Commentary: Good-Bye 2018!

2018 Lexus LC 500
Photo by Randy Stern

The end of the year.

How do you quantify that fact? Simple. You look back, celebrate the highlights, bless the low moments, and look forward to the new year.

Certainly, V&R had some highlights. We had some successful turns with various vehicles and was happy to present them to you. We did some travel, a couple of auto shows, a couple of media opportunities, and some adventures along the way. We also made our presence our in the car community – locally within the Twin Cities and a bit beyond.

We covered and made commentary on various issues and topics along the way. We memorialized some of the greatest figures in the automotive world. And, we’re just scratching the surface here.

And, we are about to award another #VOTY. That was quite the award season in itself!

It was not what we have accomplished and reported on. Rather, how we continue to do what we do to deliver content to your chosen device and through our social media channels. You continue to like what we do – and we enjoy bringing it right to you.

You probably wondering about that "we" part. V&R is settling into a family of fellow creative folks in the automotive realm. Of course, it is my site. But, I am happy to share this with Josh Dvorak of Flecs Media and MN Streets. He and Veronica Krawiec have been instrumental in providing video content for V&R, as well as their channels. They will be back in 2019 as we tackle the Chicago Auto Show once again – the ninth as V&R.

I will also have a number of other folks helping out with us along the way. Watch for their work to pop up on our site from time-to-time. It has been our motivator to have many voices talk up this site and deliver content to you.

The best thing about being a content creator in a community, such as the Twin Cities, is the trove of collaborative opportunities we are presented with. For example, I appreciated being on the MotorCult podcast with Erik and Ryan to talk about the industry and the vehicles we work with. I am also awaiting Stephen Miller's photo shoot of the 2019 Ram 1500 Limited for the Short Shift website.

This is a website that looks beyond the Twin Cities. You made sure it is that way. For almost eight years, your readership demonstrates your support of this site and the motivation to present a higher level of content that is informative, humorous, and engaging. Or, at least I hope so.

I always try to look at the positive. Mainly because looking at the negative in both the professional and personal realms takes more energy to execute. There had been some twists and turns this year. I would like to leave it at that.

Yet, there had been challenges that must be spoken of that will affect this work. With Ford and General Motors announcing the reduction of its lineups by cancelling several sedans and hatchbacks, it basically changes the way we view the automotive industry. Not to mention the trade tariff debates, which resulted in a strong reaction by the stock markets and the boardrooms towards a potential uncertain future for the economy here and abroad.

This will affect the way I view the automotive industry. The trade-off of cars for SUVs may be seen as a win for general consumers, it also spells grave concern by the enthusiast community. This was territory that I had to be able to navigate to ensure engagement and fair coverage of all sides of this change in the business of the automobile.

It was quite a ride 2018 turned out to be. Perhaps 2019 will provide further clarity as to the future of this work. There is always hope.

Thank you for reading.

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