The Truth About Cars

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The Truth About Cars (TTAC) is a website covering automobiles, automotive products and the auto industry. The site began publishing in 2002,[1] and features a mix of automotive reviews, editorials and news. The site is home to the annual Ten Worst Automobiles awards,[2] which are nominated and selected by the readers. It's best known for the infamous GM and Ford “Death Watch” and Chrysler "Suicide Watch" series.

Time Magazine [3] called TTAC one of the 25 "Best Blogs of 2011." Forbes Magazine listed TTAC as a “Best of the Web.”[when?][4] PC Magazine listed TTAC as one of its "100 Favorite Blogs" in 2007.[5]

Style[edit]

TTAC had an "in your face, no holds barred" attitude and tongue-in-cheek humour. The site has a fiercely independent coverage of the automobile world with strong editorial independence.[6] TTAC offers its writers total editorial freedom to serve its intelligent, informed readership.[7] Reader comments used to be moderated. Although some readers claim the site has a pro-import bias, the writers are equally outspoken in their criticism of both domestic- and foreign-branded automobiles.

Because of their outspoken opinions, writers from the site have been excluded from many major manufacturer press events. Automakers such as GM officially refuse to acknowledge the site's existence. However, user logs indicate there are quite a few readers from the GM, Ford and Chrysler domains. All automakers have been explicitly invited to disprove any controversial statements.

TTAC's review comparing the grill of the Subaru B9 Tribeca to a vagina[8] caused BMW to officially stop providing review cars. Many other manufacturers also withheld access to their press fleets in the past, but that is changing as readership grows. Aston Martin, Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, Cadillac, Jaguar, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Nissan, Ford, Land Rover, and General Motors now provide access to their press cars.

The Truth About Cars was recently criticized for an article titled, "Small SUV Crashopalooza: Detroit Loses, Dykes Win".[9]

History[edit]

Founded by Robert Farago in 2002, The Truth About Cars publicised itself as an independent voice in the automotive media, at a time when many outlets were coming under fire for their close relationships with advertisers, particularly auto manufacturers. Many[who?] viewed TTAC as adopting an adversarial tone, particularly with regards to the Big Three domestic auto makers. This was exacerbated by Farago's "GM Death Watch" series, which correctly predicted the bankruptcy of General Motors over a 200+ part series. In 2012, TTAC revived the "Death Watch" series, when contributing author Mark Stevenson correctly predicted the demise of Suzuki's North American auto sales arm.

After being acquired by VerticalScope, a Canadian online media firm, Farago departed, and Ed Niedermeyer became Editor-In-Chief in 2010. Niedermeyer, who originally started out as a TTAC reader, shifted the site's editorial direction to cover the post-bailout era, government affairs (such as the effects of environmental and safety regulations) and other industry-centric topics. Niedermeyer departed in late 2011 and was replaced by former Managing Editor Bertel Schmitt.

On July 12, 2013, Jack Baruth posted an article announcing that Bertel Schmitt had left the site and that he (Baruth) and Derek Kreindler would be taking over. Baruth promised a "reboot" with previously banned commenters being welcomed back.[10]

TTAC alumni include Car and Driver's Justin Berkowitz and Motor Trend's Jonny Lieberman.[citation needed]

Notes and references[edit]

External links[edit]