Freep's Phelan Picks-Up the Pom-Poms

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
freeps phelan picks up the pom poms

Last week, we remarked that the Motown media had finally put down the pom-poms. The Detroit Free Press' Mark Phelan seems determined to prove us wrong. First, the scribe offered us a rah-rah-siss-boom-bah on the plug-in electric gas hybrid Chevrolet Volt. To which Phelan adds a who-do-we-appreciate? look at The Big 2.8's "race to build fun, fuel-frugal cars." Yes, "They are honing new technologies, refining designs and scouring the Earth for fun, fuel-efficient cars they can build or sell in North America. From Chevrolet Corvettes and Ford F-150s to small cars engineered in Europe and Asia, every vehicle is being rethought as fuel prices skyrocket and new fuel-economy rules loom." That's all well and good if this was 2003ish. But it isn't. GM's market share is below 20 percent, Ford's racing against "last orders" and no matter how you measure it, Chrysler is in the toilet. Meanwhile, the transplants are eating Detroit's lunch. Never mind. Phelan reckons it's a "level playing field," now. "Unlike the 1980s, when small Japanese cars started the race a full lap ahead of the Detroit Three, the new technical challenges are equally daunting for everyone. 'They've all been dealt the same hand this time,' said Michelle Krebs, editor of 'Now it's a matter of how they play it.'" Huh? "Vast and slow improvements in the cars the domestics build haven't been enough to change that perception. The massive, fast changes every automaker must make in the next few years could be their last chance to hit the reset button on how the American public sees them." Or not.

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  • Raymond Hieber Raymond Hieber on Jul 07, 2008

    I regret more and more each day not becoming a professional football or basketball athlete because of reading TTAC News... thanks! Or not attending a major sporting event in 9 years... I did play blackjack at a Cincy area riverboat casino with two of the "BenGALS" cheerleaders for 5 minutes. Those girls do exist in real life, I can attest to that. I remember one of them split face cards then sixes against a face card showing... twice... If there's anything GOOD about Ford's upcoming Fiesta, it's that some older folks have good memories of them. I was a wee toddler, I forgot an uncle had a baby poop brown one he had good service from. A friend of his owned one from 1981 until 1995. "Hopefully it'll be a Mazda again" his words, not mine. 30-years-old hanging out nursing a hangover at the donut shop with retirees at 7am on a Sunday morning: Priceless.

  • Detroit-Iron Detroit-Iron on Jul 07, 2008

    QOTD: What were Toyota and Honda thinking when they began working on the Prius/Insight in the early '90s when gas (in the US anyway) was hovering at a $1/gal? Just luck? BTW, from Wiki: The word prius is a Latin word meaning "[to go] before."[6]. A Toyota spokesman stated that "Toyota chose this name because the Prius vehicle is the predecessor of cars to come." [7]

  • Bancho Bancho on Jul 07, 2008

    Is this a new definition of "level playing field" that I've been unaware of?

  • MgoBLUE MgoBLUE on Jul 07, 2008

    Ford and GM are racing to copyright Atergo. "From Behind." Now I'll use it in a sentence: "We squandered our profits and now we are trying to compete atergo." Or "My buddy coined the license plate because the women he dates like it atergo."