By on January 13, 2017

Ford-GT-1

I remember it as though it were yesterday. Well, actually, my short-term memory isn’t that good anymore, thanks to the little transient ischemic attack I had about two years ago. So, let’s say I remember it like it was the day my son was born: the announcement of the Ford GT at the North American International Auto Show in 2015.

Painted in an unobtainium shade of blue, the GT rolled out onto the stage in Joe Louis Arena to much thunder and applause — and then a similarly painted Shelby GT350R came out and starting doing smoky donuts all around it.

Then, out of nowhere, a bald eagle flew in and landed on the hood of a Raptor F-150, carrying the severed head of Mary Barra in its beak. After that, a reanimated Norman Schwarzkopf rolled an Abrams tank in and blew a hole in the roof on the arena, causing $100 bills to rain down on everybody while girls in stars-and-stripes bikinis lovingly brushed Mark Fields’ mullet.

That second part may not have happened exactly like that. But compared to what Ford and other manufacturers did during their reveals this week, it may as well have. Because this week’s show was a fucking bore, and it was all because of that most millennial of vices — virtue signaling.

No, it’s no longer good enough for an automaker to make a kickass car. They have to talk about what percentage of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell, and electric vehicles they’ll be making by 2030. For example, Honda’s John Mendel said that 117 percent of their vehicles will be electric by 2030. I might be misremembering that too, but I’m not far off.

And Ford? Instead of having a smoke-filled arena again, they spent roughly two minutes discussing the new F-150, another two minutes discussing future products like Ranger and Bronco (without actually showing one), followed by 20 fucking minutes talking about mobility. Let’s appreciate that for a moment — less than one-tenth of their allotted time was spent talking about a new version of the most popular vehicle in America, and more than twice that was spent in a scripted conversation with Michael Bloomberg about urban planning. Then, they had Walter Isaacson come out for another pre-scripted conversation on the “basic human right to mobility.”

I broadcasted this “reveal” on Facebook Live, and I’m incredibly sorry that I did. For the three viewers who made it through the whole thing, you have my apologies and my sympathy.

But wait — there’s more! Ford rented out Joe Louis for the rest of the day so they could continue the dialogue on mobility, including an honest-to-God TED talk and a symposium with millennial job seekers about the future of urban gridlock.

I think I speak for everybody over the age of 30 when I say show us the fucking cars, sir! Nobody cares about urban traffic planning. I felt like the buccaneers in the classic Disney ride, “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

We want the Bronco! We want the Bronco!

And then Bill Ford made us shut up by firing a pistol and returned to talking about Ford bicycles.

Listen, I get it. The world can’t exist on fossil fuel forever (even though that’s exactly how electric cars are powered — a fact people conveniently forget). I know that we have to change and evolve and move toward a future where V8s are persona non grata. But not just yet.

In the year 2017, it only seems appropriate to say that it’s time to Make Auto Shows Great Again. Stop telling us how pious you are. Give us the cars.

And thus ends the rant.

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204 Comments on “Bark’s Bites: Virtue Signaling Isn’t A Good Look On You, Automakers...”


  • avatar
    scott25

    As I’ve said here before, if the manufacturers and technology companies spent their R&D dollars on making sure their electric cars are actually powered via clean energy/can recharge themselves instead of “mobility”/autonomous garbage, the world would be a much better place.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Time to change the name of this website to “The Truth About Whatever The Baruth Brothers Feel Like Babbling About”, already?

    Autoblog fell off my “must read” list. TTAC is next.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      You’re not the only one.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      The Baruth brothers are but two parts to the whole. Seems kind of odd you would abandon the site when either contributor isn’t a forced gateway to other content?

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      Spanky & Alfalfa’s call & response routine with the rest of the He-Man Woman Haters Club keeps the lights on around here. Make no mistake.

    • 0 avatar
      orenwolf

      The two Baruth brothers are not the same people, let’s not lump them together.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        But stuff like this is where they come closest to each other.

        • 0 avatar
          orenwolf

          Sure, but in that case, you’re basically saying any auto blogger with similar political leanings are “the same”. They most certainly aren’t.

          The closest example I can give is this: Mark is the Toronto Sun, Jack is the Globe and Mail. Both are newspapers, both will, often, provide the same information. But they do so in very different ways, with very different priorities on how that news will be structured, researched, and presented.

          Like newspapers, they are a dying breed. But also like newspapers, they have loyal followings all their own. I can like Jack’s Globe and Mail for the perspective and focus on well-structured prose, and like Mark’s Toronto Sun for page six and the sunshine girls. But they certainly aren’t the same.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Nearly all auto bloggers lean right, but few of them spend so much time complaining about how oppressed they are by “virtue signaling” and such.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            “Nearly all auto bloggers lean right”

            Absolutely false. The vast majority are lefties. Ask anybody who is part of the little circle-jerk Autojourno Facebook groups. The hive mind is so left wing that full-timers felt absolutely secure putting their names on the most absurd “I’m With Her” whining possible, knowing it would help their career prospects.

          • 0 avatar

            Truth. Outside of this here little blog, I can’t think of more than two right-wing autowriters.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            “Nearly all auto bloggers lean right, but few of them spend so much time complaining about how oppressed they are by “virtue signaling” and such”

            If there were one thing I’d change about the “Baruth writing style” (and honestly it’s silly to say that, they’re totally different, but whatever), it’s the tendency to put-down their moral opposition at the beginning of an article.

            It’s a low-brow writing crutch to basically make fun of the “other side” by co-opting terms to generalize and belittle the whole group, but it’s an effective way to attempt to show superiority.

            It’s the equivalent of putting “I know I’m going to get flamed for this, but..” or “When the girls look away from their Instagram accounts and read this” sort of nonsense. Or even tone policing “The might be better heard if they weren’t so busy hugging trees and yelling all the time” sort of thing. (I can’t say what I want to say, so instead I’m going to passively-aggressively dig at you while discussing this topic).

            It’s super unfortunate because a lot of these articles could totally stand on their own on the merits, often well researched talking points and salient opinion, but the backhanded compliment thing always drags the tone the wrong way.

            It’s a minor writing flaw, and one that I imagine will disappear over time as discourse is more about content than flair, and I’d rather take their writing as a whole, warts and all, over just about anyone else – but it’s about as transparent as the Wilhelm Scream in movies nowadays.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Personally I would place Jack as the Sun with its unending adolescence and desire to shock.

