Cars

WKAR/Peter Whorf

More than one auto writer has taken to calling the Big 3 automakers “truck companies that also make cars”. Trucks and SUVs have become the most successful categories for automakers in recent years, particularly for General Motors and Ford.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Car buffs are revving up for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month. More than 800,000 people attended the show at the Cobo Center last January.

Auto analyst: pay hikes front and center for UAW

Dec 16, 2014

New contract bargaining between the United Auto Workers union and American automakers is scheduled for next year. Recently, we’ve been getting a clearer picture of the union’s priorities. UAW President Dennis Williams has indicated members want to eliminate a recently introduced  feature of the autoworker landscape:  “two-tier” wages and benefits.

Do car companies perpetuate stereotypes in their ads?

Oct 22, 2013

Jalopnik's Aaron Foley singles out this ad for the Toyota Prius as an example of the auto industry's stereotypical marketing to minorities. 

Target marketing is nothing new. From their cleaning products to fast food to pick-up trucks, companies have been directing their advertising at certain segments of the population for ages. But when does target marketing cross the line from just good commerce into perpetuating stereotypes about certain groups in our society?

Aaron Foley, a Detroit-based writer for Jalopnik – Gawker Media’s popular blog on cars – had a post on the subject last Friday in which he wrote,  “As a minority, it’s borderline insulting that automakers are over-thinking this.”  He says that the auto manufacturers are particularly egregious offenders of using stereotypes to market their products to minorities. He joins us to elaborate.  

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Michigan State University researchers are getting attention with a proposed remedy for urban blight. For some years, the city of Lansing and Lansing Township have struggled with abandoned auto plants.  

 

Kevin Lavery / WKAR

In 2010, the Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) established its Plug-in Electric Vehicle Community Project. With funding from the U.S. department of Energy, the BWL installed an array of electric vehicle charging stations across the Lansing area to promote this emerging technology.  Now, the utility is taking another step towards building an electric car infrastructure.  

Oldsmobile through the decades

Apr 4, 2013
Joe Ross via Flicker

   The R.E. Olds transportation museum houses a diverse collection of Oldsmobiles dating from 1897 to 2004.

It also includes a wide array of auto and industrial history covering about  a century, including a nearly complete collection of Michigan license plates, early traffic signs and a working 1950s-era traffic signal.

Bill Adcock is the Executive Director of the RE Olds Transportation Museum.  He recently joined WKAR’s Peter Whorf for a tour of the museum.

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