By on April 20, 2015

USS Yorktown Helm

[Edit: sirwired mentioned in the comments I should have been a little more clear. I’ll take that advice. As of today, with the departure of Derek, I will be taking the helm at TTAC.]

Last Wednesday, I did what amounted to nearly nothing for the day. It was by design. There was much to contemplate. Much to … think … about.

What if I make mistakes? I’m not talking about the type of mistake where you put mustard on your significant other’s sandwich, who’s always hated mustard and you’ve obviously known this for years. I’m speaking of irreparable mistakes. We all make them at times in our lives and we usually regret one step, one move, or one word that could have changed everything.

To ensure I don’t make any egregious foul steps, one only needs to take lessons from history; but, to learn from history I must first know it. It is my duty to take a condensed lesson in TTAC History 101.

So, I ventured into The Truth About Cars time machine, a task that’s not particularly easy, and started reading my way forward.

What happened? I wondered. Where did the voice of TTAC officially become adversarial and tarnished? At what pivotal moment in TTAC’s history did it go from cheeky car blog to automotive OEM’s enemy #1?

Upon browsing to the first post to ever grace TTAC’s masthead, I was somewhat confused at the underwhelming title. Instead of a post bearing a headline to the effect of You Know What Grinds My Gears?, a review for a Jaguar XKR is offered: “Paramount XKR Review”, dated November 14, 2001. It was published 16 days shy of my 17th birthday.

“The Jaguar XK8 is a classic. Six years after its debut, the design is still fresh, bold and dramatic. It’s one of those cars that somehow looks fast standing still. Okay, viewed from the side, the boot is about two feet too long – thanks to US regulations requiring all expensive cars to accommodate two golf bags. Even so, the Jag rules. Freshened Porsches, Mercs, Beemers and Lexi still can’t compete with the XK’s svelte aggression. Slinking into the club’s parking lot, the Jag proclaims, ‘Look out boys, this cat has claws!’

“Except it doesn’t.”

Farago’s prose, while damning of the Jag’s requisite need to provide for corporate stick-and-ball excursions, had not yet become hostile. Eventually his view turns about-face on the car he’s actually testing. This isn’t any normal Jag anyway. This post isn’t answering any questions.

Page after page, I flick through Robert’s reviews and editorial features. The first year of TTAC’s infancy is mainly written from the point-of-view of an American expat in England. But, interspersed in Anglo-centric editorials, articles would come to the fore with a much more inclusive world view.

I click ahead some more. The language is still on the line but nothing a public relations person wouldn’t take further than sucking their own teeth. In my head, I imagine a boardroom of teeth-sucking PR folks reviewing the day’s coverage, collectively sucking their teeth at Farago’s articles.

It wasn’t until the early GM Death Watch articles, after Farago had made his way back to the United States, when he thought it important to deliberately interject his thoughts. Early pieces in the series were almost formulaic in their simplicity, but incredibly effective in their purpose. In short, Farago told a story of an elderly man bringing a knife to a knife fight; but, while his foes brandished freshly sharpened Gerber blades, this old man was holding a butter knife, built by overpaid people, and engineered down to a price.

It’s not like I didn’t know this history. Everyone who’s read TTAC for a month or more knows the Cliff’s Notes version, either by references in later pieces or through conversations with others. But, actually reading and mentally processing it in the way Farago’s thoughts, ideas, and opinions were intended — it’s almost like magic.

Calling a corporate citizen out, day after bloody day in a war of words, is an exhausting exercise. It requires steadfast determination, a sharp mind (like those who routinely get called up as “experts” on 24-hour news programming), and a black-and-white view of the issues at hand. Farago made very complicated issues incredibly simple to conceptualize.

But, by simplifying complicated issues down to a point where they’re digestible quips and potshots … is that being true to your purpose and to others who are part of the public discourse?

