Dan Neil, an automotive journalist who won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2004 for his weekly column Rumble Seat in the Los Angeles Times, is reportedly leaving his job in Los Angeles to serve as the automotive columnist for The Wall Street Journal.
No flowers, no cake, not even a eulogy. The Los Angeles Times has delivered its auto section an ignominious ending. Tucked among Dan Neil's Pulitzer-winning prose was a small, unceremonious Editor's Note notifying readers of the change in a matter-of-fact fashion. Circulation figures are down, advertising revenues are way down, and the LA Times' ownership, Chicago's Tribune Company, has been desperately slashing for years now, trying to return profitability. Fans of Dan Neil will now be able to
When is a hybrid not really a hybrid? When it's a "mild" hybrid, with a battery pack that can slightly improve fuel economy, but cannot drive the car on its own. The Saturn Vue Green Line is one of these mild hybrids, and the LA Times' Dan Neil was certainly unimpressed with it. He calls the Vue "as conventional as Victorian sex", a great phrase to describe this unexciting SUV. In fact, Neil's full of clever wordings that express his dislike of this vehicle. After doing a lot of comparisons of f
What if I told you that the director of one of the most influential think tanks in the country once predicted that hybrids would account for as much as 90 percent of the U.S. automotive market by 2025? Seems overly optimistic, doesn't it. Almost silly. Well, it's true and it was Philip Gott of Global Insight. According to the LA Times, he has since retracted that forecast and reduced it to 12 to 15 percent by that time. His new numbers lie much closer to J.D. Power and Associates' prediction whi
With the price of ethanol more than doubling in the past year, it's time for the big energy players to get into the game. The LA Times has a story out today about Chevron Corp. thinking about building plants and making its own ethanol in order to "guarantee steady supplies of the gasoline additive for its refineries". The article claims Chevron would become the first major oil company to invest in stateside ethanol production in 26 years. That company, Texaco Inc., which is now a part of Chevron