyn Miller who bowed her redesigned Car Lady News with coverage of the company's giant "Hello Texas" community block party in Plano, Texas. She reports Toyota gave the city six new Tundras, and a million dollars to a local high school. So far, Miller writes, Toyota's impending move to Texas has contributed $4.4 billion to the state's economy and $115 million to its non-profits. Jim Lentz, Chief Executive Officer of Toyota North American shows off the custom HELLO Texas boots Toyota had made for the event.

For a trip down an old road , Jaguar has published The Manual to celebrate the manual transmission experience and share it with others. . . . For the third year, Toronto Star Wheels editor Norris McDonald and a cadre of top Canadian auto writers have produced a special section naming the "Best New Vehicles of 2015" along with their reasons in print and video for picking them – five in each of 12 categories.

Toronto Star News Wheels Team

PAWEL DWULIT / for the Toronto Star

WHEELS TEAM: Stephanie Wallcraft (left), Anne-Marie Jackson, Kathy Renwald, Mark Toljagic, Jil McIntosh, Norris McDonald, Gerry Malloy, Mark Richardson, Gary Grant, Peter Bleakney, Jim Kenzie, Brian Early, Ed Cassavoy and Emily Atkins. Absent: Steve Bond and Peter Gorrie.

And, for a stimulating view of new design, StumpleUpon provides a number of drawings and specs from the Yanko Design Newsletter for a Danish SuperCar, the Zenvo ST1 . . . TU Automotive reports, "Once-mighty MapQuest reclaimed a bit of its pioneer status with a new emergency response feature in its free navigation app. MapQuest app users can now summon a tow truck to their location on-demand for flat tires, dead batteries, lock-outs, empty fuel tanks, you name it. All it takes is a tap of the "roadside assistance" button on a smartphone and a user will connect to a nearby service provider all within the MapQuest integration.

re/code writes Oren Harnevo says his Eyeview startup promises marketers that it can create dozens, or tens of thousands, of versions of a single video ad — and pick the right one to show a Web surfer, in real time. Both mass exposure and specificity in video, which is hard to do. . . . Variety reports: Watchup, a startup that delivers personalized newscasts to Internet-video devices, has raised $2.75 million in funding led by Tribune Media. Founded in 2012 at Stanford's StartX accelerator, Watchup, culls news from sources including PBS NewsHour, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, CBS Interactive's CNET, Univision Communications and Sky News. The Watchup service then delivers that content in a personalized video-news stream to iOS and Android tablets and smartphones, Google Glass and Amazon's Fire TV.

Wrapports LLC, publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, is launching a new network of local Web sites and apps offering local reporting and news aggregation, serving around 70 cities across the U.S. The company recently sold its chain of Chicago suburban newspapers to Tribune Media. The new project includes partnerships with local journalism and content creators, to complement the company's own editorial output, according to Erik Sass in Media Daily News.


passing scene

Michael Wayland writes in The Detroit News a Fiat Chrysler  industrial automation company, Comau, has produced "a three-point-shooting robot to demonstrate if it is nimble enough to sink a basketball, then it is capable of working alongside people in a factory or lab." You can see for yourself:

Watch Comau's 3 point shooting robot

Robots of another kind are plaguing online communications: the bots that patrol the Internet, clicking as programmed to provide a media seller with "evidence" of an ads reach, although it may never have been seen by human eyes. A report issued by The Association of National Advertisers puts the fraud perpetuated by "bots" at an annual rate of $6.3 billion for just digital display and digital video advertising. However, there's a revolt brewing. Big advertisers and content providers like Unilever are saying they want to pay only for ads that are seen by humans for at least the industry standard of two second, according to P.J Bednarski's blog for Online Video. Joe Mandese in RealTime Daily reports Conde Nast is "ensuring 100% viewability of video and display ads across the publisher's assets."