Since then, Ed Niedermeyer, Bertel Schmitt, Jack Baruth, and Derek Kreindler have taken the wheel of this ship we call The Truth About Cars, proudly flying its flag of independence. That, my friends, will not change. Neither will TTAC’s focus on editorial excellence in truth. In order to provide you – the reader, consumer and professional – with the truth, we must continue to hold ourselves to a higher standard. My predecessors held that as one of TTAC’s greatest values and I shall continue to do the same. But, most importantly, complex issues will not be boiled down, wrapped up in a pretty bow, and offered up with a sidecar of explosives.

What will change is change itself. The web is fluid. Our ship sails upon it. When a storm approaches and waves come our way, we must ride them; crashing through is not an option. None of us want to go overboard.

But, it is with change we can thrive. The ideals of TTAC have potential in different media. We need to expand, reach out, and grab the attention of those who may share our principles but, for one reason or another, haven’t found us quite yet.

We can’t – correction: won’t – be the old man with the butter knife.

It is with this new found responsibility – for the future of TTAC and also as a journalistic citizen in the automotive industry – that I ponder: what’s next?

It surely won’t be a return to what we’ve been. Feather-ruffling for the sake of feather-ruffling will only make for a deafeningly loud hen house. Instead, we must look at the bigger picture, be true to our mission, and an active part of the conversation — hell, be the conversation. Shouting from the other side of the fence is not an option.

Making mistakes … the big mistakes … is no longer a worry. I know where we’ve been, what we’ve done and how we’ve done it. But, what we haven’t done, what we do in the future, is as much up to you as it is me.

Here’s to the open sea ahead. Sláinte!

Mark Stevenson
[email protected]

[Image source: Mr T in DC/Flickr]

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88 Comments on “Seas, Ships, Old Men and Butter Knives...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Welcome aboard?

    I think it’s high time TTAC gets an infrastructure upgrade. The comment sections are a huge part of the experience. It would be nice to get alerts on responses and be able to quote messages directly

    • 0 avatar

      You can click “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” on any comment you’re about to post. As far as immediate notifications like Kinja, I’m not sure WordPress—which TTAC runs upon—can support that since it doesn’t have live data monitoring.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Excuse the cliche, but the only way to not make any mistakes is to do nothing. As long as your hits are more frequent than your misses and you own up to your errors, that’s all anyone can ask

    • 0 avatar

      I agree, 100 percent.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Who are you? I read your bio but don`t recall much from you on this site and now you are the managing editor. In a temporary or permanent position? Shame Derek and JB have gone.

        • 0 avatar

          Derek will be missed. Jack is still here as a contributor. I’ve taken this role in a permanent capacity.

          My time at TTAC in the past was short, mostly due to responsibilities with other outlets. Most recently I’ve done work for Yahoo, Auto123 (Canada), Autos.ca (Canada), and a few others.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Well welcome, but I hope you take on board some of the comments regarding your “manifesto” – do not water down criticism just because you think TTAC should be less “confrontational”.

          • 0 avatar
            tuffjuff

            I’ve been reading TTAC for…. 5 years? And I think you’re the fourth of fifth EIC the site has seen.

            With the recent collapse of a good 50% of AOL’s blogs, I hope that one of my few remaining daily clicks is doing alright. I suppose we’ll never really know.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    This has all the rambling derp of a mission statement from some new DHS director.

    Please just come to the point, preferably after mentioning *why* you’re addressing us.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I must agree with this assessment. Six or seven paragraphs about the 2001 founding of this site and some stuff from 2008, and four sentences about the years 2008 – 2015 is a bit of a disservice.

    • 0 avatar
      jconli1

      Well put, RideHeight. By the third paragraph, all I could visualize was my old general manager and those meetings where instead of getting things done, he asked why we weren’t better friends.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    As a reader, I *want* adversarial, if nothing but to balance out the armies of industry marketers crapping PR pieces .

