Jamie LaReau is the journalist about whom everyone is talking nowadays. It all started when international taste-maker and notorious recluse Michael Banovsky alerted his following to a fascinating August, 2011 article entitled A Porsche From The Passenger Seat Is Still A Porsche. Banovsky is a known talent-spotter, and this time he had spotted someone whose Hemingway-esque economy of words genuinely stood out:
The Porsche I rode in was a 1999 model. I don’t recall which style, but let’s just say it was one of the good ones. (As if there are any bad ones.)
Indeed. I happened to see Ms. LaReau examining the new Buick Encore with considerable interest after the press conference, but before I could untether my Droid from my laptop and talk to her, she disappeared. Now, it appears that she has applied her unique style to a strong defense of the Encore. Let’s check it out.
Jamie’s new article is entitled Buick’s mini crossover enters a white space that could be red hot. Here at TTAC, we’re as click-sensitive as anyone else, so definitely go pay the lady a visit so Automotive News can cover their bills and Crain Communications can continue to promote the most qualified individuals to positions of leadership, no matter who they are. However, we will excerpt the relevant sections here.
Jamie starts out like so:
At auto shows I often eye vehicles and ask myself if they might one day be my next ride.
Sometimes the answer is: definitely, maybe.
General Motors introduced the Buick Encore compact crossover at the Detroit auto show today and I had that definitely, maybe feeling.
I’m not the typical Buick customer — I’m under age 65. But there is currently no mid-luxury, subcompact crossover in the United States. So the Encore is competing in “white space,” Buick marketing chief Tony DiSalle says.
So it could be red hot.
Who’s the most likely demographic for Encore purchases? Here at TTAC, we believe the Encore will appeal to the critical consumer segments commonly described as
- People who live in China
- Drooling morons who don’t
Ms. LaReau has a different idea:
But knowing my peer group, the Encore might be the one Buick we’d be eager to own. And that would take Buick into a customer space the brand desperately wants to tap into — a younger, likely single, urban professional, DiSalle says.
Initially, I thought “DiSalle” might be a sassy urban friend of Jamie’s, but then I read the article a second time and realized that “DiSalle” Buick marketing chief Tony DiSalle. This depressed me. I imagined Ms. LaReau, who has a certain statuesque beauty, rolling through downtown Detroit in a Sebring convertible with “DiSalle” and perhaps having amusing, sassy conversations.
“So… I was in a Porsche the other day.”
“OOOH GIRL! NO YOU DIN’T! Which one was it?”
“One of the good ones.”
“There ain’t no bad ones.”
“You said it, sister.”
“Girl, you need to back up off that ‘sister’ business. It’s insensitive, and when I completed my doctorate at Howard University, my thesis, ‘The Tides that Bind: Morphemetic Flow In Post-TCP/IP-Era Linguistic Diasporan Evolution Among Disadvantaged Segments Of Non-Diverse Populations’ specifically identified the use of ‘sister’ by white girls as one of the many ways in which people like you conspire to define womyn of color in a reductionist, disrespectful manner which is tantamount to parody.”
“I feel sad now. We need to start communicating on a more respectful level.”
“You said it, sister.”
Obviously I was wrong about the whole “DiSalle” thing. Let’s find out what Jamie thought about the Encore’s engine:
Another plus for me is the Encore’s 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. It will deliver 140 hp and 148 pounds-feet of torque. That’s 41 hp less than the Countryman’s turbocharged 1.6-liter engine earns.
I should point out that, earlier in the review, Ms. LaReau had noted her fondness for the Countryman, which earns its horsepower the old-fashioned way: by earning it. After some notes on lead-footed driving not unreminiscent of that Angus fellow’s bellowing nonsense in The Monthly Journal Of Free Cadillacs, the review barrels to its conclusion:
But I sure can’t wait until early next year when it goes on sale to find out.
Hmm. Waiting until a vehicle is available to render a final verdict? This sounds like journalism. Somebody had better warn Jamie that unless she can either muster unthinking enthusiasm for the pig in the poke or rain cynical distaste upon a turntable-bound new car like a third-rate literary Krakatoa, she may not go as far as Mr. Banovsky believes she will.