"October was a record-setting month for newspapers online, with 166 million U.S. adults consuming newspaper content delivered via digital platforms, according to the Newspaper Association of America, citing figures from ComScore," writes Erik Sass in Media Daily News. That's a 17% increase over a year ago. The ComScore figures also indicate paywalls, once predicted to be the death of print newspapers are contributing to increased revenue. However, Sass points out those increases are not enough to offset the precipitous drop in total newspaper revenues, which dropped 52.2% percent from 2005 to 2013, $49.4 billion to $23.6 billion. . . . Sass also writes for Social Media Daily "social media seems to have reached saturation in the U.S., where it originated." That's from a worldwide survey measuring the percent of Internet users who visit social media at least once a week. But it is hard to say it is a death knell because it does not allow for the growth in U.S. Internet users over the past year. That is, a smaller percentage of a larger number may be a greater absolute number than the larger percentage of a smaller number.

Smart TVs...
have a built-in camera for facial recognition and a microphone that comes with the warning, "Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party."

And, the busy Mr. Sass reveals, Social Media Is Literally Addictive according to another study he writes about in The Social Graf. Using criteria similar to those used to diagnose alcoholism, Sass writes, "The new study by researchers at University at Albany-SUNY, titled 'Craving Facebook? Behavioral addiction to online social networking and its association with emotion regulation deficits' surveyed 292 undergraduate respondents, ages 18 and up." He reports the study found, "10% of the total survey group who displayed behaviors matching the profile of 'disordered social networking use,' including irritability when unable to access Facebook, cravings to use the social network, and increasing usage as time went on." Sass "shirtailed" this report with word of the U.S. Navy's Substance Abuse treating its first "Internet addiction disorder." They thought it was alcohol but it turned out the patient had been viewing the Internet through Google Glass for 18 hours a day. When the device was taken from him, he displayed signs of addiction.

If addiction is not reason enough to be chary of modern communications, P.J. Bednarski in his VidBlog quotes MichaelSamsung Smart TV tracking you Price, writing on "Smart TVs" for the Brennan Center for Justice site, "The amount of data this thing collects is staggering, it logs where, when, how, and for how long you use the TV. It sets tracking cookies and beacons designed to detect when you have viewed particular content or a particular email message. It records the apps you use, the Web sites you visit, and how you interact with content. It ignores 'do-not-track' requests as a considered matter of policy." Price also notes Smart TVs have a built-in camera for facial recognition and a microphone that comes with the warning, "Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party."


pit notes
Mothers® 2014 Shine Award winner: 1932 Ford Fodor Sedan "Y'D Open"

Mothers 2014 Shine Award at this year's SEMA show went to Don and Carolyn Smith of Mansfield, TX for their 1932 Ford Fordor Sedan "Y'D Open." Autowriters.com thinks it reflects the work and passion at the heart of American hot rodding.

Bold Ride Daily reported a Mercedes parked in a Birmingham, U.K. airport accumulated $22,000 in parking tickers while in what most have been the long-term portion of the parking facility. . . . Mike Wayland writes in the Detroit News, "Automakers are turning away from traditional turn-key ignition switches and installing push-button starters. The new systems are considered safer and more convenient, but could mean the end for traditional keys. . . . Wendy Davis reveals in the Daily Examiner, "Politicians in New York City Picture of Uber "God View" from Uber facebook pagereportedly have joined the growing roster of people questioning whether car service companies Uber and Lyft are playing fast and loose with users' privacy." She said, both companies "reportedly stonewalled when asked about which employees had access to users' real-time geolocations via a 'God view' (Uber's terminology) tool." Members of Congress also have questioned some of the companies' practices.  . . . Toyota will be rolling out a number of active-safety systems during 2015 Hans Greimel reports in Automotive News. "New or re-engineered technologies unveiled last week in Tokyo encompass more sophisticated pre-crash braking packages, a better auto-parking feature, a next-generation auto-adjust headlamp and a vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communication system.

