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Welcome to Shiny Metal Boxes

I had lunch today with John Krafcik, Vice President of Product Development and Strategic Planning at Hyundai. For the most part, this occasion served only to allow him to vent his anger and frustration with my recent review of the Hyundai Veracruz, though he did scarf down some Bi-Bim-Bob at Bell's Diner, the Korean greasy spoon here in Ann Arbor that he chose for our meeting. But beyond his whining about me not giving the Hyundai a fair shake was a single point of disagreement that almost always comes up when a car company executive doesn't like what I have to say about its new product: You wrote about more than the "hardware."

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Now this may seem like a strange way to begin the first post on this blog, but bear with me, as there's a point here, and a reason why this confrontational lunch has put enough of a bug in my butt to get me to finally launch this Web site. I've been talking about doing Shiny Metal Boxes for years, for exactly the reason that so irritated the aforementioned Mr. Krafcik: To write about the auto industry from outside the box, to write about more than the idiotic new sheetmetal and the p.r. b.s. that gets replicated ad nauseam in most mainstream publications.

For the most part, the quality of automotive writing today is piss-poor. Worse yet, it tends not to explore any of the "big issues" surrounding our car-jacked society. There's a simple reason why this happens, and it's that the car companies exert as near to total control over the media as they can. Not only do they try to exert undue influence through their advertising dollars, but they also spend obscene amounts of money to all but bribe automotive writers to "report" their version of the truth. I'll be writing more about this aspect of the industry in future posts, but the fact that a Hyundai vice president from California set up this meeting with the sole purpose of haranguing me should give you a decent indication of how the auto manufacturers feel about those who dare to challenge their version of reality.

So there you have it. This is Shiny Metal Boxes.

Comments

Welcome!

Nice rant -- I hope it sets the tone for the rest of the blog.

Yeah sure. But have you READ the reviews of the new BMW? I have torn down the MERC pics from my cube and ALL I have now are pics of the m3 and that asian seattle seahawk cheerleader!!! PS. fantasy football rules, I LOVE MMA, and transformers is the greatest movie EVER!
tj hoosamangota! CHAMPIONSHIP!

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