    If I want a feel good puff piece that’s been signed off by the PR desk of [insert auto manufacturer here], I’ll read C&D or MT.

    If I want to read about SJW interests I’ll read jalopnik.

    Right now, I’m reading TTAC.

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    Best of luck, Team TTAC

  • avatar
    sirwired

    Might have been nice to start the article with: “As of today, I am the new Managing Editor of TTAC, taking over from Derek, who [insert nice words here]. I’d like to announce a few changes I plan on making to this site:” It took me a little while to figure out what the heck this article was about.

    That said, I can’t disagree with an editorial direction that doesn’t deliberately insert click/comment-bait that makes it harder to take the site seriously. It’s perfectly okay to state provocative and informative truths (i.e. The Cherokee transmission was horrible and not ready for primetime); it’s less productive to state something provocative for the sake of doing so (gratuitous political or ideological comments stuck in articles for no reason other than click/comment-bait.)

  • avatar
    Pch101

    “Shouting from the other side of the fence is not an option.”

    I hate to urinate on your parade before you’ve even left the gate, but the raison d’etre of this website was to avoid being defined by the public relations-press release machine that drives virtually all of automotive “journalism.”

    While it arguably could be done better or differently, that role does require that writers remain outsiders. You don’t have to snipe for the sake of it, but there are already plenty of other sources that show their gratitude for the swag and free loaner cars.

    • 0 avatar
      jhott997

      Bingo. Well said.

    • 0 avatar

      The problem with remaining “outsiders” as opposed to “independent” is that without access to people, events and cars, we can’t do as good of a job informing our readers. Also, we’re not doing this as a philanthropy and there are some business realities of internet publishing with some particular factors for automotive sites.

      One element of internet writing is that a lot of it is writing about what someone else has already published. That’s sort of what blogs were in the first place – and TTAC has diverged from that a lot in terms of providing original content. We do long form reviews with a variety of formats including subjective stuff and Alex’s outstanding objective, data based reviews. We publish fiction (well, that’s labeled as fiction, some sites publish BS as news). When we can’t get press cars, we publish reviews of rentals, used cars and even readers’ cars.

      A lot of what we read on the net is secondarily or tertiarily removed from the original source. One of the things that I’ve tried to do is actually interview people. When I saw that Elio Motors has an office in the Detroit area, I contacted them. That resulted in what is as yet the only review of their prototype by an automotive publication. The piece of mine that’s running today about Hillary Clinton’s van involved interviews with the sales manager and regional rep for the company that made it.

      If you’re too much of an outsider, people don’t take your phone calls or answer your questions.

      I won’t lie and say that the second best part of the job isn’t the cool car guy stuff I get to do, the events and museums I don’t pay to attend, $90,000 cars dropped off in front of my house that I could otherwise never drive, the ability to ask questions of actual experts and real historical personages etc, but ultimately all of those things serve the reader because they’re grist for posts here.

      It’s important to cultivate professional relationships with our subjects, be they a guy showing a Fargo pickup truck at a car show or someone working for a car company. Those relationships, again, ultimately serve the reader.

      The truth is that despite the image of TTAC as being hated by the domestic automakers, particularly GM, on a personal level I’ve always been treated with respect by the people I’ve encountered at those companies and I’ve been given a lot of access. While Chrysler is the only one of my hometown car companies that loans me press cars, GM’s let me build a LS9 engine and Ford’s given me access to their virtual reality lab and those are just things I think of off of the top of my head. I’m working on a post about cars and guitars and it’s going to be better because of the help of one of Ford’s communications people.

      The fact that watching sausage being made might offend some of our sensibilities doesn’t mean that the sausage in question doesn’t taste delicious.

      Concerning swag, speaking as a former dealer of swag and other not-available-to-the-general-public things given out at auto show media previews, the golden age of swag is over. Sajeev wanted a presskit for the new Lincoln Continental concept and I had to tell him that Ford only had a link to their media site, and an 8X10 hero card. You’re lucky if you get a thumb drive.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        Ttac being on the other side if the fence is the only reason I care to read and comment here. It is the competitive advantage.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Exactly. Robert Farago created a niche market with this.

