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L A Times, 15 April, 2013, A-10: "GM and Ford to partner on new gearbox" My initial question is, are these bullies not powerful enough already?

Next issue: In about the 6th paragraph, the brilliant Jerry Hirsch writes "Chrysler Group plans to sell its Jeep GRAND" [emphasis mine] "Cherokee and Dodge Dart with nine speed transmissions this year." And "Both Chrysler and Jaguar Land Rover are buying their transmissions from ZF Friedrichshafen, a German supplier, Sullivan said." [Dave Sullivan of AutoPacific Inc.]

This brings to mind the image of a faithful but somewhat clueless stenographer (vs. real journalist) just copying down what the latest spokesperson/"expert" says. Here is a business world example of how media often reports on other matters. If you've ever had a story written about you, you likely know what I'm getting at.
 

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They're incorrect, but they're not significantly incorrect. It appears that Chrysler licensed the design, as did Land Rover, and that the designer does not manufacture transmissions for mass-market production themselves.

Since the raw design itself appears to have not originated internally, saying that the two automakers buy their transmissions from another company is not completely right, but isn't completely wrong either.
 

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Agreed. I've noticed that Ford sells by press release and concept. A few years back, Ford announced it would raise gas mileage by 30% in all its vehicles by, um, 2010. They didn't even try. Then there's the Ford Atlas concept truck, to steal the thunder of Ram and Silverado -- real trucks. And of course this one-upmanship -- in five or six years, they'll match and/or beat where ZF and its customers are today.

Tannon's right that the article has grounds in reality though it departs from it. Chrysler does buy ZF transmissions but it also makes them.

Fortune just published an article with that insane Alfa-Audi linkup -- today! (They also used a 2000 Neon to symbolize Plymouth, which is semi-fair, as it was Plymouth's last car, but wouldn't you think they would use the Prowler, which was actually a Plymouth rather than a Dodge/Plymouth?)
 

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TWX said:
They're incorrect, but they're not significantly incorrect. It appears that Chrysler licensed the design, as did Land Rover, and that the designer does not manufacture transmissions for mass-market production themselves.

Since the raw design itself appears to have not originated internally, saying that the two automakers buy their transmissions from another company is not completely right, but isn't completely wrong either.
It should be noted however that Chrysler WILL manufacture their versions of this transmission and the 8 speed and they had significant design input, unlike Rover and BMW.
 

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Jeepophile said:
And a Grand Cherokee is a Cherokee?
No.

If you are the media, the Grand Cherokee is a Mercedes and the Cherokee is an Alfa.
 
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Laughing ALONG WITH you, Erik and Dave!


MoparNorm said:
It should be noted however that Chrysler WILL manufacture their versions of this transmission and the 8 speed and they had significant design input, unlike Rover and BMW.
Thanks, Norm for explicitly stating what I thought was apparent to those of us already paying attention. Your post reminded me that it's often helpful to be more specific!
 

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It's pretty much a problem across the industry, if I dare go slightly off-topic.

Newspaper staffs have been slashed repeatedly, for various reasons, some of which are anticipation of readership drops, which come automatically when they slash the staff and the newspaper turns to rubbish.

As they get fewer and fewer people, they rely on them to do more and more, and those people turn out this mindless drivel.

The public, meanwhile, demands less and less of its media, and I suspect owners and editors look at the trash that people love to read and figure nobody cares about accurate reporting. To a large degree, they're right. Sorry, but the hot story of the day was a Viper crash -- and that was before we knew who was driving it. Most people don't care that it was an apparently valued and respected Chrysler man -- if it's not an actor, singer, dancer, "top 10%" politician, or the Pope, they don't care about anyone (exceptions are sometimes made for dogs and kittens).

So when you read stories like this, remember that nearly all reporting is just this bad if you know the real story. Science reporting is just as trashy. Financial reporting is often even worse. This is one reason why some of the big-name newspapers, including the LA Times, still have some shreds of reputation: not all their reporting is this bad.
 

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DaveAdmin said:
It's pretty much a problem across the industry, if I dare go slightly off-topic.

Newspaper staffs have been slashed repeatedly, for various reasons, some of which are anticipation of readership drops, which come automatically when they slash the staff and the newspaper turns to rubbish.

As they get fewer and fewer people, they rely on them to do more and more, and those people turn out this mindless drivel.

The public, meanwhile, demands less and less of its media, and I suspect owners and editors look at the trash that people love to read and figure nobody cares about accurate reporting. To a large degree, they're right. Sorry, but the hot story of the day was a Viper crash -- and that was before we knew who was driving it. Most people don't care that it was an apparently valued and respected Chrysler man -- if it's not an actor, singer, dancer, "top 10%" politician, or the Pope, they don't care about anyone (exceptions are sometimes made for dogs and kittens).

So when you read stories like this, remember that nearly all reporting is just this bad if you know the real story. Science reporting is just as trashy. Financial reporting is often even worse. This is one reason why some of the big-name newspapers, including the LA Times, still have some shreds of reputation: not all their reporting is this bad.
You beat me to the point, I was going to mention that the Chicago Tribune, now owns the LA Times, after the Times ran off most of its subscribers. What was once one of the worlds great papers is now pretty much a skeleton staff and coupons.
 

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If you look at most news, it is tabloid format (even sports).

But a recent study indicates more and more people are getting their news via social media, which takes the error-laden news stories and further twists them into unrecognizable garbage.

It is no wonder most people cannot name the Vice President or more than 2 Supreme Court Justices.......just the same way most people think the Chrysler 300 is a warmed-over Mercedes E-Class.

PS: Prayers for everyone in Boston.
 