Congratulations to Kyle Loustaunau of Vacaville Calif. He won the Mazda Club Racer Shoot-Out award of a $100,000 scholarship package to compete in the 2015 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup presented by BF Goodrich Tires.


autowriters spotlight

Motor Trend Audio's podcast host Charlie Vogelheim, who along with partner Shawn Myers just won the Dean Batchelor Podcast of The Year, is not your ordinary auto journalist. He boasts no skinned knuckles or ingrained grease from a lifetime of "wrenching" cars. Nor did he follow the journalism route of years past when an editor would ask, a young reporter "Can you drive a car?" If the answer was "Yes," he'd say "Good you're our auto writer." Or like those selling newspaper ad space to car dealers and manufacturers who would become "two-hatters" by pasting wire copy and press releases between the ads that paid their wages.

Autowriters Spotlight: Charlie Vogelheim

Vogelheim got into autos after several years as a bush pilot following his graduation from Gonzaga University. When publisher Bob Kelley began to expand his "Blue Book" (as it was known) beyond a used car guidebook and began dabbling in electronic media. Bob needed help to grow the editorial team.

The affable Vogelheim became Kelley's apprentice in 1985, advancing to executive editor while learning the business of auto financing, leasing and remarketing. The book expanded from covering new cars and seven years of used cars to covering all post WWII cars. During his time at KBB, as it became known, Vogelheim helped it move into the computer age and then onto the internet to become a national resource providing not just numerical data but editorial content and photos. KBB content fueled Bloomberg's Intra-Network and later Microsoft's Car Point, along with many other subscribers to its services. It required not only data but also knowledge of all new and upcoming models. In that capacity Charlie attended new car introductions and auto shows and joined IMPA West, which shortly thereafter became the new Motor Press Guild, MPG. He found associating with auto journalists enlightening and though he could not "bench race with them" he enjoyed their various perspectives on the industry and their camaraderie.

At that point, he says, "I was certainly better characterized as an analyst rather than journalist. Though my title was editor and we published a book, it was filled with numbers. My editorial outlet grew to include verbal and visual presentations as I took on the role as company spokesman and conference speaker providing insight to the values we established."

His "gift of gab" brought numerous invitations to speak on the car business that, in turn, required him to really know the new cars, used cars, fleets, leasing, remarketing and auction businesses. While with Kelley he began serving a 7 year stint as an on air correspondent for Car and Driver Radio during which time it became obvious that he was a talker, not a typer.

After 20 years with Kelley, Vogelheim was recruited by Dave Power, the head man at J.D. Power and assigned primary responsibility for the company's "International Roundtable." That job put him in touch with China's burgeoning auto industry and as a company spokesman, he took on the role of interviewee on various broadcast and cable stations.

When the opportunity came a year ago to help revive the Motor Trend radio show he took it with the understanding it would become a podcast because he felt broadcast radio was still in turmoil while podcasts were beginning to flourish and a better quality show can be produced and heard at the listeners convenience.

He creates all the content and decides who to interview and what to talk about. He believes almost everyone has a car story: i.e. their first, their favorite, their dream car and that podcast interviews give him the time to develop those stories. The conversations are digitally recorded on location. He then edits and reviews the content with co-host Shawn Meyers who is an automotive enthusiast and "techie". Shawn adds additional commentary and then engineers and posts the episodes. They can be heard through iTunes, Internet Radio and the Motor Trend website.


awards and events

MPG's Dean Batchelor Award winners for 2014 are:

Category Awardee Title Outlet
Articles Preston Lerner Bull's Eye Automobile Magazine
Books Art Garner Black Noon  
Podcasts Charlie Vogelheim & Shawn Meyers Episode 16: Mini Takes the States Motor Trend Audio
Video Micah Muzio and Michael DeLano KBB Attends Stunt Driving School Kelley Blue Book
Bob D'Olivo Photography Award  Jeff Zwart Porsche Panorama  
Dean Batchelor Overall Award Preston Lerner    
Lifetime Achievement Award  Ken Gross    

The prestigious Minerva Medal awarded by the Chartered Society of Designers for a lifetime of achievement in the field of design was presented to Ian Callum, with Jaguar since 1999 and previously with Aston-Martin and Ford. He is the second automobile designer to receive the award, Giorgetto Giugiaro the first. . . . .Decisive Media's 19th Annual Urban Wheels Award will be held this year at the Garden Theater in Detroit  on January 11. For more information on this event dedicated to "Fueling Diversity In The Auto Industry" check: http://www.urbanwheelawards.com.