            Bark/Mark on the other hand is more National Post, right leaning but with a conscience.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            Perhaps a better analogy (and more topical) is NASCAR to Formula 1. :)

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Consider the source. To Jack, Ted Cruz is a bleeding heart liberal.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            More like scum with a Pinocchio nose.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Jack, who are these left-leaning auto bloggers? Do they just avoid politics because the audience of car enthusiasts leans right?

            I read right-wing opinions in the automotive press every day. I only read left-wing opinions from Kitman.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Ted Cruz IS the Zodiac killer.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “You know, if you’ve always been privileged, equality begins to look like oppression. That’s part of what you’re seeing in terms of the [white] pessimism, particularly when the system gets defined as a zero-sum game – that you can only gain at somebody else’s loss.”
            Carol Anderson, historian at Emory University

            This quote covers much of the “right’s” sentiment towards women, greens, LGBT, visible minorities and foreigners.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      regardless of how Bark presented it, he’s far (FAR) from the only one to talk about what a letdown NAIAS was this year. I went yesterday, and I have to agree. When the most “exciting” concept is a big yellow box, that tells you something.

      besides, this article will probably have at least 100-150 comments and a s**tload of page views.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Yeah, Jim, looks like a dull year for car nuts, but I’m sure you could find about every performance car under the sun at that show. I know they’re always on display when the car show circus comes here.

        It’s just that what’s “new for this year” is the boring stuff. Next year, I’m sure there’ll be something sexier.

      • 0 avatar
        Snooder

        Well yeah, but that’s just because we got so much good stuff in the last couple of years.

        When Ford busts a nut like they did with the Ford GT, they need a refractory period.

    • 0 avatar
      Hoon Goon

      Well, I am sure they will send you your participation ribbon for making it through such a triggering article.

      • 0 avatar
        orenwolf

        I know this is something that is often overlooked, but believe it or not, not *every* dissenting opinion is deserving of derision and belittlement.

        I happen to disagree with the OP, I enjoy the Baruth brothers work, but I’m sure not going to belittle him for his opinion. He’s entitled to it. You’re of course entitled to make fun of him for it, of course, but then, most of us grow out of that level of silliness after 5 or so, and it certainly adds nothing to the discussion.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          it’s funny how all of these people sneer about “triggered” and “safe spaces” but treat a certain associated blog as their own “safe space.”

          Physician heal thyself, people in glass houses, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Odd!

          Virtue signalling is only bad when carried out by the left.

          Look at the bright side, we won’t be seeing anything virtuous for the next 4 years or until impeachment (which ever occurs first).

    • 0 avatar
      Mojohand2

      It used to be that we only got this right-wing baby-talk from Jack, and hell, it was part of his shtick and the price you paid for the good stuff about cars and bikes. Unfortunately, the election of their Cheeto Jesus has emboldened both brothers and now Mark, who hitherto had the sense to restrict this nonsense to the Baruth Web site, is now letting it leak into TTAC, and I’m not sure his observations are worth the noise.

      But their by-lines are prominently posted, and if BS gets truly intrusive their posts will be simple to skip.

      But if Sajeev gets infected, I will be out of here.

      • 0 avatar
        Jack Baruth

        “Unfortunately, the election of their Cheeto Jesus has emboldened both brothers”

        Authentic LOL.

        YOUR OWN
        CHEETO
        JESUS

      • 0 avatar
        tlk

        Feeding the trolls is generally a bad practice but what the hell, it’s fun. Pray-tell, what part of ‘show me the cars already’ counts as ‘right wing baby talk’? Bark can’t help what the agenda was instead of cars.

        If you honestly want to see what political bs that has nothing to do with cars looks like, head over to that jalopy place and enjoy basking in your own self righteousness.

    • 0 avatar
      nitroxide

      The Baruth Bros. are about 90% of the reason I read TTAC. Their wit and thoughtfulness is superb, and they frequently surprise me with their insights. If you don’t like it, stop reading it. I’ll still be here.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Mark,
    I am assuming that at some point it dawned on you that the point of automaking was to make a buck. Not to enable you in your truly bizarre fantasies about industry shows, not to furnish you with your dream car, and certainly not to signal virtue.

    The point of announcing your plans to embrace new technologies is to reassure investors that you get where the puck is going and are skating in the right direction.

    PS: Do me a favor and remind me of the quickest production vehicle on earth. Oh right, Tesla. Get it? I’m not sure you do.

    • 0 avatar
      Driver8

      Baloney.

      Blah blah blah hybrids blah blah blah clean,electric low carbon footprint, mobility blah blah blah…

      [nation, in droves, buys the biggest, thirstiest pickups and SUVs as fast as they come off the assembly line, and for 10 year financing]

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      yes, we know Tesla exists.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        The point was that auto shows, like everything automakers do, is about appeasing shareholders. As it turns out, the world doesn’t revolve around Mark or anyone else who demands shiny new products they’ll never buy.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Quickest to run out of fuel when driven even remotely quickly…….

      Hardly the quickest cannonball runner. More practically, slower than a FiST (by a landslide) from LA to Bozeman. Which is the quickness that matters, at least to me and others less prone to believe the hype. Everywhere else there are draconian enforcement of speed limits designed for the horse and buggy era.

      It’s a pretty quick specsheet racer, though. And, as you hinted at, quick at opening wallets in the free-money-for-nothing era, where selling cars comes a far distant second to selling car stock, selling quickness a far distant second to selling the promise of such, etc., etc…

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Quick and fast are not synonyms when describing cars.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Bark, then your memory is very short or your knowledge of your peers quite limited. In Canada just check out some of those who have written auto review for the Toronto Sun, a couple at the National Post and even McDonald who writes for the company that owns this website. All dyed in the wool conservatives.

          And of course the most highly paid, best known and most watched auto journalist in the world is hardly a peon of political correctness. In fact his income and fame is based on his being right-wing, xenophobic and chauvinistic.

          • 0 avatar

            I don’t really take Canada seriously. After all, they named the Elantra Sport the sports car of the year.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            S’ok Bark – we don’t take ourselves seriously either!

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Ironic since you work for a Canadian company. And you forgot about Clarkson.

            It wasn’t the Sports Car of the Year it was the Best New Sports/Performance Car.

            And it could be worse they also named the Buick Lacrosse as the best New Large Premium Car.

            But then didn’t Car & Driver once also pick the AMC/Renault Alliance as their Car of the Year?

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “It wasn’t the Sports Car of the Year it was the Best New Sports/Performance Car.”

