DailyKanban Behind The Great Firewall of China


DailyKanban’s Bertel Schmitt is headed to Beijing for the auto show, and will not be posting daily news briefs for the next few days while stuck behind the Great Firewall. While he is away gathering the latest news from the world’s largest car market, you can stay up to date on the latest by following E.W. Niedermeyer on Twitter.

TTAC And The Golden Years of Car Blogging

The author, getting an early taste of automotive journalism on his first travel assignment at TTAC (SEMA 2008, Las Vegas)

The author, getting an early taste of automotive journalism on his first travel assignment at TTAC (SEMA 2008, Las Vegas)

Some of these days, and it won’t be long
Gonna drive back down
where you once belonged
In the back of a dream car
twenty foot long
Don’t cry my sweet,
don’t break my heart
Doing all right,
but you gotta get smart

-David Bowie, “Golden Years”

None of Daily Kanban’s well-informed readers will mistake today’s changing of the editorial guard at the former blogging home of both Bertel and myself with a story of deep importance to the auto industry. I suspect the topic doesn’t even hold the same importance for Bertel, whose time at TTAC was a relative blip across an long and accomplished career (and who is currently on the ground at the Shanghai Auto Show), that it does for me. Even if you are familiar with the history of the site in question and really understand what happened today, it’s just another instance of a dynamic that is playing out across the broader online media. But as I start another week deeply satisfying work, I can’t help but notice that my great professional fortunes all trace back to my time at TTAC. If others are to enjoy the opportunity that I did, it’s important to understand what happened today.

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We wish you happy holidays, and we take them

Picture courtesy usatoday.net

This is the time of the year when all auto execs are either skiing, or on a beach in Hawaii, the Maledives, or Phuket (strictly for the Buddhist temples, of course.)  Therefore, the crew at the Daily Kanban will take a break also. Ed will channel his Austrian past, and will be a menace of the slopes of Mt. Hood. Frau Schmitto-san and I will soak in a Japanese onsen.  If anything interesting will happen carwise between the holidays, we all have Internet.

We thank you, the readers of the Daily Kanban, for your eyeballs and support. We thank you, the suppliers of cars and car news, for doing what you do. We apologize to all we have offended, and we promise to do it again.

The Daily Kanban wishes you all Happy Holidays, whatever they may be

Santa brings a 2Gbit line

Santa brings a 2Gbit line

This is the time for introspection in the auto industry, and for racking up a last batch of frequent flyer miles. The increasingly expatriate management of global automakers is filling the Delta flight from Shanghai to Detroit, Lufthansa  from Beijing to Frankfurt, ANA from Guangzhou to Narita. In Europe, executives traditionally max out the calendar (take 5 days off, gain two weeks of holidays) and won’t be back before January 6th. In America, they celebrate the first real you-know-what since carmageddon.  Even in busy-beaver Japan, they will stop working for 5 minutes , to celebrate oshogatsu (New Year) with mochi  (rice cakes) and perhaps the ritual hime hajime (NSFW in the U.S.).

Only the Daily Kanban won’t rest.

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Reader Mail


Dear Ed and Bertel, I have noticed that The Daily Kanban (TDK) has no space for comments on it at all. Knowing this is a WP-based site, I would like to know why TDK doesn’t have room for readers/commenters to share their opinions about your articles and provide insights into a situation you two might be writing about. If possible, please amend this situation. Thanks, Edward Mann

I understand your frustration, but we have decided against having a comment section at TDK for now. My experience tells me that tending to a comment section rapidly becomes as much work as writing and research, and both Bertel and I would rather keep focused on our work than chase spam or slay trolls.

The good news is that we will regularly be posting reader feedback from our contact form, so please feel free to send us your thoughts on anything you read here. Hopefully this way we will have something more akin to a curated conversation, where the best comments become the jumping-off point for further research or debate. Please clearly identify any confidential feedback, and the name you wish to be identified with.

You can also share your thoughts with Bertel and myself on Twitter: our handles are @BertelTTAC and @Tweetermeyer respectively.

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The Daily Kanban, now with much less BS

Silk Road - Picture courtesy mwtravel.com.au

Got Google?


The Daily Kanban will not be very daily for a few weeks. Bertel is using the lull after the Tokyo Motor Show craze for a trip to China, and will return mid December. He goes to places where there is no, or only very cranky Internet coverage. Ed will watch over the site during BS’s absence. That means no Morning News, but the usual complement of Ed’s deep analysis.  The Daily Kanban Newsbot will run on full auto as usual.