19th Annual Urban Wheel Awards

The 2015 "Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat" was selected by 10 SAMA judges as the "Star" of the Miami Auto Show. . . . Finalists for the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards are Ford Mustang, Hyundai Genesis, Volkswagen Golf, cars; Lincoln MKC, Ford F-150, Chevy Colorado, trucks. . . . . SEMA announced Kyle Tucker and his '69 Chevy Camaro as winner of the first-ever SEMA "Battle of the Builders" competition as judged by editors of leading automotive publications. The public will be able to see his wining work on Velocity Network, March 8, 2015. The one-hour show will highlight innovations in vehicle customization.

A Dodge Brothers video won "The People's Choice" award in the "Mobile Super Creative Video Ad Challenge" sponsored by Advertising Age. The publication belabored the obvious by explaining the barren territory in mobile advertising prompted the two-year-old competition to inspire creativity. . . . The Detroit News reports, "Ford Motor Co.'s 2015 F-150 was named the overall winner as Detroit automakers picked up five awards in Kelley Blue Book's 2015 "Best Buy" awards.

Jeremy Grenier, 39, of Charles Town, W. Va., is the 44th recipient of the RRDC Mark Donohue Award, presented annually by the Road Racing Drivers Club for outstanding performance, competitiveness and sportsmanship during the SCCA National Championship Runoffs. . . . .Mecum Auctions says the selection of vehicles from the Wellborn Musclecar Collection January 16-25 in Kissimmee, Fla. is "at the top" of all it has ever offered during 28 years in the auction business. . . . After a bureaucracy-beleaguered break of some seven years, Vaucluse Raceway is back in use for the 2015 Barbados Historic Rally Carnival. In fact it will be used twice: for the International Rallysprint on Saturday. Nov. 22 and again as part of the Hangman Hill special stage, used three times going north during daylight hours on Nov. 29 and twice going south in darkness. . . . . And, while we're at it, the winner of the 2014 LeMons Team Championship is Speedycop & The Gang of Outlaws followed by Model T GT and Pinto Bean Bandits.


regional news


The International Motor Racing Research Center at Watkins Glen sponsors "living history" talks throughout the year by persons who have been there, done that in various capacities in the motor racing world. To get advanced notice of the Center's programs visit www.racingarchives.org or call (607) 535-9044. . . Cadillac hosted IMPA's holiday luncheon and the brand's chief marketing officer, Uwe Ellinghaus, spoke. Ken Gross and Peter Harhold received this year's Ken Purdy Award.

2014f Washington Auto show

WAPA has negotiated special hotel rates for the Public Policy Days for the 2015 Washington Auto Show where media, government types and industry executives will mingle and hear short timely talks as well as a keynote address by Cadillac prexy Johan de Nysschen, Thursday, Jan. 22. The keynote breakfast event co-sponsored by IMPA will kick-off Public Policy Preview Day that concludes with a sneak peak at the displays prior to the public opening of the show January 23rd. To register and check the rates click: here.


Tickets to the third annual Pinehurst Concours on Saturday, May 2 at Pinehurst Resort are $25 each prior to the day of the event, a $15 savings over tickets purchased the day of the showcase, which are $40 each at the gate. Kids 14 and under are admitted free.


Global Gridlock

Jeff Green: Detroit Bureau Chief, Bloomberg News"How many cars are too many? Are we reaching a peak car era globally and in North America? That was the topic media panelists discussed at Freudenberg NOK's America regional corporate center in Plymouth, MI, Nov. 11. The panel discussion was inspired by Bloomberg News Detroit Bureau chief Jeff Green and Bloomberg News Editor-at-Large KeithKeith Naughton: Editor-at-Large, Bloomberg News Naughton's article Peak Auto that details how the auto industry will reach a saturation point fot global sales growth and production in this decade. In a climate of gridlock and global congestion in major cities, the panelists explored Lillie Guyer:  auto writer and author of “Outraged — How Detroit and the Wall Street Car Czars Killed the American Dream”how this forecast will impact those who report on, market and present automotive and transportation issues. The program was sponsored by AWC-Detroit (Association for Women in Communications) and the Detroit Press Club. Panel moderator was Lillie Guyer, an AWC-Detroit member and award winning auto and business journalist. PanelJessica Soulliere, founding editor of Mode Shift: Move Together members were Jeff Greenberg, Keith Naughton, Jessica Soulliere, founding Editor, Mode Shift: Move Together; and Lori Blaker, President/CEO, TTi Global a major supplier Lori Blaker, President and CEO, TTi Globalgroup. There was general agreement that globally, the industry would peak at around 100 million vehicles per year and alternative modes of transportation as well as fuel will be needed. – reported by Lillie Guyer