            Is that supposed to be better? It’s an Elantra. It’s not a “sports/performance” car just because they put “Sport” on it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Recently I spotted a Dodge Grand Caravan R/T. I’ve been seeing “Sport” on Grand Caravan’s for years. I even owned one. As JimZ pointed out, it doesn’t make it better.

            But hey, virtue signalling is only a problem for those on the left.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          I’m sorry. I’m not progressive enough to be on top of every little nuance of Newspeak.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Ford and Honda are always lame.A

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Bark you missed the point completely. You are old, out of date and obsolete. Even your President lost the popular vote and that does not count those too young to vote, too apathetic to vote or in the country illegally and unable to vote.

    The USA is predominantly an urban nation. Canada now even more so with at least 1 out of 6 Canadians living in the GTHA.

    That means gridlock is one of the most pressing economic, political and social problems of our time. It costs billions of dollars, every month.

    The days of large, internal combustion, privately owned automobiles are being counted down to extinction, except for collectors and perhaps those left as survivalists in rural areas.

    The number of people interested in attending car shows and watching Mustangs pull smoking donuts is about the same as the number who think Pauly Shore or Tom Green are funny. Or admit to liking Nickelback.

    So how does it feel slowly turning into someone old and out of touch with what is young, urban and hip?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “So how does it feel slowly turning into someone old?”

      At least that means I’ll be dead sooner.

      Although I’m pretty sure I’m younger than you.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Age is all about attitude. Those who do not change their views or attitudes tend to age prematurely. As Bark seems to be doing.

        Or anachronistic.

        Someone can age chronologically without getting old. They just need to remain current.

        A great read. The Rites of Spring by one of my Professors, Modris Ecksteins. It is his premise that the philosophies behind Fascism actually won the 2nd World War. The political and social attitudes of the western powers did not survive the war, instead the Fascist beliefs in the infallibility of progress and science among others won out. Heck, Hugo Boss was the chief stylist/designer for Nazi uniforms.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “Age is all about attitude”

          That doesn’t sound very scientific.

          And anyway we’re talking about cars here, which does not equal the entire worldview of all things.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            But this is The Truth About Cars and the truth is that they are politicized.

            Hence ongoing regulation. Hence government ownership or subsidization of auto manufacturers.

            Hence discussions regarding where they should be manufactured and/or assembled.

            The very type of vehicle that will be allowed on the roads in upcoming decades will be decided by government regulation. Just as it is now.

            Vehicles do not exist in a political vacuum.

            And research has demonstrated that aging and life expectancy have a great deal to do with a person’s attitude.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “But this is The Truth About Cars and the truth is that they are politicized.”

            Yeah, I don’t know how anyone could have witnessed what went on between 2008-2010 and think automotive isn’t heavily politicized. I mean, cripes, just look at the Chevy Volt. Fox News had people convinced that car only existed because it was personally conceived of and ordered into production by Obama.

    • 0 avatar
      thunderjet

      But I’m 31, live in a major city, and still like “watching Mustangs pull smoking donuts”. Hell I own a Mustang. Perhaps I’m an outlier?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I’m sure there were plenty of Mustangs to drool over at the show, thunder. I’d be droolin’ right alongside you.

        But, hey, if Ford can use some profits from some electric thingie to make that new Shelby Mustang, I’m all for it.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Of course you are an ‘outlier’, your participation on this forum automatically demonstrates that point.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        thunderjet,

        Your Mustang is a lot greener than the one Farrah Fawcett drove in Charlie’s Angels (look it up, kiddo). And much much faster.

        You’re not an outlier, you are one of the main beneficiaries of this whole green thing!
        It’s really not a bad thing. Unlike the Mustang II Cobra, which was.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      “that does not count those … in the country illegally and unable to vote.

      Are you implying that this is a problem?

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      “those left as survivalists in rural areas.”

      Dear god.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Arthur, the United States is clearly becoming more suburban, not more urban. The places that are growing the fastest have moderate density where people get around using privately owned automobiles. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/how-suburban-are-big-american-cities/ Traffic congestion is a major problem, but the amount of traffic clearly shows a very strong market for cars. If large, internal combustion, privately owned automobiles were headed toward extinction, wouldn’t you expect to see fewer of them on the road?

      Regarding population density and the election of Donald Trump, he might have won Michigan because of the population loss of Detroit. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/democrats-detroit-problem-you-cant-turn-out-voters-who-arent-there/article/2611430

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        he won in large part because he flipped Macomb County. Had that not happened Michigan would have gone blue.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @GeorgeB; Thanks for the link.

        From it:
        “By this measure, many large cities are overwhelmingly urban. Among the 10 largest cities, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia are at least 95 percent urban. Outside the largest 10, San Francisco, Detroit, Seattle, D.C., Baltimore and Boston are also entirely urban or nearly so. Los Angeles — despite its reputation for sprawl — is 87 percent urban. But three of the 10 largest cities are mostly suburban, including San Diego (49 percent urban), San Antonio (35 percent urban) and Phoenix (30 percent urban).
        Furthermore, the new census population data shows that the fastest-growing large cities tend to be more suburban. Among the 10 fastest-growing cities with more than 500,000 people, five — Austin, Fort Worth, Charlotte, San Antonio and Phoenix — are majority suburban, and a sixth, Las Vegas, is only 50 percent urban. Only one of the 10 fastest-growing, Seattle, is at least 90 percent urban.”

        From the US Census Bureau: “U.S. Cities are Home to 62.7 Percent of the U.S. Population, but Comprise Just 3.5 Percent of Land Area.”

        So perhaps even the days of large single passenger vehicles and unfettered traffic in the suburbs are also coming to an end?

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        George, the only issue with that is just because suburban areas are the ones growing quickest, it doesn’t absolutely mean that’s the reason they’re quickest growing (admittedly, doesn’t rule that out either). Given how real estate values are going in most urban areas, younger people may have no choice but to flock to suburban areas if they have any hope of ever affording a home of their own. Economic growth might be another factor.

        OF course, rapidly growing areas might also struggle with the infrastructure required to keep all those new residents moving. I can’t speak for you, but I’d prefer not to spend 3-4 hours a day in gridlock.

        • 0 avatar
          Stevo

          Municipalities build more roads at their peril. To determine which areas will be able to afford to rebuild their infrastructure when it wears out (assuming no further largess from the Federal Gov) look for only those areas that are dense and do have some gridlock from highly utilized streets. The small towns with big boulevards of poorly leased retail? Nope.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      “The days of large, internal combustion, privately owned automobiles are being counted down to extinction, except for collectors and perhaps those left as survivalists in rural areas.”

