Lane Changes May 2010

BMW’s “Joy” is Steve Parker’s slogan as well in announcing not a lane but a venue change –from hospital bed to office and computer. When drugs he had been taking to combat Crohn’s disease for 43 years suddenly started to fail, he went on a not too magical two-year mystery tour of diagnoses, hospital stays, consultations and experiments before, he reports, four different medical departments at Cedars Sinai in L.A. concurred on a treatment and 36 hours later he was able to return home to his adored wife with a “second chance” at life. He is resuming his live radio weekend shows and automotive writing for several outlets, including The Huffington Post.

Steve Keyes is retiring as Audi and Volkswagen director of press and publications after 37 years with the company. He will continue to consult with the company’s PR team. . . . John Vincent, ( long-time Oregonian photographer with a ken for cars, is now writing and selecting content for the paper’s weekly “Autos” section. . . . Nissan North America, Inc. has appointed former Ford and Bentley, Motors, Inc. PR executive David Reuter director, corporate communications, succeeding Fred Standish who is retiring after 18 years with the company. . . . Dan Neil has added a second platform for his writing/reporting talents: In addition to his weekly Rumble Seat column for the Wall Street Journal, he will host a monthly Wheels Up show for Fox.

Joel Ewanick’s jumps from Hyundai to Nissan to GM deserves mention here for being the fastest on record for an automotive marketing director. Also, to express a hope that his facile maneuvering doesn’t presage more of the credulity-straining, out-of-touch “they’ll believe what we tell them” presumption behind Ed Whitacre’s TV spots. Nissan, Mediapost reports, was totally surprised by their ex-marketing chief’s departure after less than two months on the job – one of their executives suggesting he stopped by Nashville to “close his deal in Detroit.” . . . Brian Gluckman is leaving his post as manager, media relations for AutoTrader for a digital PR job with a Washington, D.C. social media agency. Until settled in at the new post he can be reached at: