2/24/15 @ The Proud Bird

The February Motor Press Guild Town Hall Meeting will take place at the Proud Bird Restaurant, near LAX – our old stomping grounds – proving that MPG moves into the future without abandoning its past.

Social @ 11:30 am // Luncheon @ Noon

Your new President, Jason Fogelson, will tell you about the “State of the MPG,” and the Board of Directors and committee heads will give brief presentations. We’ll sum up 2014 and share our goals and visions for 2015 and beyond. You’ll hear about MPG’s financial status and about our prospects for the year. We’ll talk about our calendar of events for 2015. 

Most importantly, the Board will listen. We want to hear your thoughts and suggestions for ways that MPG can serve you better. What worked for you last year, and what could be better? If you have suggestions for improvements in MPG’s programming and operation, please be prepared to share them. 

We’ll conduct this meeting in a fairly informal way, but we will insist that discussion is respectful and organized. We’ll have a microphone available for members to use, and we’ll do our best to give everyone the time and attention that they deserve. You can help by being prepared, and by asking questions that are of interest to the whole group.



We're happy to announce our programming for the rest of 2014. This means you can mark your calendars now and not miss any upcoming MPG events. We look forward to seeing you!

Angus MacKenzie

August MPG Luncheon: Media in the News featuring guest, Angus MacKenzie
Tuesday, 8/12/14 at Art Center School of Design

MPG kicks off a new format of one-on-one interviews we're calling "Media in the News." Get the inside story of the creation of TEN (The Enthusiast Network) from the man behind the media empire - Angus MacKenzie. Our interviewer - Auto Analyst, Eric Noble. More event information is coming soon - watch this space for details.



AcuraSeptember MPG Luncheon: hosted by Acura at the American Honda Museum
Tuesday, 9/16/14

Acura Division’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, Michael Accavitti, will discuss the launch of the highly-anticipated Acura TLX luxury performance sedan and deliver a presentation about the state of the brand. Access to the exclusive collection of vintage Honda & Acura models not available to the public at the Honda Museum is also open to members.


MPG Track DaysOctober: 2014 MPG Track Days
Tuesday/Wednesday, 10/14-15/14
It's two days that you do not want to miss. The premiere event of the Motor Press Guild has undergone a complete redesign. Get more information and register by 9/12/14.


Mazda '80s MX-er

October MPG Networking Mixer: MAZDA '80s "MX-er"
Thursday, 10/30/14

Mazda graciously hosts us at its R&D Building in Irvine. The all-new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata will be on display and a brief design walk-around with Mazda Director of Design, Derek Jenkins is planned for the evening.

For a little added fun since it's the night before Halloween, a DJ will spin tunes from the '80s era, and Mazda invites guests to wear their favorite '80s fashions or a treasured '80s band t-shirt. (Normal 2014-era clothing is also acceptable.) Plenty of food, drinks and time for networking makes this an event not to miss.


LA Auto Show

November: MPG Motoring Invitational Breakfast and Classic Car Show
at the 2014 LA Auto Show
Wednesday, 11/19/14
MPG and the Los Angeles Auto Show will once again bring you the food trucks and classic cars that have made LA the best car culture in the world. MPG also announces its IVY Award winners at the event.



Dean Batchelor


December: MPG Dean Batchelor Awards Banquet     
Tuesday, 12/9/14
Due to the temporary closing of the Petersen Museum, a new venue will be selected for this year's holiday banquet & awards program. More on that to follow, but meanwhile, please save the date!



Tuesday, June 17, 2014 from 5:30-7:00pm
at the Ford Design Center, Irvine

MPG June Mixer:
2015 Ford F-150 Presentation and Happy Hour at the Ford Design Studio, Irvine

F-150 Marketing Manager Eric Peterson will be at the Ford Design Studio in Irvine, beginning at 5:30 p.m., to discuss the all-new F-150. You won't want to miss checking out the new "all aluminum" F-150 for yourself. There will be a short program, "happy hour" food and drinks and plenty of time for networking.

Information on getting to the Ford Design Studio:

  • Glen Bell Way is the driveway leading from Gateway Blvd. into the Taco Bell headquarters building in the Irvine Spectrum.
  • The Ford building is the two-story "wing" attached to the five-story Taco Bell building. It faces the Mazda North American headquarters building that is on the corner of Gateway and Irvine Center Drive.
  • There is no Ford signage on the building, as it houses their West Coast design center.

Parking information:
Some parking will be available in the outdoor parking lot next to the Ford Motor Building since the meeting will be held after work hours, but the primary parking for MPG guests is the four-story parking structure attached to the Taco Bell building. Please use only the third and fourth floors of the four-story parking structure attached to the Taco Bell building.

Motor Press Guild signs will be posted along the front of the Taco Bell building, which will lead you to the Design Center.


Ford Design Studio, Irvine
3 Glen Bell Way
Irvine, CA 92618

For directions, click here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
5:30 - 7:00pm

Members: $10
Non-Members and Guests: $15

Cash/check at door, no reservations

2015 Ford F-150

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 from 4:00-7:00pm
at the Queen Mary, Long Beach

MPG May Networking Event: Alt Fuels Panel Discussion and Happy Hour at the Queen Mary

Join us for our May event with expert panelists who represent a range of alternative fuels sources. They will discuss the technological feasibility against the economic viability of the various clean transportation options most commonly used today, including hydrogen, electric, CNG as a bi-fuel and electrification for non-traditional transportation applications.
The Queen Mary
1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach, CA 90802
For directions,
click here.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014 from 4:00-7:00pm


Members: $25
Non-Members and Guests: $40
Cash or check at the door
Open seating (no reservations)