      By “large, internal combustion, privately owned automobiles” in “rural areas” you must mean combines, trackhoes and payloaders.

      Are the survivalists you refer to the ones who put food on your table or the ones who put gas in your tank?

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @86er: the vehicle predominantly used for agricultural production at least in the jurisdiction where I live do not need ‘license’ plates or have special plates and their owners are allowed to purchase and use special diesel fuel at greatly reduced rates. So I am all for that.

        As for those putting gas in our tanks. Sometime during our lifetime that will become as anachronistic regarding passenger vehicles on urban public roads as winding an alarm clock or using your 8-Track.

  • avatar
    mtr2car1

    Loved it!

    There’s a new sheriff in town and the automakers shouldn’t be afraid any more to show their inner V8 feelings.

    I suspect that the NY show will be much more flashy.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Bark is 2 for 2 this week on the op/eds, and not just correct, but justified in injecting righteous pi$$ & vinegar in emphasizing the critical & relevant points that he has in those op/eds.

    I could NOT agree MORE.

    The NAIAS (what I refer to as “The Detroit Auto Show”) has become QUITE LAME, bordering on irrelevancy for the public, and a TOTAL BORE.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    @Bark:
    “In the year 2017, it only seems appropriate to say that it’s time to Make Auto Shows Great Again. Stop telling us how pious you are. Give us the cars.”

    Let me fix that for you…

    “In the year 2017, it only seems appropriate to say that it’s time to Make Auto Shows Great Again. Stop telling us how pious you are. Give us the cars ***THAT APPEAL TO ME***.”

    And I get it. Not much action for the gearheads this year. And I wouldn’t have any use for an electric car either – running a bright-orange extension cord from my third-floor place down to the Bolt kinda ruins the neighborhood vibe.

    But if you want gearhead cars to continue, it’s necessary for automakers to explore new ways to make money. That’s reality.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      I don’t think you get it. He’s saying that they have product but they aren’t talking about it in favor of talking about their plans for a future world that isn’t as inevitable as losers think.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        In Toddie’s world, ‘losers’ equals people with a different opinion.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Nonsense. I’m sure everyone who makes a performance car had any number of them on display at this show. They always do.

        What they had for *new this year* was the stuff Bark’s talking about, none of which had much gearhead appeal. And I get it. Like I said, an electric car wouldn’t be of much interest to me either. But that doesn’t mean that automakers shouldn’t make them, or should skip them in a fit of anti-PC pique. They’re making them because they figure there’s money in it.

        And if you think companies like Ford are “losers” for building electric cars, then I suggest you write to them. Whining to me won’t do any good.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          Perhaps you missed this paragraph:

          And Ford? Instead of having a smoke-filled arena again, they spent roughly two minutes discussing the new F-150, another two minutes discussing future products like Ranger and Bronco (without actually showing one), followed by 20 fucking minutes talking about mobility. Let’s appreciate that for a moment — less than one-tenth of their allotted time was spent talking about a new version of the most popular vehicle in America, and more than twice that was spent in a scripted conversation with Michael Bloomberg about urban planning. Then, they had Walter Isaacson come out for another pre-scripted conversation on the “basic human right to mobility.”

          It sure sounds like they have new product that they’re ignoring in favor of virtue-signaling. They could have spent more time presenting new and imminent vehicles that people who attend cars shows might want to see, but they instead spent their time appealing to a fading suicide cult.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            the F-150 is not really “new.” It’s an MCA with a new grille and some tweaks. The Ranger and Bronco are far away enough where they might not even be in their final form yet. as I said before, I personally read it as a way to reinforce that jobs are not being sent out of Michigan.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            So don’t buy a Ford, Todd.

            Don’t know what else to tell you.

          • 0 avatar
            Snooder

            Except, it’s a mild refresh on the F-150, and the nobody would be impressed by ford execs pointing at slideshows of a Ranger and Bronco that don’t exist yet.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        A mid-cycle refresh of the F150 isn’t much to write home about (literally if you are a journalist), and the Bronco isn’t ready.

        That leaves a lot of time to fill, an nothing waiting behind the curtain. May as well put-up a Powerpoint with key trending words. That’s what executives do all day, every day.

        Honestly, I think Bark took it badly because he’s a huge Ford fan. He would not even have cared if some other brand pulled the same trick.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Then they should spend more time talking about and letting carbon-based life forms interact with actual, current, existing, exciting products, put out cool and collectible SWAG items that people can’t typically purchase, and hire and display way more attractive female models, with far less clothing (have them wear fishnets, microskirts and 4-inch stilettos; maybe even have a Auto Show Champagne Room for those 21 years or older).

          If I wanted to listen to f*cking urban planners & climatologists, I’d re-enroll in college or join Ann Arbor’s City Gestapo Planning Commission (where I’d wear a beard that I’d stroke while denying zoning and variance applications based on arbitrary & capricious reasons that I would attempt to tie to environmental concerns in the most ludicrous ways).

          And in response to someone’e statement above, the purpose of the auto manufacturers is to make profits, but the purpose of AN AUTO SHOW should be to GENERATE EXCITEMENT.

  • avatar
    raph

    “Virtue Signalling” huh? Who the hell comes up with this stuff?

    Well at least I have my buzz phrase for the week to apply to as many situations as inappropriately as I can especially after a hearty round of beer, pickled eggs and something with a lot of beans!

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      don’t let the buzzwords trigger you.

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        iNeon
        ‏@realiNeon
        The Auto show must always be a safe and special place.The executives of Ford were very rude last night to a very good man, Mark Baruth. Apologize!
        12:39 AM – 13 Jan 2017

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      it’s a new term for an old concept. if you visibly show off how much you “care” about something, then that’s “virtue signaling.” It’s always been there, but a certain crowd needed a new term to make it a pejorative.

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Self-righteousness has never been a virtue.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          it also knows no social or political boundaries.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            That much we can agree on. Is there some rule that says that when an establishment Republican speaking to the conservative voting base extols the virtues of border security and 2nd amendment rights they aren’t virtue signaling?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Only is you see it a virtue to blame people who are different for your failings or to seek balance between federal and states rights (the actual purpose of the second amendment).

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        So is buying something with a V8 or manual transmission “virtue signaling”?