          He could not have possibly competed head-on against Car and Driver, Road & Track, etc. even if he had tried. Copying them would have been a mistake.

          • 0 avatar
            kobo1d

            +1. TTAC is one of the few places where you can read a car review that isn’t just always-positive regurgitated marketing speak.

      • 0 avatar
        smartascii

        That first paragraph sounds an awful lot like what has happened is that VerticalScope has taken a gander at the amount of money that the other car websites make from the feedback loop of puff pieces and advertising, and they have decided that what needs to happen is to replace Derek with someone who will play ball and get those dollars. If I’m wrong, feel free to correct me.

        • 0 avatar

          Wrong. Derek left to pursue something new on his own accord.

          The first question I asked before coming on board was, “How much editorial independence will we have?”

          The answer: “Total.”

          We may try new content here and there (eventually, but not right away), but it won’t come at the expense of our core mission and content.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I think that at least some of the long-time readers are concerned about your comments about Farago’s tenure.

            I didn’t always agree with him, but he was one of the only voices in the automotive (or, for that matter, business) media to see that General Motors was in deep trouble long before the bankruptcy.

            He didn’t always get the details right and he took it too far — for example, he tended to lump GM and Ford into the same basket when their issues were quite different and when Ford had much better prospects, while the Chrysler/Cerberus “strip and flip” argument was flawed. But the guy was ahead of the curve, and you should not take that away from him.

          • 0 avatar

            Pch: I agree with you – wholeheartedly. Farago was deftly able to predict the bankruptcies before almost anyone else and I’m indebted to him because, if he hadn’t, where would TTAC be today? My intention is not to take his achievements away from him.

            To be a part of TTAC in this capacity is an incredible opportunity and I don’t take it lightly.

        • 0 avatar

          Since you asked, you’re wrong. What I meant about business realities is that some things, like reviews, bring in readers. Camry articles get more clicks than supercars. If you note, I used the word independent to describe our approach. None of us have been told to change the way we write. The core of the band is still here, with a rock solid rhythm section (Alex), the lead guitar player (Jack), and the guy who writes weird lyrics (yours truly).

    • 0 avatar
      Whittaker

      Agree 100% with Pch101

  • avatar
    jhott997

    “But, by simplifying complicated issues down to a point where they’re digestible quips and potshots … is that being true to your purpose and to others who are part of the public discourse?”

    So this, to you, is what Farago’s GM Death Watch boiled down to; “Quips and potshots”?
    Oh boy. Good luck TTAC. My visits to this site will continue to be fewer and farther between.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I share your concern.

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      I’m concerned also. Farago only erred in getting a little too personally hostile towards the end. With Bob Lutz for instance. It was disagreeable but still far more interesting than the blandness I find elsewhere. I hope what is meant here is a little but less of that, and not “we can’t mention the golf r except in passing in our s3 review or Audi won’t take or calls”

    • 0 avatar
      lzaffuto

      I am also concerned. I have plenty of other sites I like for manufacturer friendly press releases, news, and non-critical reviews. TTAC provided something those sites do not. I will, however, give the new direction the benefit of a doubt until proven otherwise.

  • avatar

    Bienvenidos y SEND TIMBITS!

    Still in Austin,
    Stef

    P.S.: I quite love the apple fritter ones. Yes, love.

  • avatar
    ellomdian

    Oh captain, my captain…

    Welcome aboard. Having said that…

    People don’t come to TTAC to get a slightly more indy-fied Jalopnik. They come here because it has a reputation for pulling very few punches. While being antagonistic for it’s own sake is a terrible model, TTAC should be the ones who everybody in the ‘know’ stares at when the idiocy of a show or a over-stuffed presser needs put in it’s place. If a de-contented Jetta is awful, say it.