Now in its 22nd year, the North American Car and Truck/Utility of the Year are named by a group of automotive journalists from the United States and Canada who represent magazines, television, radio, newspapers and web sites. . . .. . MAMA rented an historic home for its annual members' Christmas bash. In reading the announcement, Autowriters.com noted the group identifies itself as "a social network." True no doubt but is there some legal advantage to that label?


The 25th Anniversary of the introduction of the Miata brought former Road & Track editor Thom Bryant to Autobooks-Aerobooks on Nov.23rd to sign his book: Mazda MX-5 Miata –Twenty Five Years. . . . Land Rover did what seemed like a good thing in connection with an art benefit for children in Santa Monica but the release was a little short on details unless you happened to know what P.S. ARTS and Barker Hanger are all about. . . . We don't know what the Blackhawk Museum outside of San Francisco puts in the java for its first Sunday of the Month "Cars and Coffee" events but the local gendarmes have cautioned that some of the enthusiasts leaving the klatches have shown, an "exhibition of speed" that prompts their monitoring their departures.


road signs

Iowa has become the first state to issue mobile driver's licenses, according to Erik Sass' MoBlog for Mobile Marketing Daily. He says the state will offer its citizens Idaho Digital Driver's LIcensean app that allows them to carry a legally valid digital driver's license on their mobile device, starting sometime in 2015. . . . Joe Marchese's three predictions for 2015 in Online Spin: "2015 will be the year we'll have at least one incident that will remind us how much we don't fully have a grasp on our digital content infrastructure." (i.e. TV overwhelming the Internet). "... ad-free subscription services from a company (Google) that makes a vast majority of its revenue from advertising -- is the canary in the coalmine. Great storytellers will continue to be lured to ad-free platforms like Netflix, HBO, and Showtime." . . . Wendy Davis in the Daily Online Examiner reports the BBB has warned publishers that they must provide "enhanced notice when data about visitors is used to serve them native ads on other sites." In another column she writes, "Car manufacturers won't be able to provide precise geolocations for automobiles to marketers without drivers' opt-in consent under a new privacy code adopted by the industry."

A Google study of its display advertising platforms revealed that 56.1% of impressions were not seen; the average publisher's viewability rate came in at 50.2% TV advertisers would have a fit if networks revealed similar data, Wayne Friedman writes in MediaPost's TV Watch. For numbers gurus this translates to a few publishers charging for whole bunch of spots never seen. (See Garfield comment In "Quotes To Note") Speaking of Garfield, check out his, Moby Dick, Brought To You By The Whale & Ale Pub in Media Post. It is his take on a novella, The Vanishing Game sponsored by Land Rover and featuring a Land Rover vehicle. . . . Auto is the second-biggest ad spend category in the U.S. at $35.5 billion in measured media behind general merchandise stores, with dealers spending $21.2 billion and manufacturers $12.3 billion -- a 21.8% and 12.2% increase versus last year, respectively Karl Greenberg reports in Marketing Daily.

USA Weekend will cease publication on December 28. The national magazine has been in 800 newspapers with a total circulation of 23 Autowriters: Road Signs: Geoff Livingstonmillion. . . Geoff Livingston, writing for Cision, sees a "Blending World of Content and Journalism." Enabling this phenomenon is the Internet and marketers' insatiable need to provide content that attracts eyeballs. Livingston says, "Journalists tell stories from a somewhat neutral and unpolluted viewpoint that is not clouded by sales goals or message control. They focus on what makes that story interesting to their audiences, and intentionally avoid cluttering articles with sales pitches and agendas. The result is more relevant content."