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        I was going to say. It’s only “virtue signalling” when it’s a virtue you don’t respect. When it’s something you align with, it’s “patriotism”, “insight”, “telling it like it is”, etc.

        We’re hearing a lot about “crybaby conservatism” from people who sob about how persecuted they are by the left, while, without any irony, throw around terms like “triggered”. A lot of the pieces by both Messrs. Baruth suffer from a kind of “crybaby alpha masculinity” that’s very similar.

        • 0 avatar

          @psar
          I agree with you and I think your last point could be useful for brothers, yet, at the same time I think there’s a time and place for virtue signaling, and that car shows are not it. (But feel free to argue with me if you think I’m wrong.)

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            @David

            I don’t think you can really get away from “virtue signalling” anywhere because it’s all just marketing, in the end.

            It only becomes “virtue signalling” when the person using the pejorative finds it obnoxious. A good marketer will try to minimize the obsequiousness, but you’re guaranteed to offend someone at some point.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          psarhjinian, so correct. For a couple of guys that pride themselves on manliness, they sure spend a lot of time whining about how much those weak effeminate PC people oppress them. Wouldn’t a real man just do what he wants and ignore the haters?

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Your attempt at moral relativism is falling flatter than usual. Criticism isn’t whining just because you disagree with it. Liberals still have a monopoly on being cucks.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “Liberals still have a monopoly on being cucks”

            One, the current PEOTUS is basically the sine qua non of thin-skinned crybaby conservatism, and his followers are only too quick to hue and cry about, amusingly, being discriminated against because their need to oppress and discriminate are being oppressed. The irony, or hypocrisy–take your pick–is palpable.

            Two, if there’s ever been a way to “virtue-signal” that I can safely ignore someone’s social view, it’s when they unironically use the work “cuck”.

          • 0 avatar
            orenwolf

            “Two, if there’s ever been a way to “virtue-signal” that I can safely ignore someone’s social view, it’s when they unironically use the work “cuck”.”

            So very much this. It’s great to see this word used, because it’s just the most recent way to call a man “a little girl”, or any other number of misogynistic slurs. I actually am happy it’s around – it’s a great self-labelling mechanism so you can tell those actually interested in productive discourse from the toddlers or bigots in a conversation. :)

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I don’t think you know what ignore means.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            “Liberals still have a monopoly on being cucks.”

            Am I going to have to tell the story of the girl I stole (who turned out to be crazy, but oh well) from a Republican guy who just didn’t have what it took in the bedroom?

            That would start to make me sound like Jack, which wouldn’t be right.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            “Liberals still have a monopoly on being cucks”

            That explains the popularity of the term ‘cuckservative’?

            Dal,
            That girl you stole from a conservative, was his name Todd by chance?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Moral relativism in a thread about car shows? Insulting someone’s manhood over a political disagreement?

            I think ol’ Todd needs to chill out before he blows a main fuse.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Do you have your head so far up your Obama that you missed that I was replying to a post by dal20402 which attacked the Baruths’ manhood over a political disagreement? Incidentally that’s something that dal20402’s internet alter-ego tries to inject in any political discourse. You’re as pathetic as Vogo, who claims that the POTUS was treated respectfully by everyone until he was a black man. Myopia would be an improvement for any of the SJWs present.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Note to Mr. Stevenson:

            An ignore button would be nice right about now.

            (And, speaking of moral relativism, I’d say “but dal did it first” works quite nicely…from a third-grade point of view.)

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Todd, usually I’m not much of a fan of d!ck-waving contests.

            I only make an exception here because the authors make such a big deal of it all the time, and yet act so threatened by the un-manly “cucks” and “SJWs.”

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Spending 90% of the time using Ted-X type speeches to discuss urban planning, autonomous vehicles, self-driving vehicles (different than “autonomous”), CO2 emissions/concentrations, particularly while not showing actual poduct being spoken of (not even mock-ups), is just lame.

        It’s particularly lame given that we have to hear the unmitigated bullish*t constantly about THE ROADS WILL BE FULL OF AUTONOMOUS & SELF-DRIVING VEHICLES BY 2021, OR 2025…OR 2030.

        I could care less how cheaply Google claims it can now produce LIDAR units for, in-house (versus sourcing them from vendors). A world full of driverless vehicles is not close at hand. We can’t even fix our existing infrastructure, so designing, engineering and actually building out the actual, real, new physical infrastructure that will put a significant plurality, let alone a majority of commuters in autonomous or self-driving transportation pods in the next 4 to 14 years is a big, f*cking pipe dream being promoted like some good old-fashioned snake-oil carnival barking.

        • 0 avatar
          psarhjinian

          Autonomous driving is both quite near and infinitely far away.

          For 80-90% of the driving that people in semi-urban situations do that is, frankly, drudgery, partial autonomy is good enough, and that is easily obtainable using existing technology. The issues are primarily regulatory, not technological.

          For the edge cases (inclement weather, chaotic traffic, off-road) where algorithms can’t do it, we’ll still need a human driver. Those edge cases will just get more and more infrequent.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Virtue Signalling – E.G. NFL Players, some with IQs hovering near the 78 mark, being forced to wear pink socks as a nod to the hopelessly inefficient (and some would and have intelligently argued, corrupted) Susan G. Komen Foundation, where approx 20% of monies raised (or pinkwashed) actually end up being used in actual breast cancer research.

      *Technically, the players are not attempting to “virtuously signal,” but the equally if not more corrupt NFL is.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    in my personal opinion, the issue is that we’re only concerned about the cars. Mark Fields et al still have to worry about shareholders and the market too. F has been stagnant at about $12-13/share for how long now, because the market doesn’t see any growth prospects in the automotive business except for Tesla. Automotive is so saturated and competitive that basically all of the companies just trade quarterly sales gains anymore. It’s no coincidence the stock price jumped almost a buck after CES.

    “Listen, I get it. The world can’t exist on fossil fuel forever (even though that’s exactly how electric cars are powered — a fact people conveniently forget).”

    Huh. so what are those boiling water reactors just to the south of me doing?

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I’m a bit surprised at the responses here.

    I agree with you. Deadweight hit it perfectly.

    It is an auto show. Not a mobility show, or a traffic studies show, or an alternative fuel show.

    And if they’re worried about making money, perhaps they do need to worry that if their shows and their products become so boring absolutely nobody gives 2 beans about them anymore…. That is gonna cost them a xxxx-ton of dollars.

