Pulitzer Prize-Winning Auto Columnist: Big Shifts Coming For Auto Industry

Jake Neher/WDET

With the North American International Auto Show media week underway, lots of journalists from around the country and the world are in Detroit to check out the cars and the city.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Dan Neil is the only auto columnist to ever win a Pulitzer Prize, which he won while he was writing for the L.A. Times. He joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about his career and what he’s seeing at this year’s auto show. 

My overall impression of the show is that we’re really between two eras in automobility — the legacy of internal combustion engines and what comes next,” says Neil. 

The automobile is being held back by gasoline in a thousand ways.”

Neil also says it’s impossible to escape politics during the scrums with auto executives at this year’s show. That’s having just come out of a contentious election that saw the rise of President-elect Donald Trump, who has espoused some hard-line policy proposals targeting major American auto companies. Neil says he’s surprised by the anti-trade sentiments that drove Trump’s popularity at the expense of the Democratic Party’s platform.

I’m astonished at the short-term memory,” he says. ”Obama saved millions of American jobs,” with the auto bailouts.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

About the Author

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

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