TTAC News Round-up: CES Is an Auto Show Now, Volkswagen Apologizes (Again), and Do You Want to Be an Automotive Journalist?

Mark Stevenson
by Mark Stevenson
ttac news round up ces is an auto show now volkswagen apologizes again and do

Started in New York City in 1967 as an offshoot of the Chicago Music Show, the Consumer Electronics Show has grown to capture the interest and intrigue of automakers. Las Vegas now has two auto shows.

That, Volkswagen’s unending stream of German-accented apologies, why Ford might not be hitching itself to Google and how you can become an automotive journalist* … after the break!

The Consumer Electronics Show is going to the cars

CES in Las Vegas will be home to numerous vehicle reveals and an astronomical number of car technology demos.

And I’m okay with this.

Last night, Volkswagen took the sheet of its BUDD-e and e-Golf Touch concepts (the latter you saw here first!). Chevrolet will officially show its new Bolt EV on Wednesday after being leaked ( by accident, we hear) by CNET.

It seems all automakers needed to do in order to capture the hearts and minds of those darned Millennials was load the cars up with technology and give them first crack at reporting the new wares.

On second thought …

*You too can become an automotive journalist

So, listen up: Here are two foolproof ways to become an automotive journalist if that’s one of your resolutions for the new year.

1. Beat all the Jalops at karting this weekend in Detroit: Every year, prior to the opening of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the fine folks at Jalopnik host a kart race. If you’re in Detroit this coming Saturday and 1) you’re able to attend the event, 2) beat every single Jalop, and 3) write a story about how you “encouraged” Patrick George to have a personal conversation with the tire wall, we’ll host the story of your triumphant win over those New York City kids on our very pages. Bonus points if you can also beat moonlighting-enthusiast Bark M.

2. Start writing about iPhones and junk: Want to write about cars for a living? Start a tech blog today! As cars become more and more connected and the marketing surrounding those cars morphs closer and closer to a Silicon Valley start-up press release, the technology sector is where automakers are going to spend their coin.

Case in point: Mashable.

I’m under no illusion our traffic is equal to that of Mashable, but if I have to read “game-changer” and “EV” in the same headline ever again

Ford and Google are up in a tree and have no intention of sharing information

On Tuesday, we reported that Ford omitted mentioning Google during its CES keynote. The big news of just a couple weeks ago didn’t come to fruition, and we were all left wondering why.

David Booth, columnist for, has a theory: follow the money.

He goes on to mention Thilo Koslowski, VP at Gartner, make a case for automakers generating “20 per cent of their total profit” from after-sales “software updates.”

Considering what Ford CEO Mark Fields said during that CEO keynote: “Overall, when you look at our business, we’re not only a car manufacturing company. We are a technology company,” and “as consumers give permission to us to collect that data, we’ll also become an information company.” I think Mr. Booth is on the right track.

It isn’t about the software in your car. It’s about what that software can generate. In the Big Data generation, information equals profit.

Oil is cheap

The price of oil fell below $35/barrel earlier today. It’s the first time oil prices have been that low since July 2004.

The last time we had $35/barrel oil prices, the price at the pump averaged $1.90/gallon. Today: $2/gallon, but it’s going down.

Volkswagen is Very Volkswagen

Do you know what else happened at the Consumer Electronics Show? Volkswagen brand CEO Herbert Diess apologized for the whole diesel emissions mess — again.

Diess said the diesel emissions scandal is “nothing to be proud of.” I’ll say how they did it was certainly impressive.

From The Detroit News:

Diess apologized for the scandal. “I’m optimistic that we will find a solution, we will bring a package together which satisfies our customers first and foremost and then also the regulators,” he said.

Oh really?

[Image source: Diess – By RudolfSimon (Own work) [ CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons]

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2 of 8 comments
  • Felis Concolor Felis Concolor on Jan 06, 2016

    VW should hire Paul Reubens to its PR department.

  • Tekdemon Tekdemon on Jan 08, 2016

    Too bad most people don't have press access to NAIAS so getting there on Saturday would mean relaxing in Detroit when the weather is 15 degrees outside on Sunday. Such fun.

  • Analoggrotto It's getting awful hard to tell these Mercedes apart from one another.
  • Analoggrotto Ah the Fisher Price car for the uncoolest of uncool dad-bods.
  • FreedMike If it were a GLI, it’d be a decent project car. But at the end of the day you have a base Jetta, and those weren’t all that great. Speaking of project VWs - when I was living at my old house a few years ago, one of my neighbors had an OG 1983 GTI sitting on his lawn. Lord, did I want to take that car home.
  • Dukeisduke "Gouging" - lol. California's gas prices are driven by a combination of the highest state gasoline tax in the US (66.98 cents per gallon) and the CARB-mandated California-only boutique fuel blends.
  • Astigmatism Honestly I'm surprised it's not higher. My parents bought two garage spots in Boston for $250k in the 1980s. When I worked in midtown a decade ago, garage spots near my building rented for $500 a month, which would support a $125k mortgage.Places get expensive when lots of people want to live there.