  • avatar

    I’m probably to the left of everyone who’s already commented, and way, way, way to the left of Bark, but my gut is definitely with Bark on skipping the virtue signaling. I can’t help thinking that there must be more appropriate places for the car companies to let the investors know how they are planning to cash in on mobility and greenitude. Like making presentations at the annual meeting of the American Planning Association and the Association of Public Transportation and Mobility Executives, and sending press releases to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

    I thought car shows happened to show cars.

    But then I’m old enough to remember seeing Sputnik.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      the problem is that auto shows have never been meant for enthusiasts, but since enthusiasts are usually afflicted with Unwarranted Self Importance they believe it’s all about them.

      Auto Shows have typically been put together by the regions’ Auto Dealer Associations for the express purpose of getting the car buying public to come look at, sit in, and feel their wares. NAIAS exists for the 800-900,000 people who will attend between Jan. 14-22, not the two days where “journalists” eat, drink, and wordsmith press kits.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Exactly. Auto shows are meant to sell cars to consumers, and for that they excel – you can see and sit in all the cars you’re interested in a couple of hours. Try doing that by visiting dealerships without needing electroshock therapy afterwards.

        And the overwhelming majority of shoppers buy comparatively mundane vehicles. But those are the folks who make it possible for car makers to throw the car nuts a bone.

        I’m all in on that idea.

        • 0 avatar

          @JimZ and FreedMike

          I doubt that your average consumer is interested in the urban planning angle. They come to look for a car that they want to buy. It may have a slushbox, and one of the less powerful engines available today–it may even be a Corolla or a Prius (disclosure:my brother has and loves his Prius)–but I don’t think they are there to hear about autonomous technology or car sharing or fluffernutters. If either of you think I’m wrong on that (aside from the fluffernutters), let me know how and why.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            yeah, but the average consumer isn’t getting the “urban planning” speech. they’re going to see a bunch of cars and displays, not watching/listening Bill Ford and Mark Fields talk. Again, the primary purpose for the auto show is the consumer attendance. that automakers attached themselves to it to publicize things is useful but secondary.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            ‘I doubt that your average consumer is interested in the urban planning angle.”

            Then they skip that part of the show and go straight to the Corvette on display.

            People can only be “subjected” to what they choose to listen to, y’know?

          • 0 avatar
            Snooder

            Here’s the thing though, if you happen to be interested in a car sharing service, or ina self driving car, then yeah you’ll be at the auto show to hear about that.

            I mean, think of it this way, which which is more important to most people, some half a million dollar car they’ll never even see, much less drive, or a Chevy Bolt that parks itself and which may be avaliable for sale in a couple years?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            As with all things, Snooder, people will pay attention to the things that matter to them and ignore the things that don’t.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Auto shows are marketing exercises, and in the era of targeted marketing and a very, very short feedback cycle it’s essential to cram as much message with as little risk in as short a time as possible.

      As such, you’re going to cover green, technology, performance, safety, and so forth to ensure you stay on the map and don’t look like a laggard when the press takes your mention, or lack thereof, and runs it through the echo chamber. It’s “something for everyone” syndrome; enthusiasts just fail to realize they’re not as homogenous or as large a block as they like to think they are.

      Now, the reason you see things like green technology, mobility, urban planning do get more mention is because, frankly, more people care about them, and they’re about the only differentiation left. The next wave of buyers is going to have much less disposable income and will be much more urban; not talking about that market, or pushing lifestyle marketing for a generation twice removed, is a good way to become irrelevant.

      At the same time, the actual products are more alike in performance and behaviour. Automobile manufacturing is a very mature market; even when someone cracks open a new niche, fast followers ensure it will get filled very quickly. As such, the only real choice marketers have is to cover all possible bases: you have to have a performance option, but you also need to have a green one, and show that you’ve got some kind of plan in the pipe for people might need cars occasionally, but probably won’t be buying one, because those people are more common than ever.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    “Even though that’s exactly how electric cars are powered — a fact people conveniently forget”

    Depends where you live. 100% of my power comes from renewables. Yours will too, eventually – and not even because of policy, but because the cost of renewable *technology* is dropping like a stone. The wholesale price of one solar panel today is about $0.65 per watt, compared with $0.74 per watt a year ago and $4 per watt in 2008. Wind turbines have also been seeing a dramatic drop in costs. We *wish* that sort of cost reduction could happen in the fossil fuel markets, but it won’t, because mining costs are pretty much static.

    I’m personally much more worried about the fact that this engineering and r&D work is happening abroad, and the lack of incentives for renewable technology in the next few years will have North America years behind the rest of the world in renewable tech manufacturing again, the same way it happened for electronics manufacturing.

    But, let’s put all of that aside for a moment. your sentence above ignores a truth of fossil-fuel efficiency – a natural gas generator, or even a coal-fired power plant is massively more efficient at burning fossil fuels than your car can ever hope to be, so even *if* BEV’s were exclusively powered by nonrenewables, it would still be a net reduction in fossil fuel use to do so. *That* is a fact people conveniently “forget” when trying to suggest BEV “people” are not taking facts into account.

    • 0 avatar

      +1

      Great comment. (And I’m a guy who likes my internal combustion straight–like my bourbon. But I look on electrification of the automotive fleet as insurance against inflation in gas prices.)

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Exactly. Today, electric cars are powered however your TV is.

      But in 20 years, they won’t be.

      Not the first example of an emerging technology that took another emerging technology to make them truly useful. PCs were only marginally useful until the Internet came along.

      And I suppose someone with the foresight to see that coming made some money…Lord forbid, right, capitalists?

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Great comment Orenwolf.

      • 0 avatar
        shaker

        Seconded – While Trump will waste time placating coal miners, the rest of the world will pass us up in lots of areas.

        Delaying the inevitable is doing a disservice to common sense.

    • 0 avatar
      HeyILikemySaturnOK

      Well said Orenwolf

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      “But, let’s put all of that aside for a moment. your sentence above ignores a truth of fossil-fuel efficiency – a natural gas generator, or even a coal-fired power plant is massively more efficient at burning fossil fuels than your car can ever hope to be”

      This isn’t sort of true, int that it’s more efficient at generating energy source vs source, but storage, transport and conversion losses eat a lot of that up. Hydrocarbons are very efficient and very cheap energy-storage and transport medium.