Citing research and testing of fuel cells underway at most of the major carmakers, Charles Fleming of the Los Angeles Times writes, "Concerned about slow sales of electric cars and plug-in hybrids, automakers are increasingly betting the future of green cars on hydrogen fuel cell technology. He quotes Toyota's national manager of advanced technologies, Charles Scott, "Today, Toyota actually favors fuel cells over other zero-emission vehicles, like pure battery electric vehicles. We would like to be still selling cars when there's no more gas. And no one is coming to our door asking us to build a new electric car."

Young, really young kids are into cars according to RJ deVera who has consulted on programs at Honda, Acura, Scion, Lexus, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Mazda. He also was the street-cred consultant on Hollywood's The Fast and the Furious. Automotive News writer Lindsay Chappell quotes deVera, "Younger kids -- and I mean little kids, like 10 and 12 years old -- they're really into cars. I'm seeing it. I go to car shows and clubs all the time. I might pull up in a limited-edition Lamborghini, and there will be five or six kids who rush over and start taking pictures on their iPads and iPhones. They know exactly, specifically, what car it is and they know the specs. It's crazy." . . . And for a closing thought, Keith Griffin, used car expert for About.Com, says, "Buy Now As Supply Exceeds Demand for Used Cars."


lane changes

Autowriters: Lane Changes: James G. CobbNew York Times auto editor James Cobb has accepted a buyout after 8.5 years at the paper in order to start a new venture. His department ceases operation this month and he has no word as to how or if the paper will cover autos, although Cobb reports Bill Vlasic will continue to report from Detroit and Aaron Kessler from Washington and Detroit. No word yet, about Cobb's new venture. . . . . Also accepting an early retirement is Stuart Elliott, who wrote a number of auto-related marketing stories during his record 23 year tenure as the New York Times advertising columnist. Previously, he covered advertising at The Detroit Free Press.

Autowriters: Lane Changes: Jaclyn TropJaclyn Trop has joined the Los Angeles Bureau of Automotive News. She previously covered auto industry news for the NY Times and The Detroit News. She will cover the American operations of Toyota and Honda, True Car, Inc. and Edmunds.com. The newspaper's email protocol would have her: Jtrop@crain.com . . . Jon Nigbor has changed his company's name from Testdrivevideos.com to Media 272 and his email to: Jon.Nigbor@media272.com . . . Contrary to our report last month that all PCG Campbell employees now had pacificgroup.com as their email domain name, that change applies only to the West Coast operation that has split from the Detroit office which remains Autowriters: Lane Changes: Stuart BourdonPCG Campbell and retains the pcgcampbell.com domain name. . . . Another correction: Stuart Bourdon is Sr. Staff Editor at Power (not Tower) Automedia and his email address is: sbourdon@powerautomedia.com  . . . David Fox who at one time was an editor at Hot Rod Library has changed his domain name to IBRIC and his email to DavidGFox@ibric.net

In searching the whereabouts of Brian Scotto, founder/editor of the now defunct 0-60 Magazine we were introduced to a new world for Autowriters.com - the Hooniverse, which is a word derived, we are told from "Hoon," an Australian name for a person who drives recklessly. We Yanks, however, have made a virtue of
disregard by creating a world where "Hoonigans: operate motor vehicles in an aggressive, unorthodox manner consisting of,
but not limited to, drifting, burnouts, doughnuts as well as acts of automotive aeronautics. One who hoons."
That taken from the Hoonigan web site where Scotto is identified as the chief brand dude. . . . . Ford's Alan Hall is now Communications Manager, Technology, Research and Innovation. His email remains:Autowriters: Lane Changes: Antonio Alvendia ahall32@ford.com  . . . . Antonio Alvendia has changed his email to Antonio@MotorMavens.com. Motor Mavens is an impressive web site that provides content to many web sites. . . . Auto photographer Michael Alan Ross has changed his email from carguy911@mindspring.com  to michaelalanross@gmail.com and, last, Andrew Powaleny has succeeded Art Swift at The Herald Group in Washington, D.C. His email: apowaleny@theheraldgroup.com


