Damn, I Miss The Car Industry!!

The Geneva Motor Show has begun with a few early reveals, mostly courtesy of the VW-owned group of companies. Pictures of the new Lamborghini Veneno are already online from Lambo’s press presentation. The same hall shows an Audi RS6 Avant and the space-age Volkswagen XL1 eco-mobile as well (just say no).

Lamborghini Veneno TopRight: The crystal meth at Lamborghini’s design studio has had the desired effect.

A number of former Saab colleagues and friends are at Geneva this year. Of course, my former boss Victor Muller will be showing a new concept – the Spyker B6 Venator, which I’d love to see up close. I emailed Jason Castriota yesterday and he was on his way to Geneva, too. A bunch of the guys from Saab PR will be at the Qoros stand and a few others might be there with Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover, too.

Then there are the most interesting cars at the Geneva Show this year. The Alfa Romeo 4C will be shown. The new Rolls Royce Wraith looks absolutely amazing (see below) and I’d love to see that Kia Provo concept for myself, too. The ultimate car – anything this company makes is always the ultimate car – will be the Koenigsegg Hundra and that’ll be at Geneva, too.

It’s times like this when I really, REALLY miss my short time in the industry. It’s wonderful being back home with family and we do live in a special part of the world, but your vocation should be a big part in your life and let’s face it – mine isn’t.

I love cars and I love what the automotive industry offers to people of the world – independence, style, a real and physical connection with each other over vast distances. The pleasure of the road trip.

I love the people in the industry, people who are so passionate about what they do. There’s good reason for that, too, because often what they do is at the cutting edge of industrial technology. On an individual vehicle level, vehicle development can be a slow process (there are no finger-snap solutions, remember). On an industry level, though, things are constantly developing and one company or another has always got something new that pushes the envelope that little bit further. It’s exciting to watch.

I don’t know how I’m going to do this but I’ve GOT to get back into the business of writing about cars. I feel like I’ve got something genuine to share. I care about what people drive, the choices they make. I care about the integrity and creativity of the industry. There are so many wonderful stories to tell about this business – the technology, the experiences people have with their vehicles, the way collectors and enthusiasts can be so dedicated to the vehicles and brands that they love.

I’ve GOT to get back to Geneva next year. I don’t know whether to start following a particular brand closely or a genre of vehicles, but I’ve got to find a way of providing some interesting news and effective coverage of it.

An Australian automotive journalist – one who I had a bit to do with during the Saab years – just announced his retirement today after 43 years in the industry. Oh, the things he must have seen and the good fortune he’s had to cover this industry for so long through both newsprint and online. I should be so lucky.

I bought a URL a few years ago that I thought would be a good one for a wider-perspective look at the industry from an Australian point of view. Maybe it’s time to break that out and spend a year or so building up a proper foundation for it?

Life’s too short to work crap jobs that you hate, isn’t it?


Rolls Royce Wraith

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  1. Steven:

    I’m so happy to see your passion for the automotive industry being rekindled. One of my recent employers (who’s also a regionally well-known motivational speaker) and I had a great conversation when I told him I was leaving his company to pursue one of my passions. I’ll never forget what he said to me: “Craig, you have to go where your talent takes you. Not to do so would be a waste of that talent.”

    You know your talents and your passions. Go where they lead you, my friend.

  2. You are very much welcome, the sooner the better! Love to see you in Detroit, Geneva and Paris/Frankfurt again. We miss you.


    Pär Brandt

  3. What you did for SU you could do again, but for the local industry this time.
    You never know how far it might go. I bet you never did back then.
    As a wordsmith you are an automotive artisan who ‘gets it right’. The local Aussie car industry is not dead yet and might just benefit from your experience and panache, before another chapter closes.

    Just looking at the lines of the new Commodore and how it went on the weekend. Lots to like there now.

  4. I’ve got to tell you, you are the only blogger I read these days. You write sense and put it in a very clear easy to digest way. You NEED to get back where you belong, at the sharp end of automotive journalism.

    Just a little anecdote – I’ve spent most of my working life in the motor trade – at the sales end – and 11 years ago I left the dealer I worked for to start up my own motor trade web design business, with my ex-employer as first client! I still have that client, along with a few other “nice” ones and I’m SOOOO glad I made the move. I’ve not (yet!) looked back. Try to take the plunge Steven, you’re that good!

  5. I wish you all the best in your pursuit of the career you want. You certainly have a talent for writing, yours is the only blog to which I subscribe that is not related to my professional work. Your passion shines through, but you are also knowledgable and reasoned in what and how you report.

    Best of luck.

  6. You are absolutely right! What you do for a living is a huge part of life. I have been lucky enough to spend my career in the jet engine business, and though I’m well past retirement age, I’m still in it, because I love what I do. Hope you can somehow find your way back to the auto industry. Also, I miss seeing your daily views on Saab’s. Though the story didn’t have a very happy ending, it was a glorious time when you led the fight to save the brand. I (and the Saab community) will always be grateful for what you did.

  7. Thanks for your kind thoughts and inspirational stories, everyone. I guess I haven’t taken a plunge due to family commitments, mortgage, etc. Living on an island makes access to vehicles tricky, too. I’ve also got to find my voice in an environment that doesn’t include Saab whilst still drawing on that experience.

    Where there’s a will, there’s a way.