Bellwether Events

The year 1973 was tumultuous for the world, and calamitous for the United States.

In October 1973, Richard Nixon, the beleaguered President of the United States, ordered his Attorney General, Elliot Richardson, to fire Archibald Cox, who was investigating the Watergate affair.  Richardson refused and resigned his post rather than fire Cox. Cox was ultimately fired for wanting to subpoena the Watergate Tapes. Eventually the tapes were made public, and Nixon resigned rather than face impeachment for lying to the American public. Continue reading

I love Jim Kenzie, but…

I’ve read Jim Kenzie’s columns in the Wheels section of the Toronto Star for more years than I can remember.  He’s a great read: informed, enthusiastic, and not afraid to have a politically incorrect opinion about the vehicles he reviews.

I have to take exception to his column in the Saturday, March 12th edition of the Toronto Star.  In it, Mr. Kenzie goes to considerable lengths to declare electric cars a waste of time and taxpayer money.  Let’s take a look at each his arguments. Continue reading

2013 Nissan LEAF versus 2013 Chevrolet Volt

I remember attending a show ‘n shine, where a 50’s something Chevrolet had had its roof chopped and channeled, the springs cut to lower the body over the wheels, enormous header side pipes on the outside of the vehicle indicating exceptional horsepower, and a sign posted on the dashboard, which read:

Get in.

Sit down.

Shut up.

Hang on.

I can’t help but think of that sign in another context, 180 degrees from that 50’s performance Chevy.  The Nissan LEAF and the Chevrolet Volt promise pollution-free driving, no exhaust fumes, no greenhouse gases, and the ability to charge or fuel your vehicle at home.  Kilometres per charge, cost per charge and kilowatt-hours are the buzz words rather than cam timing, rear axle ratios and Hurst shifters. Continue reading

TV ads are bad, research doesn’t work: Ad legend – The Globe and Mail

TV ads are bad, research doesn’t work: Ad legend – The Globe and Mail.

Marketing legend Sir John Hegarty is interviewed in the Friday, May 17/2013 edition of Globe and Mail.  In a few short paragraphs, he identifies what he feels is right and wrong with today’s marketing.

What strikes me the most about his article is this: “Persuasion is taking a nonbeliever and turning them into a believer. Christ stood on the rock and he talked to the masses. He did not talk to 18- to 25-year-olds with a disposable income of 25 shekels and a preponderance to change. He persuaded – because of what he believed in.” Continue reading

I want to be a part of it…

As Frank sang, there is only one New York.  In a city with 14,000 cabs, innumerable black cars, SUV’s the size of small apartment buildings, and one of the finest transit systems in the world, it’s amazing that there are so many new car/truck/SUV/CUV/SAV introductions in Gotham.  The New York Auto Show runs from March 29 to April 7, 2013. Continue reading