- 30-

Glenn Campbell, Owner Campbell-PR.com, Publisher autowriters.com

Glenn F. Campbell

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December 2014
4 WAPA | Holiday Dinner, Ritz-Carlton, Georgetown, Buick
4 Center for Automotive Research (CAR) | Breakfast Briefing Series, Livonia, MI
6 SAMA | Holiday Meeting, Sponsor Recognition, Coral Gables, FL
8 PAPA |Panel Discussion (Authors & Book Publishers, Phoenix, AZ
9 APA | Luncheon, Detroit, MI NACTOY
9 MPG | Dean Batchelor Awards Banquet, Los Angeles, CA
16 WAJ | Holiday Celebration Dinner, Four Seasons, Silcon Valley, CA, Volkswagen
18 SAMA | Holiday Meeting
January 2015
10 PAPA | Arizona Auction Week Preview, Phoenix, AZ
11 Arizona Concours d'Elegance | Phoenix, AZ
11 Urban Wheel Awards | Garden Theater, Detroit, MI
11 Society of Automotive Analysts | 2015 Annual Outlook Conference, Detroit, MI
12-13 North American Int'l Auto Show | Press Preview, Detroit, MI
16 North American Int'l Auto Show | Black Tie Charity Event, Detroit, MI
16-25 North American Int'l Auto Show | Public Days, Detroit, MI
19 APA | Family Day at the North American Int'l Auto Show, Sponsored by Michelin, Cobo Center
February 2015
11-13 Chicago Auto Show | Media Preview, Chicago, IL
13 Chicago Auto Show | First Look for Charity, Chicago, IL
14-22 Chicago Auto Show | Public Show, Chicago, IL
March 2015
3-4 Geneva Motor Show| Press Days, Geneva, Switzerland
5-15 Geneva Motor Show | Public Days, Geneva, Switzerland
13-15 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance
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
13-15 Amelia Island Councours d'Elegance


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across the finish line

Steve Parker -Belated word of Steve's passing lastAutowriters: Across the Finish Line: Steve Parker month. He was an ambitious, aggressive, imaginative auto journalist for 30 years in Southern California, living by his wits and talent despite a debilitating disease.


talk to us

Send your rants, raves, questions and suggestions to: talktous@autowriters.com

Please note: all correspondence sent to autowriters.com may be used for publication at the Editors' discretion unless you state otherwise.

art plugs

If there ever was a definition of a “plug" it is Karl Greenberg's review of Jason Vines' new book: What Did Jesus Drive: Crisis PR in Cars, Computers and Christianity. He raves, "What Did Jesus Drive?" is an absolute romp. It's Hunter S. Thompson meets Robert Penn Warren." Greenberg, Media Post's automotive marketing writer, devotes an entire column to the book and Vines' flashy public relations career. The latter somewhat reminiscent of the early days of publicity agents like Steve Hannigan who promoted New York's Stork Club, put Miami Beach on the map by sending out swim suit photos of pretty girls on Florida's sands and helped do the same for Sun Valley by staging luxury train trips for media and Hollywood stars to the then unknown Idaho spa. He also helped end a sit-down strike at a Toledo auto plant when even National Guard rifle shots could not. His solution, publicize that male and female workers were spending nights together in the plant. He figured wives on the outside would soon call a halt, and they did. If memory serves, Hannigan died in a tent in Africa while on safari with Hollywood's "oomph girl" Ann Sheridan.

* * *

Even if you can't get them as holiday gifts, Lauren Fix offers some fine anytime presents for drivers and car lovers here. . . .The same can be said for AutoWeek's Gift Guide located here. . . . and Winding Road's stocking stuffers for gearheads work year round as well. See them here.