      What centralized power generation is better at is emissions control, and with increasing urbanization, the issue of storage and transport aren’t as pressing. Batteries will probably never be as versatile, cheap or high-density as fossil fuels, but they just have to be good enough for most people whilst thumping hydrocarbons handily on emissions.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      orenwolf, I seriously doubt that a typical consumer will see 100% of their power coming from renewables unless they already live in an area with lots of hydroelectric power. You’re pretty out of touch if you think that the “mining costs are pretty much static” for getting oil and natural gas out of the ground. Horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, enhanced oil recovery, etc. expanded the reserves of oil and natural gas that can be recovered at a profit. Natural gas going from expensive to cheap enough to compete with coal has had a much bigger impact on our energy mix than the decline in the cost of solar panels.

      • 0 avatar
        orenwolf

        Let’s see.. how much has coal cost in the last decade? How about natural gas?

        https://cleanenergyaction.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/20120712-u-s-delivered-coal-costs-2004-2011.pdf
        http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/images/2016.03.16/chart2.png

        Hrm. ok. how much has the cost of solar declined in that same timeframe?

        http://media.treehugger.com/assets/images/2013/05/cost-of-solar-power-graph-1980-2012.jpg.0x545_q70_crop-scale.jpg

        ..which should surprise no one, given the huge increases in efficiency. Unless you think those graphs are going to change wildly, the fact is, renewable prices are falling off a cliff, because technology makes that possible.

        Now, how about North America become the leader in renewable technology, and sell it to the rest of the world, so we can enjoy all the money the rest of the world is spending gobbling up all the renewable tech supply? Because they won’t be buying our coal.

        • 0 avatar

          +1. And, yes, our country will be much better off this century if we can be a major supplier of renewable tech. Unfortunately, other countries have the lead on us, and a lot of nonsense from Silicon Valley is attracting American talent away from renewables.

    • 0 avatar
      markogts

      Thank you orenwolf for saving me the hassle of pointing this author’s mistake out. In 2017 car bloggers should know better, right? It’s a pity, since the whole article was great, except for this long-time debunked myth.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    Hey, Barra’s head is on loan from the Feds. It’s due to be crated in a spot next to the Ark of the Covenant.

  • avatar
    HeyILikemySaturnOK

    “The world can’t exist on fossil fuel forever (even though that’s exactly how electric cars are powered — a fact people conveniently forget).”

    -Not quite true. The overall energy grid gets cleaner as time goes on due to the steadily rising % of clean, renewable energy added to it. Many EV owners tend to have some sort of home-based solar energy system which powers their vehicle as well. Yes, most of the grid is still powered by fossil fuels but that is decreasing and faster than we think. Unlike ICE cars, EVs get cleaner to operate over time as the grid gets cleaner. Also, even EVs powered by conventional energy mix have been found to be less CO2 intensive overall than their compact car-ICE counterparts.

    “I know that we have to change and evolve and move toward a future where V8s are persona non grata. But not just yet.”
    – Why not? We should have been developing this stuff YESTERDAY. Having the R&D develop EVs isn’t going to take your V8 or track days away.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Whale oil will always be plentiful because the mommy whales can always have more baby whales.

    • 0 avatar
      orenwolf

      “The wholesale price of one solar panel today is about $0.65 per watt, compared with $0.74 per watt a year ago and $4 per watt in 2008.”

      Exactly. You know what’s worse? The pushback against development of these technologies here means all that R&D money will be spent abroad instead, and North America is going to find themselves buying motors and EV powertrains from foreign companies (as already happens with rocket engines (except SpaceX), wind turbines, and solar panels today).

      It’s too bad, too – If the money had been invested in R&D and production, we’d be *supplying* the EU and Asia as they move towards renewables (and with a huge export market) instead of watching them develop all the cool tech we’re just going to end up buying back in the end.

      It’s a sad day when the only auto manufacturer to even speak about that trend is FCA, as to why they won’t build BEVs in the first place.

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    For the most part, the target audience of auto shows isn’t automotive enthusiasts, at least not in the traditional sense. I find it helps to have a sense of humor when visiting one.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Auto shows are old hat at best. A reveal of something like the Ford GT is of zero value to me. I can learn more about it from a Forza test drive.

    I think we have to be sympathetic to auto makers. They are in a tough spot. They see the permanent regulatory crowds looming. They see the challenges that will come from trying to sell brand new cars to an economically depressed generation. They see the trend of increasing urbanization. They see the increasingly negative attitudes towards car ownership. Etc. They are demonstrating to shareholders and people driving these trends that they get it and see what’s coming. I can’t knock them for that.

    Don’t get me wrong, I live in the burbs and love having my own private car. I would never return to the hell of the NYC subway and even when I lived there I commuted by motorcycle or bicycle whenever possible. But “urban mobility” is way more interesting than another formulaic adolescent supercar debut. IMO anyway.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Plus, how is talk of “mobility” any less of a virtue signal than a Ford GT release? Are the cars manufacturers choose to make not a signal of their virtues?

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Mark, you’re the one “virtue signaling” here. You’re telling us that some automotive developments are Bad and others are Good. Which is fine. But it’s not what the automakers are doing.

    All the automakers are doing is telling investors how they’re going to stay relevant in a changing market.

    Given the regulatory picture worldwide it’s not really relevant to the automakers (only to Americans’ respiratory health) if Trump continues current policy or establishes an Office for Coal Rolling.

    Also…

    “(even though that’s exactly how electric cars are powered — a fact people conveniently forget)”

    About 97% of the electricity that powers my C-Max Energi the majority of the time doesn’t come from fossil fuels.

    http://www.seattle.gov/light/FuelMix/

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You don’t get it dal…you don’t generate clicks with a thread called “I went to the Detroit Auto Show and the manufacturers didn’t present any new cars I was all that excited about. Oh well. Hope next year’s show is better.”

      Better to mix in something that vaguely mixes in some message about how PC is ruining things. That gets the clicks a-rollin’.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    This is where auto journalists are wrong again. The public is waiting for a savior who will deliver them from the servitude of commuting. People drive because they have to, not because they necessarily enjoy it. Ford is working on providing to consumers what they (consciously or not) really want.

  • avatar
    Dirty Dingus McGee

    I would like to know more about the bikini clad girls, and the $100 bills.

    • 0 avatar
      Adam Tonge

      Bark forgot about the part where the 1981 version of Van Halen popped out of the tank, played Van Halen II in its entirety, while the bikini clad girls danced and performed stripper pole aerobatics, and David Lee Roth shot the $100 bills out of the tank’s main gun.

