Prominent business writer for more than 10 years at the leading auto trade publication, expert in the auto industry, especially the luxury-car segment. Unbeatable writing skills fast, accurate, understandable. Substantial experience editing special sections. Proven ability to spot trends, zero in on whats new and actionable, and condense data into a concise package. Management experience, corporate strategy & market research for Mercedes-Benz, one of the worlds premier brands.
Newspaper - Local/Regional
Magazine - Trade magazines/publications (B2B)
Marketing (in-house) - Fortune 1000 corp. clients
Total Media Industry Experience
Media Client List (# assignments last 2 yrs)
Popular Mechanics (1-2), bnet.com (10+), bankrate.com (10+), forbes.com (10+), businessweek.com (10+), forbesautos.com (10+), Advertising Age (6-10), AutoWeek (6-10), CBS MoneyWatch (6-10), buyingadvice.com (3-5), Automotive News (10+), The Affluent Page (1-2), Gotham Magazine (1-2), progressive.com (3-5)
Corporate Client List (# assignments last 2 yrs)
CarQuest Inc. (10+), Jack Morton Worldwide (1-2)
Other Work History
Automotive News, New York Bureau 1988-2003
Nashville Banner, daily newspaper 1982-1988
Mercedes-Benz USA, department manager, corporate strategy & market research, 2003-2006
IrfanView photo editing, posting
Foreign Language Skills
Word, Excel, PowerPoint, WordPress, IrfanView, Adobe
Board member, former president, International Motor Press Association, New York, NY
Society of Automotive Analysts, Detroit
auto industry green environmental coverage
New-product trend, reported from the 2007 New York International Auto Show: Luxury automotive brands are starting to add gas-electric hybrid powertrains, for instance a hybrid version of Lexus LS flagship, upcoming Mercedes S-Class.
Roundup of ten luxury-brand vehicles with environmentally friendly technology like hybrid gasoline-electric motors; clean diesel power; battery power.
Slide show of the most fuel-efficient models for a dozen luxury brands. Story illustrates that it's possible to have comfort, luxury and performance and still have a (relatively) fuel-efficient vehicle.
Ford Motor Co. has accelerated its time table for adopting fuel-saving technologies.
“We need to really accelerate,” said John Viera, director, sustainable business strategies, in an Aug. 11 presentation to a group of New York-based auto writers.
Ford originally gave itself until 2020 to achieve what it calls “full implementation of known technology.” Based on consumer demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles, Ford has announced slightly lower, interim targets, to be achieved earlier. The net effect is a more ambitious plan
With a constant threat of gas prices rising and individuals looking to be more "green," car shoppers are putting fuel efficiency higher on their list of considerations. That's good news for automakers that have invested across the board in developing fuel-efficient models, including a fast-growing number of gasoline-electric hybrids
auto industry marketing, advertising, brand positioning
Advertising Age panel of experts gives a report card on DaimlerChrysler marketing efforts for 2006, and a forward look at 2007.
Advertising Age panel of experts gives Nissan a report card on its 2006 marketing efforts, plus a forward look at 2007.
Here’s the best way to tell if a car company is truly desperate, and Chrysler provides the precedent: A truly desperate car company will throw open the super-secret future-product vault and show people the great products they have in the pipeline.
Chrysler did just that with its LH-platform cars of the early 1990s, many months before they went on sale, also sharing an incredible amount of detail on key decisions that were made in developing the cars. Normally that level of detail, and products that far off, are the ultimate hush-hush secrets.
The unsubtle message is, “Don’t give up on us, just look at the great stuff we have in the pipeline, if you’ll just stick with us until they arrive, everything will be OK.” Some wag at Wikipedia said LH stood for “Last Hope.” I never heard that one, but at the time, it fit.
If you start seeing “authorized” write-ups and photos of cars that don’t go on sale until, say, 2010 or later, you’ll know true desperation has arrived.
At the risk of getting a swift kick in the shins from the Ford public relation "wonks," J Mays, group vice president, design, and chief creative officer for Ford Motor Co., said it was okay with him to call the Flex a station wagon. He said Ford wants to take advantage of pleasant memories of the family wagon. At the same time, he said the boxy "industrial design" exterior styling of the Flex sets it apart and provokes strong emotional reactions, both positive and negative.
auto industry -- lifestyles
Across town from the New York International Auto Show, celebrities such as Chloe Sevigny and Heatherette turn out for a cocktail reception and photo-op, with Andy Warhol portraits of historic Mercedes-Benz models.
Top 10 Sexy Race Cars, street-legal, high-performance cars, mostly luxury import brands, that are close to race-ready -- some closer than others.
captive finance companies, subprime
With subprime mortgages tanking and in the news, what is the effect on subprime auto loans? So far, it appears that the auto sector is escaping the problems in subprime mortages. The problems in mortages surfaced when interest rates rose, and payments for adjustable-rate mortages started going up. Marginal customers could no longer pay. But there are no adjustable-rate auto loans.
