NPR had an interesting interview with Peter DeLorenzo of Autoextremist.com. Autoextremist is a site that purports to offer “the bare-knuckled, unvarnished, high-octane truth” about the challenges facing Detroit’s auto industry. DeLorenzo is an auto industry consultant, and if you want octane-rich bare-knucklery with a minimum of varnish, look no further than his July 11 edition where he offers this review of the Pontiac brand:
Detroit. The legendary Pontiac names alone could power a rollcall from Detroit’s golden era – Bonneville, Catalina, Tempest, Le Mans, GTO, “The Judge,” Grand Prix, Firebird and Trans-Am. The rich additions to the automotive lexicon were legendary too – “389,” “421,” “455SD,” “Tri-Power,” “eight-lug” aluminum wheels, Royal Bobcats, “Endura” front bumpers, hood-mounted tachs, and on and on. And the marketing and advertising hooks were equally memorable – with the famous “Wide Track” campaign still resonating to this day. But Pontiac has suffered from neglect and abuse for years, and now GM’s maverick division is on the edge of oblivion.
Detroit definitely has got the message. They are bringing out good products. Can they bring them out fast enough? That’s another issue. Can they get people to buy them or consider them? That’s the billion-dollar question.
Field of Schemes at Tiger Stadium
The Field of Schemes blog has been looking at what’s going on with the proposed demolition of Tiger Stadium. They also link to another post listing some plans for minor league sports uses of the park that don’t seem to have been given much attention. The Freep doesn’t seem to have doubts, saying There’s just something about old buildings in Detroit. People won’t let go of them. They never want to see them demolished, no matter how bad they look. And while there is value in preservation and cherishing history, the ongoing squabble over the future of Tiger Stadium is at the point of the absurd. While it’s not really on the subject, the Detroit News has a nice interview with Tiger legend (and coach) Willie Horton about the changes he’s seen in baseball.
Tiger Stadium 6-26-07
Dirty business in the Great Lakes
In Banning Coal Power Plants in Ontario; Promoting Them in Michigan, Modeshift’s Keith Schneider notes that as coal is phased out as a fuel source in Ontario, the province’s economy is surging (including the lowest unemployment in 30 years) because of a new green, clean, land-conserving, transit-focused economic strategy. At the same time Michigan and other Great Lakes states have the highest concentration of coal-fired power plants in the nation, producing 20% of US CO2 emissions and leading the way in unemployment, outward migration and state budget deficits.
The City of Pontiac is the County Seat of Oakland County and at the heart of Automation Alley. The city was founded in 1820. Two years later there were enough people there to form a village named after the famous Indian Chief who had made his headquarters in the area only a few years before. Wikipedia’s entry for Pontiac lists a number of famous residents including Jack Kevorkian, Alfred Taubman and Moses Wisner, 12th Governor of Michigan (1869-1861). We’ve also added this info to our Absolute Michigan map of Michigan.
Absolute Michigan keyword Pontiac likes Woodward Avenue and recommends you check out the great work being done by Lighthouse of Oakland County. The Weather Underground’s Pontiac weather forecast says that temps today may come close to the 2001 record high on 91Ëš. Think warm thoughts.