    • 0 avatar

      While TTAC will change, it won’t abandon its purpose. You need not worry of ‘Jalopnification’.

      TTAC needs to grow and has already started on that path thanks to Derek and others. For example: Alex Dykes’ video reviews have the full support of TTAC and VS. Maybe it makes sense to do more video beyond what Alex provides (which is fantastic; Alex is a champion).

      So, don’t think of it as the content changing. Instead, how we serve that content in the future will likely expand beyond what we do already.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      This, exactly.

      The best reviews on the site are the rental reviews and the reviews of readers/friends’ cars. Even those authors who regularly get press cars are more honest when they’re not reviewing a press car.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      The folks behind Gawker as a whole are a bunch cocky douchebags. Thankfully, I have rarely seen that expressed by TTAC. In fact, the only times I have, it was at the hands of the oft misunderstood and dearly departed BS.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    Welcome Mark. I’m sure you’ll do great.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Welcome aboard ya scurvy dog.

  • avatar

    Welcome back aboard the S.S. TTAC Zaibatsu, Mark! It’s a pleasure to have you join my pantheon of editors in my writing career to date, and I’m sure you’ll do well here in your new role.

    Anyway, may Carly Simon continue to sing the praises of your province during solar eclipses, may your hamburger phone always ring true, and may David Cage never ask you to star in a video game “movie” where byzantine plots are the failure of so-called video game “auteurs.”

    Greetings from Seattle, darling!

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    Not off to a good start here but hopefully its a fluke. Steer well, captain.

  • avatar
    Tonto

    yeah welcome aboard this stinking… oops my bad… sinking ship… and please don’t confuse “insure” with “ensure” any more (fourth sentence from top). Good luck – you will need it.

  • avatar
    pdl2dmtl

    Well, Mark, welcome. I have enjoyed your postings on other automotive sites.

    I have one proposal / request: do not allow articles posted on this site just because in the picture posted, there’s a car somewhere in the background.

    If I want other type of news, I will go to other sites. Apply the rule KISS.

    Pretty please.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Can we unban Lie2Me and PeteZeiss?

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    “I know where we’ve been, what we’ve done and how we’ve done it. But, what we haven’t done, what we do in the future, is as much up to you as it is me”.

    Seriously, is it too late to ask Derek to come back?

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Unsolicited Advice:
    In order to ‘be the conversation,’ know what you are talking about. Derek excelled on his industry understanding and his vigor in rooting out exclusive scoops. Baruth excelled on his ability to convey the driving experience through prose.

    I hope you have good industry contacts. You’re going to need them.

    We will find out just what you’ll bring to our table. I’m looking forward to it.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      Derek K and Jack B. did challenge the auto makers, and delivered honest criticism. But they also challenged the readers. I recall Jack’s article supporting FWD over RWD, and another that the Camry wasn’t as bad as we like to claim it is. Derek explained the popularity of the Honda CRV and its low load floor, and had his mother write some rather refreshing reviews.

      There was symmetry and beauty in their challenges to both automakers and readers. It’s a fair thing to do. Welcome aboard Mark. Challenge us. Challenge the automakers.

  • avatar
    The Heisenberg Cartel

    Hah, quite the baptism by fire you got here Mr. Stevenson. I’m optimistic. I have seen your older articles, and you don’t seem to let BS from cars or their makers slide. I’m optimistic.

  • avatar
    vtnoah

    Welcome aboard Mark. You’ve got some big shoes to fill but I wish you all the best.

  • avatar
    athoswhite

    “What happened? I wondered. Where did the voice of TTAC officially become adversarial and tarnished?”

    Message received. TTYL TTAC.

  • avatar

    Welcome. Good luck.

