By on May 4, 2021

Chicago Auto Show

The 2020 Chicago Auto Show was, as far this author knows, the last major auto show to take place before COVID shut the world down.

Now, it might be the first auto show to return.

(Read More…)

By on April 6, 2021

While giving my opinion last week on the Volkswagen April Fool’s Day scandal, I wrote that I hope it would be the last time I posted about it.

Cue Ron White voice: “I was wrong.”

(Read More…)

By on March 31, 2021

I hope this is the last time I write about Volkswagen’s April Fool’s Day faceplant this week.

Really, I do. The clicks are nice, but variety is the spice of life.

(Read More…)

By on March 30, 2021

Late yesterday, news dropped that Volkswagen planned to change its name to Voltswagen. A lot of automotive journalists noted the date and called out the announcement as a premature April’s Fool prank, but further reporting seemed to confirm that the name change was indeed real.

Turns out that it really is an April Fool’s prank gone awry.

(Read More…)

By on March 9, 2021

guest post

Every day my inbox fills with scammy, scummy come-ons from folks who are trying to sell TTAC on allowing them to guest post.

They usually work like this – the “person” (emails could be coming from someone operating under a pseudonym, or even a bot) behind the email is either offering to pay us to run a guest post, written by them, that would create a bunch of links back to whatever product they’re hawking.

(Read More…)

By on November 6, 2020

When I got hired on at TTAC, I checked with our news team about what we were expected to disclose when it came to considerations from automakers. Steph told me that unlike with some other outlets, there was no need to disclose how the press-car system works, since y’all knew the deal.

(Read More…)

By on September 8, 2020

Bartek Zyczynski/Shutterstock.com. News Editor/Typewriter

As you saw last week, our news chief Steph Willems left the daily news grind behind to pursue an opportunity outside of automotive journalism. That leaves us looking for our next news guru.

(Read More…)

By on June 18, 2020

Last week, the New York Times ran an article about auto shows, and what the future may hold for them both during the pandemic and in the post-Covid19 future.

Auto shows are in the news because the pandemic caused the 2020 New York Auto Show to be scrapped, along with Detroit – and in a year in which Detroit moved the show to the summer for the first time. The 2020 Los Angeles Show is still on, as of now, but as with any large event scheduled for later this year, uncertainty surrounds it. The rumor mill suggests it too will be canceled.

While the article itself was a perfectly standard feature story, it was the discussion about it in Facebook groups that host members of the automotive media (as well as PR flacks and other industry professionals) that missed the point, in my opinion.

(Read More…)

By on June 28, 2019

Davey G Johnson, Automotive Journalist Image: Davey's Public Facebook Page

Perhaps you’ve read about Davey G Johnson, the pioneer online car scribe that never lost his “voice” as he rose up journalism’s ranks.  He was a sounding board for my autoblogging career (at it were), a TTAC well wisher and a willing partner in the Mehta brother’s looney misadventures

And now, every time time I see the red lights on TTAC’s Yoast SEO plug-inI’m reminded how his SEO-unfriendly ledes weaved a story with seemingly no connection to the automobile covered, but he made it work before you had to click to see more. Nobody did it like Herr Johnson: making my last face-to-face with the legend even more bittersweet. 

Because the finale to our conversation is so suitably Davey…  (Read More…)

By on February 15, 2019

Journalist Randy Essex of the Detroit Free Press took to those same digital pages last week to discuss how great his new car-free life is, even during the life-threatening cold of the polar vortex.

To which I say, good for him. If he’s happy living a car-free life in Detroit, more power to him. But his article is just the latest part of a conversation happening, at least in certain circles on social media, about going car-free.

This isn’t to pick on Essex. Again, if not having their own car works for him and his wife, that’s fine with me. To each their own, you do you, all that jazz. But going car-free won’t work for everyone, and urbanites, especially urbanite auto journalists, need to remember that.

(Read More…)

By on January 12, 2018

2018 Nissan Leaf

The 2018 North American International Auto Show, aka the Detroit Auto Show, is upon us, and at least one of the new vehicles shown will be electrified. But not necessarily electric.

Yet, journalists, both those who cover the industry and especially those who normally work other beats (such as business or news), will continue to incorrectly conflate the two. Which in turn will give this editor even more gray hairs.

(Read More…)

By on October 6, 2016

Brock Yates (Facebook)

Brock Yates wore many hats during his enviable madcap life, and each one blew off as he pinned the accelerator to the firewall.

The longtime Car & Driver editor, racecar driver, brief TTAC contributor, author, restaurateur, television commentator, screenwriter, Cannonball Run founder and fierce critic of government regulations packed a burning passion for cars into every strand of his DNA.

Yates passed away yesterday from complications of Alzheimer’s. He was 82. (Read More…)

By on August 11, 2016

2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302

“How do you get a job like that?”

Since June 13th, 2012, I’ve been asked this question more times than I can count. That was the day that my first post appeared on TTAC. Between then and now, I’ve been fortunate enough to be published on several sites around the internet and in print. As a result, I can’t sit next to somebody on a plane or work a corner at an autocross with a group of Tilley-wearers without being asked some variation of that same question.

I typically respond in the same way. “Start writing.” You can’t be a writer without writing — seems simple enough, but that’s where most people get stuck. Never fear. Your Uncle Bark is here to help you get started. If you want to get free flights to Tenerife, I can’t help you. But if you want to share your love of cars with the world, keep reading.

 

(Read More…)

By on March 29, 2016

2013 Kia Soul Timothy Cain, Image: © Steffani Cain/GoodCarBadCar

[Editor’s note: This article was originally posted with the title “Why Are We Given A New Car To Drive Each Week? And How? GCBC’s Background, Ethics, And Methods Explained” on GoodCarBadCar on March 28, 2016. I asked Tim if we could repost it here because, whether he knows it or not, he’s one of the very few people in this business you should aspire to be if you want to become an automotive journalist. It is reposted here with his permission and for your education. —MS]

Of the 6200+ posts on GoodCarBadCar, only 3 percent are car reviews. In February 2016, for example, we published five reviews on GCBC plus 66 other articles, not to mention another eight submissions at The Truth About Cars and six more at Autofocus.ca.

Yet it is with increasing frequency that the people with whom I have personal contact — whether in conversation at visiting hours for a funeral, in emails from long-time readers, when questioned by soon-to-be car buyers — clearly believe that the bulk of my work revolves around driving fast cars down twisty roads.

It doesn’t. (Read More…)

By on March 7, 2016

Cash in Glovebox

A picture is worth a thousand words, they say.

However, during the last few days, it’s become incredibly clear that some automotive journalists don’t have a deep (or shallow) understanding of ethics and disclosure. Even TTAC, at times, has failed to disclose the extent of the consideration offered by manufacturers during press trips.

This is where we fix all of that.

(Read More…)

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