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In all fairness, “traditional” print and television media were already turning themselves into garbage as quickly as they could, as the public demanded trashier and trashier media with ever-more intentional and unintentional “errors.”

The increasing level of ignorance about what is going on around us, is very good for some people, and will be reinforced.

As a side note, i spent some time in Canada last week, and the lead story was the hiring of a subcontractor at a Canadian bank, which apparently cost one citizen his job, which was given to a legal alien. This was a major issue and got the lead for at least three days. Politicians across the board were outraged and noted that a million Canadians have no jobs, how dare they hire a non-Canadian?

Meanwhile, I suspect that in the US we handed out another 20,000 temporary work visas to people whose only qualification was programming at half the price of experienced American programmers.

We get what we ask for. We asked for crap media — with our wallets and our attention — and we got it. We asked for our jobs to be given away — with our wallets and our inattention — and we got it.

That said, I'm thinking maybe we should move this to Off-Topic, and I apologize for being a central force for making it so.

PS> The Wall Street Journal is usually quite amusing in its auto coverage, and that was true even before the change of ownership. They were, IMHO, among the best of the political reporting outfits in the nation under their original management, but their auto coverage still sometimes managed to be laughable, when they were talking about future product. (As I recall they favored Daimler-Chrysler but I might be wrong about that.)
 

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I would think that by using Google, a lot of oversights and errors could be corrected before they are published.
A couple of months ago I was reading about 2013 full-size pickup truck reviews on MSN online. I was shocked that they still listed the base powertrain for the Ram 1500 as the 3.7L/4-speed auto! There was no 'Contact Us' tab anywhere on the page, but a couple of days later it had been corrected.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
May our thoughts and prayers be with those people and their loved ones in Boston.



Long Live---for now, anyway---our right to relatively free speech by which we can address the above and other inaccuracies/ignored stories!

How many of you saw the brief appearance of the White House website to report on fellow U.S. citizens? Thankfully it quickly disappeared. Beware of North-Korean-style systems of how one gets a job/education/housing/stays out of prison based on how many people you report to the government for "disloyalty". How productive is that system? Now wonder North Korea's per-capita GDP is only some 6% of that of South Korea!

Some years after the Rodney King Hyundai, we are no longer laughing at South Korean products--nor are the Japanese.

More than 50 years after the U.S. protected South Korea from communism, the teachable results of capitalism vs. communism are nowhere more obvious---yet where is our media reporting on this? (Especially with the auspicious passing of the prior Kim.) Some of my clients are from South Korea and also have family in North Korea---the people of South vs. North Korea were basically the same. The opportunity to make a relatively "scientific" sociological comparison of the two groups and find lessons about the failures of communism and the successes of capitalism is perhaps unprecedented. And yet our media fawns over somebody's tatoos, forehead hair bangs, etc. And we move more and more toward a system of government dominance over our lives. Many of my clients have run away from countries around the world with such government dominance, and they ask me why we are allowing this to happen here! And I ask you and myself---why did my uncle land on Omaha Beach on D-day? Are we just xxxxing away his and other American exceptionalism examples (albeit not perfect--what is?) that the world used to have as a benchmark?
 

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Dave:

I don't think you took this too far off-topic. The story is about media errors and has branched into the amount and source of misinformation out there.

It is worrisome as misinformation could easily become disinformation.
 
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DaveAdmin said:
DaveAdmin, on 15 Apr 2013 - 3:51 PM, said:
Agreed. I've noticed that Ford sells by press release and concept. A few years back, Ford announced it would raise gas mileage by 30% in all its vehicles by, um, 2010. They didn't even try. Then there's the Ford Atlas concept truck, to steal the thunder of Ram and Silverado -- real trucks. And of course this one-upmanship -- in five or six years, they'll match and/or beat where ZF and its customers are today.

Tannon's right that the article has grounds in reality though it departs from it. Chrysler does buy ZF transmissions but it also makes them.

Fortune just published an article with that insane Alfa-Audi linkup -- today! (They also used a 2000 Neon to symbolize Plymouth, which is semi-fair, as it was Plymouth's last car, but wouldn't you think they would use the Prowler, which was actually a Plymouth rather than a Dodge/Plymouth?)
As to what Ford said: They said in 2003 they were aiming for a 20-30% increase in fuel economy by 2010. They had achieved 20% by 2009.

Let's be honest here: Chrysler does the same thing. Chrysler announced their use of the ZF8 speed June 9th, 2010. Here we are three years later, and you still cannot get a 300/Charger/Challenger V8 8 Speed. They aren't even expected to show up with the 2014 MY either. As far as criticizing Ford over their concepts goes; concept vehicles in their very nature are designed to steal the show. Chrysler stole the show in 2009 with a vehicle that was never realized either.

I apologize if it sounds like I'm championing other automakers, but it irks me when people call out other automakers, while glossing over Chrysler doing the exact same things.
 

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I love this topic, especially the explosive effect that spin doctors have on it. Few people realize that 70-90% of all information comes from institutional sources, NOT investigative journalism. When spin doctors finish handling election campaigns (for example), they don't just go home, but they actually enter political rooms and handle communication for the elected official: institutional communication.
In essence, the spin doctor hands the media not only the news he/she selects, but it also gives it the "cut" he/she wants. This is explosive and so many people have no clue of what these extremely bright guys do and how they are being taken for a ride every day.

It's a mix of sociology, psychology, and communication science. A really interesting discipline.

Ever wondered why pretty much every newspaper opens with the same headline, even though they receive on an average about 20.000 news feeds every day? You think that's the result of truly independent nvestigative media work? That stuff doesn't really exist anymore, by and large. Sloppy copy&paste is the new "information"...
 
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