    Allow me to point you toward a piece from your own site that might be relevant:
    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/02/avoidable-contact-the-man-who-saved-bmw/

    Be prepared for some flame surfacing.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    First up, welcome aboard. I’m glad I can retract the concern I expressed in Derek’s final column about losing a millenial generational connection and know that I’ll be able to enjoy the perspective of a peer on this site (I’m about a year older than you).

    I think there is a fine line to walk. I started reading TTAC around the time of the bailout. I had been an autoblog loyalist up to that point, but they seemed to be getting more corporate for lack of a better way of putting it. I enjoy the slighty anti establishment bent of this site. Not just referring to calling bad cars bad (although that is important; I never knew what a Porsche IMS was until I began reading here), but also praising good cars that may not be enthusiast models. I discovered Panther Love on this site, and came to appreciate those boats for what they are.

    The issue of click bait is another fine line. On the one hand, you don’t want to say or do something controversial just for the attention. That being said, as long as it is somehow automotive related, it is nice to be able to learn more about the diversity of worldviews and backgrounds that each of the writers bring, even if it’s not one I agree with. As long as the discussions remain civil, I think that articles can and have inspired good, important conversations between the B&B, even if it ends up being on a tangent. The internet is the latest mall in the marketplace of ideas that is so important for our society. Hopefully censorship or avoidance of anything that could go in an non automotive direction is not something in the sites future.

  • avatar

    NICE TO MEET YA!!!

    How long till you resign?

    The turnaround rate here at TTAC reminds me of Walmart in Valley Stream.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Welcome.

    Interesting that two Nova Scotia residents should eventually figure well in the affairs of TTAC. Deadweight will have a conniption.

    Speaking as an NS resident only a few miles out of town from you and on this site for nine years, I look forward to your stewardship. At least I’ll understand your driving point-of-view a little better being familiar with the scabrous pavement we deign to call roads around here.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s funny you mention the Nova Scotia connection.

      Matthew K. Guy, a former contributor to TTAC, started writing here around the same time I did. I looked him up because his stories made me spit out my coffee. As it turned out, he lived less than 10 km away from me.

      We started chatting, went on a man date for a couple of beers, and I’m happy to say TTAC is responsible for a friendship I will cherish for a lifetime.

      Also: the roads are especially horrible here this year. I have bent many a wheel since the snow started to melt.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      “Interesting that two Nova Scotia residents should eventually figure well in the affairs of TTAC. Deadweight will have a consumption.”

      I have a pattern (I believe it’s warranted) of pointing out the insanity of the MSRP on the window sticker of vehicles tested by Tim, because they’re nearly all fully loaded with often silly options (e.g. Lane Departure Warning in a Kia Spectra) that turn even economy class cars into stupidly priced vehicles.

      However, once Tim directly responded to my 6th or 7th b!tch pitched, and explained he’s consistently getting these fully loaded vehicles not by choice, but by automakers’ apparent compulsion & insistence to ship only fully kitted vehicles to him, I’ve made it a point to still b!tch about the crazy pricing, but not attribute it to or flame Tim for it (though I still refer to it as Tim Cain Trim Level).

      And I love Canada and Canadians (really). In many ways, they’re far more salt of the earth and more contemplative of the big issues in life than many of my fellow American citizens.

      • 0 avatar

        I drive from the exact same fleet and, yes, the trims are weird sometimes. Every now and then we will get something approaching a base model vehicle. But, usually, we get $50,000 CAD Siennas and such.

        That said, I have been asked by PR people in the past (and most recently by the VW rep while at NYIAS) what would be good for our fleet. That’s quite rare though.

        • 0 avatar
          Vojta Dobeš

          I think this is pretty standard for press fleets anywhere. Some of the engine/trim level/options combos I’ve driven as press cars were probably only ever ordered by PR managers. Like the Octavia G-TEC I reviewed here recently. Buying a CNG-powered car to save money and then double its price by options probably isn’t the most common customer behavior.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Good luck, not saying you hit it out of the park on your first day as EIC but I will give you a chance, do what you feel is right, if we do not like it we will vote with our mouse , but you have every right to steer the ship how you feel it should be steered, gotta agree that TTAC needs someone to stick around in the chair for a while. And what the hell do you drive, this is a car site after all.