      • 0 avatar
        Driver8

        I’d buy that for a dollar.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Brings to mind a funny Van Halen story, Adam…

        A few years back and friend of mine and I went to a VH concert. Sure enough, on the big projection screen, there were a bunch of spandex-clad women gyrating, just like in all their old videos. Then I noticed this was a live shot of the audience…and all the spandex clad women were in their 40’s, just like I was.

        Damn.

  • avatar
    86er

    Man, everybody needs to give it a rest. Everything is so damned political nowadays.

    It’s Friday, for crying out loud.

    Remember, politics is a low form of discourse, just above grunting during sex and grabbing of one’s groin.

  • avatar
    Von

    Why is every fricking thing a basic human right these days?

    You got legs? Mobility: achieved. Simple as that.

    While I absolutely support basic human rights such as freedom of speech and press, equal opportunity and all that. But now things like internet, cell phones, unionization, designer clothes, and salads have all been claimed as “basic human rights” by one group or another. It’s losing the meaning it once held.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Interesting rant. How is it relevant?

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Internet and cell phones are more like utilities (I’ve never heard being a “right” though). They’ve essentially reached the point where they can have a good sized impact on a persons quality of life and should be accessible as much as possible.

      That might sound crazy but it makes me think of when I first jumped out of the nest after my folks moved to South America due to my dad’s job.

      I made just enough with a roommate to keep a roof over my head and food in my stomach and not much else. My folks were mostly in a blackout since I didn’t have a phone to regularly communicate with them.

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    As an average Joe I have “done” the Detroit Auto Show two ways. Spend a few hours on a Saturday afternoon with a group of friends then go out to dinner – it is a social event. Or if I am serious about buying something soon I leave work at 4 on a weekday, I sit in a bunch of seats and slam some doors and leave in less than 2 hours. If there is some new eye candy it gets a few minutes of my time.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    All I know is that Ford’s press conference was butt. But the whole show was butt, so the mere mention of BRONCO and RANGER were the biggest headlines. Ford trotted out a refreshed F150 and some taxis and still probably won the press coverage.

    Honestly, the press conference would have been better if Bill Ford held up a Polaroid of a Bronco that he used to own. That’s more Bronco than they showed us on Monday.

  • avatar
    ellomdian

    TL;DR – NAIAS is following the same model E3 (and CES) capitulated to when they realized that booth babes and comped afterparties weren’t actually moving any more units. The ONLY people who benefited from the Bacchanals were the Journo-saurs. Look, we get it, the ‘pussification’ of the Master American Race of Red-Blooded Steak Eating Manly Men irritates you.

    Why would you spend any time or money at all on outreach to Bubba when he’s 80% or better likely to buy another F150 or Mustang when the time comes? Much more sensible to try to buy some socio-political capital for your next screwup, especially in the wake of the most recent town-square flogging of VW.

    You (and Jack) can decry ‘Experience’ culture, but that Ted Talk is much more likely to get John Q Millennial to test drive (and then immediately buy without trying anything else) a Focus than any kind of good old-fashioned pyrotechnics and bikinis. And, as a bonus, it’s not actually going to drive off any of the core brand-captive demo who’s bitching about it.

    Bottom line guys. Only thing that matters.

    • 0 avatar
      chris724

      I encourage all the lefties to keep on doing what you’re doing. It’s working out great!

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Avatar + Statement = Cognitive Dissonance

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @ellomdian

        Nice assets…

      • 0 avatar
        Snooder

        Your mistake is in assuming that just because he recognizes reality, he hates steak.

        Look, I loved the Ford GT as much as the next guy. My favorite auto commercials hover between the Dodge Redcoats, Eminem’s homage to Detroit, and Cadillac dickslapping the French.

        But I recognize that I’m not the only person who buys cars, so car makers need to appeal to other tastes too.

      • 0 avatar
        ellomdian

        Glad I could provide you with a bit of intellectual amusement. 90% of the BnB now seem to follow a neigh-slavish devotion to neo-religious political ideology on both sides, and refuse to acknowlege that there’s still a pragmatist center that gets fucked by both sides. There are even Millennials who like boobs and guns and voted for Clinton. But my Red State friends and family think I’m a dirty librul, and my HuffPo folks think I am too conservative.

        In the end, again, it doesn’t matter what *I* think, it matters what everyone else feels. Both sides’ money spends the same. Ford clearly recognizes that.

  • avatar
    TomHend

    Good job Bark.

  • avatar
    Caboose

    Why do we have to live in “a future where V8s are persona non grata”?
    I’d happily take a 1.2L direct- and port-injection twin turbo V8 in my 6th-gen Fiesta ST.

    I’d be especially grateful if they offered both cross- and flat-plane crank versions depending on individual customers’ sound preference. Or at least a set of “bundle of snakes” headers.

  • avatar
    Flipper35

    Given that I live in the country and the three nearest towns have a total population under 5000 combined I have no interest in that crap. I still have decent roads to go play on with a real car and there are two very nice road courses nearby to go to and there are a couple OHRA nearby as well so I agree with that whole article. I want to know more about the transportation options with the actual vehicles. What is the suspension setup in the Bronco. Ecoboost available? Length, width?

  • avatar
    hgrunt

    After reading Jack’s article about the Mustang’s Tuesday reveal, maybe the reason they do it is because it’s a better use of stage time at an auto show. Local papers, mommy bloggers, IGer and other non-enthusiast influencers probably pay more attention to this stuff.

    Enthusiasts and loyal customers probably have their favorite forums, blogs, etc. and automakers would get better engagement from those communities. The tease of a new Ranger or Bronco made some auto blogs talk about nothing but that for 3 days, so why spend time on it when the hype is building itself?

    > The world can’t exist on fossil fuel forever (even though that’s exactly how electric cars are powered — a fact people conveniently forget)

    No, but we can for a very long time with the magic of fracking. Regarding EVs ultimately being powered by fossil fuels, I haven’t forgotten, but I see it as an easier path to carbon and pollution reduction by managing at the source instead of over a fleet, something I think is ultimately a net positive.

    Using only fossil fuels as an example, if an EV’s power source is a coal fired plant and it switches to natural gas, CO output is reduced by 89 pounds per million BTU, less crap goes into the air, and the distribution infrastructure stays the same.

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  • Lou_BC: “China has a knack for introducing new shiny deadly viruses to the world every few years.” China...
  • Lou_BC: @EBFlucked – I take it you didn’t read the whole news article. Fauci: “Now is the time,...

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