Speeding Auto Journalists; Ethanol Claims Disputed

BMW series 6 convertible

Auto journalists took another “hit” (see Regional News) when Dennis Romero, wrote in his LA Weekly blog, “putting the hammer down in a hot German touring car is almost required these days for automotive journalists.” He goes on to slam all auto writers, “And, so, rare is the journalist who has a clean driving record.” Occasioning the comment was the report in three other outlets that an unidentified auto writer had garnered a $500 ticket from the California Highway patrol after being clocked at 136 miles per hour in a BMW M6 convertible. So common that at least three other blogs thought it was newsworthy!

Silvio Calabi forwarded a letter from a professor of energy economics at MIT who reports that he and a professor at U.C. Davis have co-authored a paper disputing claims as to how much ethanol production decreases gasoline prices. It is entitled “Ethanol Production and Gasoline Prices: A Spurious Correlation.” They tested the validity of the statistical work underlying the claims and using the same statistical model “show” that ethanol production “decreases” natural gas prices and “increases” unemployment in both the U.S. and in Europe and could be used to “show” that it causes children to “age.” The paper’s authors are Christopher R. Knitel (knittel@mit.edu) telephone 617-324-0015) and Aaron Smith (adsmith@ucdavis.edu).

This photo of the California Road & Track staff was taken at a “Thank You” bash organized by West Coast OEM PR guys: Scott Brown, Chrysler, Jason Camp, Ford, Tim Gallagher, Nissan and Darryll Harrison, Volkswagen.

California Road & Track Staff

A group of highly motivated and high-powered women are busy building a unique high-style luxury 2013 Ford Mustang GT to be displayed at this year’s SEMA Show. Then it will be auctioned off on eBay for the benefit of the SEMA Memorial Fund which is dedicated to fostering the next generation of automotive aftermarket leaders and innovators. A satin-black Mustang concept was the winner among three designs the public was asked to vote for online via Source Interlink Media’s many outlets. SIM publishes more than 75 special interest titles, maintains 100 web sites and has a number of TV and radio programs. The winning concept is described in the press release announcing the choice as, “meant to stimulate the senses by fusing luxury and power.” The women will do their customizing work at a SIM’s facility in El Segundo, Calif.

┬áJos Thomas who works for Hyundai in India offers on his blog (http://mightydazzler.blogspot.com/2012/07/auto-journalism.html) what reads like a paper on Auto Journalism he may have written to earn his degree in mass communications. It is an interesting contrast with this month’s Road Ahead piece.