* * *

If it is a 2015 calendar your after most likely
David Bull's supply of Günther Raupp's Ferrari Myth and Scuderia Ferrari calendars are still available for order as are three books he trumpets for Porsche lovers, find them all, along with autographed publisher's editions of "Hunt vs. Lauda: The Epic 1976 Formula 1 Season" at www.bullpublishing.com . . . Bentley Publishers is highlighting among its many auto titles, an opus for Corvette lovers by Karl Ludvigsen: Corvette - America's Star-Spangled Sports Car: The Complete History 1953-1982 while Autobooks-Aerobooks in Burbank, Calif. is promoting new tomes by Sylvia Wilkinson and John Morton plus The John Fitch Story and Gene Crucean's photo history of the biggest and the best in American racing. Check them out at: www.autobooks-aerobooks.com

* * *

 . . . If it is wall art try Car Art, Inc. at www.carart.us Bye Bye Dubai - in their Grand Prix Gallery features the Nov. 23rd - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and 2014 Grand Prix champion, Lewis Hamilton. Or, you can try Michael Knab's Legacy Art Gallery where he is featuring new art work by Scott Jacobs who has turned out some new pricey motorcycle art. www.automotive-art.com 


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

Lohttp://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-only-taxi-for-wheelchairs-in-san.htmls 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

Joni Gray, 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.


Melanie Batenchuk, President www.washautopress.org

quotes to note

#AlexfromTarget: An Unexpected Consequence Of Technology

Was Nicholas Carr, in his book "The Shallows," right? Is technology leading us down the garden path to imbecility, forever distracted by bright, shiny objects? Or is our finest moment yet to come?

Gord Hotchkiss, Media Post's Search Insider

* * *

Why journalists don't fact check anymore

“This is the way news works now. Speculation regurgitated as fact, swallowed as news, excreted as statistic, rehashed as opinion and commented on as though it were a completely different article about something else entirely.

Comedian Alice Fraser takes a look at the news spiral in SBS Comedy

* * *

Hawking Sounds Alarm Over AI's End Game

"The primitive forms of artificial intelligence we already have have proved very useful, but I think the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,"

Stephen Hawking in a BBC Interview with Rory Cellan-Jones as reported in TechNewsWorld by Katherine Noyes

* * *

Google, You've Got It Wrong: Pay ME $1 A Month

“Google has got it all backwards for its Google Contributor plan, which will ban ads for certain sites if users pay them $1, or $2, or $3 a month. Nom Google. I don't pay you; you pay me."

Wayne Friedman in TV Watch

* * *

Millennials Have Become Generation Fear

“ . . . .they told me they were nervous about saying anything too contentious because they feared it would be broadcast across social media. “Are you kidding me? It's come to that. They're scared to voice an opinion in class because one of their peers might broadcast a goofy answer on Instagram or Twitter, attach a shaming hashtag, and ruin their fake, digital reputation."

- Bill Bergman CEO of the Bergman Group and Instructor of Marketing in MAD (Media Agency Daily)

* * *

Grand Tour of Self, Nov. 21

“Nature deficit disorder, so called, is a symptom of being connected to everything, while being unable to connect to anything."

Timothy Egan, NY Times

* * *

Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone: Digital Version

"Thanks to the Internet, anybody can post anything they want and find an audience. Some of it will be right, some of it wrong, but you will never know which, since there are no professional news editors to filter what gets posted and what doesn't."

George Simpson Online Media Daily

* * *

James Bond's New Car

“Like Lolita with her lollipop or Norman Bates with his bloody knife and desiccated mother, certain cinematic characters and their props are indelibly bonded."

Brett Berk in Vanity Fair's Stick Shift

* * *

Super, an app designed to let people speak their minds.

“The bigger question, however, is potentially more profound: Do we really need more people speaking their minds? Do we need more opinions on Kim Kardashian's rear end or Renee Zellweger's new front end? Isn't it true that what we really need is more people listening."

Kalia Colbin in Online Spin

* * *

Charging for Ads That Aren't Seen

“Such conduct is boorish and sleazy, like taking your date to the movies, where you talk loudly and fart the whole time, while your friends ransack her apartment."

Garfield at Large for Media Post
In Tip for career Day: Stay Home


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