How will GMAC change, now that it belongs to Cerberus Capital Management LP? The new GMAC Financial Services LLC will pursue more business with non-GM car dealers; cross-sell more products, like property and casualty insurance, to customers; finance more used cars.
auto industry service and parts
Auto dealers at the National Automobile Dealers Association annual convention say they're worried about the long-term effect slower new-vehicle sales for the domestic brands will have on parts and service business, their most critical profit center.
auto show coverage
Best new interiors from the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit
The recent North American International Auto Show, which ended Jan. 27, featured an impressive array of fuel-efficient, green-themed technologies, including clean diesel, biodiesel, ethanol, gasoline-electric hybrids, diesel-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids, two-mode hybrids, and fuel cells.
auto industry -- high tech
Feature story on optional "night vision" technology, how it works, which cars offer it, how much it costs, whether it's a good idea.
auto industry ultraluxury brands
MONTEREY, Calif. -- Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Ltd. unveiled the Phantom Coupe at a press preview here, its third model from a common platform since parent company BMW AG relaunched the brand in 2003.
Under the skin, the Phantom Coupe is closely related to the softtop Phantom Drophead Coupe and the longer Phantom sedan.
The Phantom Coupe is expected to have sportier handling than the convertible, thanks to stiffer springs and dampers, anti-roll bars, modified brakes and an automatic gearbox with an electronic " Sport" program.
overview of ultra-luxury car segment, brands such as Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Maybach, Mercedes-Benz
Listing, slide show and thumbnail description of the highest sticker prices in the U.S. market, no more than one per brand. Highest Bugatti Veyron, $1.4 million; lowest Maserati Quattroporte, $126,500.
auto industry -- online marketing
Auto dealers agree that they need to advertise online and that the need continues to grow.
But they also say online advertising is proving to be another tool in their marketing kit, rather than a replacement for ads in traditional media such as local TV and daily newspapers.
It has taken more than a decade, but 2008 could be a breakout year for those who want electronic vehicle finance contracts to supplant paper ones. That would be a big step toward paperless auto sales.
E-contracts and other electronic documents could limit the time consumers spend in showrooms and finance and insurance departments. It even could make the dealership visit optional.
High-performance divisions like AMG for Mercedes-Benz or M for BMW provide "halo" cars for brand-image purposes, but they're also remarkably profitable. Lexus Division and other competitors are getting into the act.
Add your pickup truck or SUV to the list of things like your stock portfolio, your 401K, and your house that aren't worth what they were just a few months ago. Used-car values are closely tied to new-car values. Thanks to $4-a-gallon gasoline, the bottom has dropped out of new-vehicle demand for pickups and SUVs. The housing bust has also hurt pickups directly, since many are bought for use in construction businesses. Those factors have had a corresponding effect on used-car values for those vehicles
South Korean brands Hyundai and Kia have spent years and billions of dollars to add SUVs, crossovers, and near-luxury cars to their lineups to live down their reputations for building entry-level cars—only to find that cheap, and especially fuel-efficient, vehicles are exactly what U.S. buyers want.
Buying cars in a recession: Nobody really needs a convertible, but here are 13 for around $30,000 or less that won't break the bank.
Only 15 cars for sale in the U.S. get combined gas mileage of 30 mpg or better. We tell you what they are.
Older drivers face many unique challenges, starting with the problem of simply getting in and out of a car and adjusting the driver's seat once they get there.
Those may sound like trivial criteria in choosing a particular car -- as opposed to more typical concerns like horsepower or gas mileage -- but air bags make the proper seating position a matter of life and death.
Drivers sitting too close to the steering wheel-mounted air bag can be injured or even killed if the air bag goes off in a collision, according to the American Automobile Association, or AAA. It recommends sitting at least 10 inches away from the air bag.
The latest Los Angeles Auto Show illustrates the wide range of ways the auto industry is achieving higher gas mileage and lower emissions.
Green technologies range from futuristic fuel cells that combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, to more down-to-earth methods for conventional, internal-combustion engines to save gas.
auto industry sales reporting and analysis
Auto sales were slow in January, even by January standards (it's typically the slowest sales month of the year), as consumers continued to worry about the economy, credit markets, and high gas prices.
The seasonally adjusted annual sales rate for January was only about 15.3 million light vehicles, down sharply from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of about 16.7 million units in the year-ago month, according to Woodcliff Lake (N.J.)-based AutoData.
Overall, U.S. light vehicle sales were 1,043,947 in January, 4.3% below the year-ago month, AutoData said. Light vehicles are passenger cars and light trucks, including minivans, pickups, SUVs, and car-based crossovers, and excluding medium and heavy trucks.
compile and summarize auto industry sales forecasts for the coming year
Ford Motor Co. is set to launch an all-new, full-size pickup, just as consumers are turning way from big, traditional trucks like the Ford F-150.
Keep it handy, but hold off for now on that last nail in the coffin for pickups and SUVs.
Maybe the psychological barrier for $4-per-gallon gas works both ways, according to Edmunds.com.
Since gas prices have moderated below an average of $4 per gallon, truck owners suddenly are less likely than they were, to consider other product segments, like cars, crossovers and hybrids, according to the auto shopping and research web site.
GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz Q&A interview on GM's evolution toward sharing "global platforms" for new products, saving development costs.
The Chevrolet Cruze is a Euro-styled model that represents a big bet by GM that the tastes and spending habits of American customers will start to more closely resemble those of Europe, where people are willing to spend a premium price for a small car that’s richly appointed, handles well and saves gas.
That sure would be convenient for GM, and also for Ford, which is pursuing the same strategy.
The trouble is, Americans traditionally associate small with inexpensive. “Small plus expensive” does not compute
In another sign that trucks are “not quite dead yet,” to quote Monty Python, auction prices for some used-truck segments improved from June to July.
That’s important, because used-vehicle demand and new-vehicle demand usually move in tandem. It’s also important because falling used-truck vales have cost the car companies a ton of money on the value of trucks that come back from leases, like a $2 billion write-off for Ford in the second quarter.
Auction prices for used, full-size pickups rebounded 3.7 percent from June to July, to an average of $8,829, according to ADESA Inc., Carmel, Ind. That was the first time full-size pickups improved all year, said Tom Kontos, executive vice president, customer strategies and analytics.
auto industry consumer advice
Based on resale value, operating costs and market support (i.e. discounts), here are some safe choices for tough times.
Late summer through the fall is always the best time of year for car bargain-hunters. That's the time when dealers put discontinued models on sell-out mode to clear their decks for the upcoming model year.
If you own or have thought about owning a General Motors car, you’re understandably worried about the fate of the iconic giant. The nation’s largest automaker and owner of ubiquitous brands like Chevrolet, Buick, and Cadillac, GM just declared bankruptcy in an attempt to stay afloat and has already borrowed billions of dollars from the U.S. government.
To the extent it can, GM says that it intends to conduct business as usual from a customer’s point of view, only as a smaller company. However, ‘business as usual’ is hardly possible under the circumstances. Here we shed some light on GM’s situation and answer questions about whether you should take a risk on buying a GM product.
Chrysler and GM both recently emerged from bankruptcy with substantial help from the U.S. Treasury. As major shareholders in Chrysler and GM, U.S. taxpayers can applaud - and potentially gain from - their return to viability.
But there's also one inescapable fact: The incredible deals you're seeing now - zero percent financing, thousands of dollars back in rebates and discounts, etc. - are likely a thing of the past. Instead, when all is said and done, you'll probably see car companies charging consumers more - even though sticker prices might decline - and dealers holding more firmly on price negotiations.
The summer driving season is at hand, and gasoline prices are suddenly back on your mind. No wonder. Since last December gas has risen more than 60 percent, to a national average of $2.65 for a gallon of self-serve regular, according to the Automobile Association of America.
While that’s a far cry from last spring’s spike to more than $4 per gallon, it’s incentive enough to focus your mind on all the things you need to do to save money on gas. The only problem is that much of what you know to be true about boosting mileage is a myth. Here we debunk six of the most widely believed mileage misconceptions; this Independence Day weekend, it’s time to start really saving on fuel costs.
Big 3 earnings reporting and analysis
Ford Motor Co. third-quarter earnings. Ford posts a smaller loss than analysts expected. Also refers to General Motors third-quarter earnings, a surprise loss of close to $40 billion due to tax-related accounting changes.
GM third-quarter earnings. GM posts a loss of close to $40 billion, mainly because it writes off the value of deferred tax assets it had stockpiled in anticipation of future profits. Now GM acknowledges that the future profits look unlikely. Therefore, accounting rules compel GM to write off the value of the DTAs.
auto industry marketing demographics
Highest and lowest average age for U.S. cars and trucks, based on data from J.D. Power Information Network. For instance, Lincoln Town Car skews "old," Toyota Scion tC skews "young."
My Top 10 choices for "babe magnets," somewhat unfortunately named, but that was the assignment. The angle is, different women are attracted to different things. A woman with "green" priorities might like a Toyota Prius, but a Lamborghini is the ticket on the Las Vegas Strip.
Reading between the lines, or maybe between the grooves, the new Ford Flex has "road trip" written all over it.
That's partly because it has a real refrigerator in the optional center console between the second-row seats. It's big enough to hold six beverages and snacks for the family and/or tailgating buddies.
The problem with the 2009 Volkswagen Routan isn't so much what it is as what it's not. What it is is VW's restyled version of the newest-generation Chrysler minivan, introduced last year.
What it's not is a VW Microbus. Apparently, we have to wait a few more years for that, maybe coming someday from VW's new U.S. factory in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The Routan is nice enough. It handled fine over interstate highways and suburban byways at a media introduction, starting from the brand-new Volkswagen of America headquarters in Virginia. (Until recently, VWoA was based in Auburn Hills, Mich.)
The Routan didn't handle like a European sports car, but hey, it's a minivan--and a good one at that. It has all the storage bins, nooks and crannies of its Chrysler counterparts without some of the gimmicky features.
Road test for the 2009 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed. It doesn't sound like much, but 48 hp is enough to get the $198,500 2009 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed past the velvet rope that separates 600-hp production cars from the rabble.