TTAC Heads To Detroit

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
ttac heads to detroit

I didn’t plan on attending the North American International Auto Show this year… I really didn’t. TTAC generally avoids the expense and hoopla of the major auto shows, focused as we are on analysis more than “check out this new hotness” reportage. But this year things are a little different. After my third New York Times op-eds in the last year or so, I’ve been asked by the PBS NewsHour to appear in their piece on the recovery (or, as we like to say here at TTAC, not) of the American auto industry… so in a few hours I will be hopping a plane to Motown for my first-ever NAIAS. While we’re in Motown (and that’s not the editorial “we”… my beautiful and long-suffering life partner has taken the time off work to come support me and take in the sights of Detroit in January) we’ll be stopping in at the UAW protest, reporting on the new launches and reveals, and rubbing elbows with industry reps as well as meeting with TTAC’s staff and our owners from VerticalScope. But there’s another reason we’re headed to Detroit: it’s time to do a little PR work of our own.

Just as every PR flack in the business is descending on Detroit with an agenda to push, we’re going to spread the good news about TTAC’s success and to push the industry to embrace our unique brand of truth-telling. Over the last year or so, TTAC’s writers and opinions have been featured in mainstream media outlets as diverse as CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, The NY Times, Reuters, the BBC World Service and MSN Money. Over the same period, I’ve personally been mocked by the White House press secretary and been compared to everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Tom Friedman (and hey, I fall somewhere in the middle of the two). In short, and like it or not, TTAC has assumed a fairly prominent role in the national discourse about an industry that is deeply tied to the course of American events (for a blog, anyway). And we’ve done so while simultaneously entertaining and informing our readers with top-notch reviews, explorations of the history of the automobile, entertaining narratives and in-depth looks at all aspects of the car industry and automotive culture. It’s time for the industry to stop labeling TTAC as “haters” or “bashers” and accept that there is an important market for hard-hitting, pull-no-punches news and analysis about cars. TTAC is not another compliant buff-book clone, nor should we have to be to get access to new products and important stories.

TTAC does what it does in order to serve you, our readers… the consumers and enthusiasts who make the entire auto industry possible. And in that spirit, we would be remiss if we didn’t take the opportunity to meet up with you as well. So next Tuesday evening, myself and as many of TTAC’s writers that can make it will make ourselves available to anyone who wishes to come chat about cars, the car industry and TTAC. We have not yet determined an exact time and location for this meet-up, but it will almost certainly be somewhere in the downtown Detroit area. Look for an announcement here at TTAC by the end of the weekend… and if you have suggestions for a good location, do let us know at our contact form.

Thank you to all our readers for appreciating (if not always agreeing with) TTAC’s unique take on all things automotive. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible in Motown next week!

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3 of 54 comments
  • Philadlj Philadlj on Jan 08, 2011

    Bundle up, know where your wallet's at, good luck, and have fun!

  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on Jan 08, 2011

    Way to throw me under the bus Steve.

    • Rocketrodeo Rocketrodeo on Jan 08, 2011

      It's a brave new world, Robert. Calling it like you see it is one thing; rooting against the home team is another. Hard to tread the middle path sometimes, isn't it? I hear plenty of Faragonian echoes here yet. Don't despair. It's still your baby, but he's starting to grow up.

  • FreedMike I don't know why this dash shocks anyone - the whole "touchscreen uber alles" thing is pure Tesla.
  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.