  • avatar
    ravenchris

    Mark Stevenson: break a leg.

  • avatar
    Dorky Teacher

    Great first post Mark as the new leader. I completely agree that it is time for simple changes and growth. There are two obvious changes to make…

    1) new and updated website
    2) video presence

    What not to do? Anything that even remotely resembles Motortrend’s or Car and Driver’s dump-a-thon of articles. Many years ago, I explored my automotive passion on their websites, but now they’re a vast wasteland of self-masturbation and pointless automotive commentary. I discovered TTAC during Farago’s reign and into Niedermeyer’s reign. I actually stopped reading this site in Bertel’s time before Jack took over TTAC. Jack and Derek rescued this site from triviality, but the site is woefully out of touch with modern journalism. But, it is also the only website that I actually read the comments on a post. I appreciate the return of true car journalists like Dykes and Cain. I hope that moving forward this site can step up and fill the automotive journalism void that exists online today.

    I strongly recommend modeling the next steps after The Young Turks. Forget everyone else in journalism. I don’t always agree with TYT and I don’t always agree with TTAC, but TTAC is the last non-BS group of automotive enthusiasts online. This means that TTAC has a real opportunity to hit the industry hard in the same way that TYT hit the news world. The lazy automotive industry need to be held accountable by someone! And no, Tesla/Musk, doesn’t cut it with their overpriced automobiles that only homeowners can logistically own.

    We, the reader, are using social media, online video, and online print to keep us tuned in. We crave authenticity and don’t care so much about flash, prestige, and all that other BS that the likes of Motortrend are obsessed with. I’ve actually watched an Alex Dykes video review of a minivan over the nonsense of Carlos Lago and Johnny Lieberman on MT. TTAC has never been polished and moving forward it doesn’t need to be polished, because that’s not the point. The point is that we love authenticity. That’s what built TTAC and that’s who we are. F*** /Drive (Harris and Farah are still cool… it’s their network that’s bites.).

    Please, please, please bring TTAC into the current decade. We can keep our authenticity and still be modern.

  • avatar
    dash riprock

    As one Of the seemingly few who have been here since Farago, thinking early teens Death watch, I was not offended by the comments. Farago was acutely accurate in GM’s structural, and, managerial issues. After a while he stared to be obsessive about GM(later eic went the same way with vw’s global and NA domination) as if his status relied upon its failure. One example was his consistent claim that the Volt was vapourware, never gonna happen. It was nice that recently DeadWeight, probably in homage to Farago, Started to refer to the gigafactory as vapourware.

    Good luck Mark, be yourself, do not spend too much time worrying about what think about you, and most of all start prepping for winter 2016.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The aggressiveness of my comments are often flavored by RF’s rightful indignation/skepticism/cynicism.

      I honestly believe that Tesla will never a) be truly profitable as a “motor vehicle” company (for all the sniping between Pchh101 and I, which is less common than it used to be, he has perfectly & succinctly cut through Tesla’s B.S. & accounting gimmickry) and won’t survive as an ongoing concern over the long term unless it b) successfully solves a major technical energy storage problem and parlays this advance into a cost-effective means of mass producing what will be the primary type of battery design that will power the bulk of the all manufacturers’ electric vehicles well into the future.

      (And I am deeply skeptical of the gigafactory’s viability in terms of both being completed and being successful no matter how much concrete is poured at that site.)

      • 0 avatar
        dash riprock

        I cannot get my head around how Tesla Motors will be a profitable business. I especially cannot see how their P/E ratio will ever be reasonable based upon their present share price. Shorting the stock makes sense to me but there seems to be so many investment professionals believing the story that a short could get me killed if there is a wave of good news.

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