FROM Jerry Hirsch
L.A. Auto Show Jerry Hirsch of the Los Angeles Times says the LA Auto Show now serves as the showcase for clean energy cars. He and his colleague David Undercoffler say that Hydrogen fuel cell cars are becoming the next big thing in green technology. They also discuss the future of autonomous cars.
Petersen Museum Almost 20 years ago the founder of Hot Rod magazine, Robert E. Petersen, created his museum to cars. Now Robert Petersen is gone, and the museum’s current management is ringing in some big changes. At the recent Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance they announced plans for a dramatic overhaul of the building, jazzing up its rather dark interior, creating more exciting installations, and wrapping the building in undulating “ribbons” of steel. The architect is Eugene Kohn, of the New York firm Kohn Pedersen Fox, and he talks about how the design is intended to capture in its imagery the "speed, elegance, motion and power" of gorgeous cars, particularly "French cars with Italian bodies" of the 1930s. But the excitement at the new plans have been somewhat tempered by stories that circulated about the sale of some of the Petersen’s classic cars. Jerry Hirsch, automotive business reporter for the Los Angeles Times, set off a firestorm when he reported that “the Petersen is quite under the radar selling off 100+ of its vehicles” in order to finance capital construction, in what he describes as a breach of its public trust.
Is Tesla a Threat to Car Dealerships? Since the start of the US auto industry, manufacturers have granted the right to sell vehicles to new-car franchisers. State laws now require that car makers leave retail sales to somebody else. But a tiny new maker of electric cars is challenging that system. Elon Musk , who founded PayPal and was the first to launch private missions to the International Space Station, is making the sleek, expensive Tesla . Rather than use the franchise system, he's setting up his own stores. Auto dealers and regional associations are fighting back. Jerry Hirsch reports on the auto industry for the Los Angeles Times .
GM's Balance Sheet in the Black In 2009, General Motors lost $21 billion before it declared bankruptcy. Last year, for the first time since 2004, GM turned a profit of $4.7 billion. Even after today's announcement the bailout of General Motors remains one of the most controversial actions of the Obama Administration. Did the government bailout save the day? Will taxpayers get their money back? We ask Jerry Hirsch who covers the auto industry for the Los Angeles Times .
Looking for Sexy and Green at the LA Auto Show After raising 20 billion-dollars in the first day of trading, it’s not Government Motors any more, although taxpayers still own a big share of GM. But the big news about cars in LA is the Auto Show, which opens to the public tomorrow at the Convention Center.
Price War Continues in Southern California Grocery Stores The ongoing recession has increased business for discounters like Wal-Mart and Target. Now grocery chains like Vons and Ralph's are striking back with what they call "significant" reductions in prices. While both chains say its just a "coincidence," it's a pattern that's been developing for much of this year. Jerry Hirsch of the Los Angeles Times reports on southern California's supermarket price war .