Alternative Fuels

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 from 11:30am-1:30pm
at Kia Motors America

MPG March Luncheon: K900 Presentation and Drive

Kia's Michael Sprague, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Eddie Rayyan, K900 Product Strategy Manager, will be discussing the company's entry into the luxury sedan segment with the all-new K900. In addition to the presentation, Kia will have K900s on hand for MPG members to take on a 10-minute, short drive loop. Don't miss the opportunity to check out the all-new K900 from Kia up close — and from behind the driver's seat!
Kia Motors America
111 Peters Canyon Rd., Irvine, CA 92606
For directions,
click here.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014 from 11:30am-1:30pm


Members: $10
Non-Members and Guests: $20
Cash or check at the door
Open seating (no reservations)

K900 Presentation at Kia Motors

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 from 5:30-8:00pm
at the Source Interlink offices

MPG MIXER: "Behind the Scenes at Motor Trend"

The Motor Press Guild will be hosting a networking event in the garage of Source Interlink with cool cars, gourmet tacos, beverages and a quick "behind the scenes" peek at what Motor Trend is up to these days by Editor-in-Chief, Ed Loh.
We’ll also be introducing you to your newly elected 2014 Officers and Board of Directors, give you some interesting findings from our survey and announce more plans for the rest of the year.
Source Interlink offices
831 S Douglas St, El Segundo, CA
For directions, click here.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014 from 5:30-8:00pm


Members: FREE
Past Member: FREE
Non-Member Guest (one per person): FREE

Please RSVP (we want enough tacos for everyone!) if you’re planning to attend by February 10th to

Behind the Scenes at Motor Trend - February 2014 MPG Networking Event

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 at the Proud Bird

Panel Discussion: The return of the North American Luxury Car Market

KABC-TV's Dave Kunz led a lively discussion of the luxury car market with key representatives from Cadillac, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz plus a special guest from the Robb Report on August 13 at the Proud Bird.  

Click here for an audio recording of the discussion. Get the full story, photos and more in the next issue of MilePost.

Luxury Car Panel
Luxury car panel, from left to right: Cadillac's Melody Lee; the Robb Report's Cristina Cheever; Lexus' Brian Bolain; Mercedes-Benz' Kaitlyn Aurillo; Moderator Dave Kunz from KABC-TV.  photo by Brad Nelson 

Thursday, July 11, 2013 at the Proud Bird

Online Auto Shopping: A changing retail market 
President and COO Seth Berkowitz provided an insightful look at how technology and consumer expectations are changing the online car shopping experience and introduced Edmunds' new pricing tool, "Price PromiseSM," on July 11 at the Proud Bird.

Click here for an audio recording of the discussion. Get the full story and photos in the August 2013 issue of MilePost.


Seth Berkowitz President and COO Seth Berkowitz.  —photo by Brad Nelson 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at the Proud Bird

The Mobility Industry: An increasingly vital link to independence

Four speakers representing a cross section of the mobility industry and disabled veterans spoke to MPG members on June 11 at the Proud Bird about growth and and challenges in the industry.

Click here for an audio recording of the discussion. Get the full story and photos in the July issue of MilePost

Mark Oldenburg (left, Toyota) and DeMarlon Pollard (Paralyzed Veterans of America) field questions from MPG members. photo by Brad Nelson

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at the Proud Bird

MPG looks at the state of the automotive aftermarket

USA Today automotive reporter Chris Woodyard led a panel discussion on the current state of the automotive aftermarket on May 14 at the Proud Bird. Woodyard was joined by Myles Kovacs from DUB Magazine, Pat Dougherty from Mopar Parts, and SEMA VP of Communications Peter MacGillivray. The disparate group offered a broad view of the what's happening with the aftermarket today.

Click here for an audio recording of the discussion. Get the full story and photos in the June issue of MilePost

Automotive aftermarket panel, from left: Myles Kovacs, Pat Dougherty, Peter MacGillivray, and Chris Woodyard.  —photo by Brad Nelson

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at the Ford Design Center in Irvine

Ford reveals Raptor Special Edition, updates F150 lineup for MPG

Ford Truck Marketing Manager Doug Scott gave MPG an exclusive first look at the new Raptor SVT Special Edition plus a fresh update on the F150 truck lineup at its design center in Irvine on April 9. 

Click here for an audio recording of the presentation.  Get the full story in the May issue of MilePost

Doug Scott
Ford Truck Marketing Manager Doug Scott. —photo by Brad Nelson
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at the Proud Bird

Automotive apps in focus at MPG panel discussion

A well-informed panel of automotive tech experts gathered at the Proud Bird on Tuesday, March 12 to discuss the hot-and-getting-hotter topic of automotive apps. Car technology guru Doug Newcomb moderated the panel which covered a broad range of related topics from diverse perspectives.

The panelists included:

Click here for an audio recording of the event. Get the full story in the April issue of MilePost


Automotive Apps Panel
Automotive apps panelists from left to right: Wayne Ward, Jim Pisz, Henry Bzeih, Andrew Poliak, Michelle Avary and moderator Doug Newcomb.  —photo by Brad Nelson

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at the Proud Bird

Shrinking the Army's appetite for fuel

Featured speaker Dr. Grace M. Bochenek, first Chief Technology Officer for the U.S. Army Materiel Command, discussed what the world's largest consumer of fossil fuel is doing to reduce its carbon footprint. 

Click here for an audio recording of the presentation.

Sneaking a peek at an upcoming So Cal racing documentary 

Special guest Harry Pallenberg gave MPG members a sneak preview of his new documentary, "Where They Raced," an online film series beginning on February 12.

Click here for an audio recording.

Dr. Grace Bochenek
Dr. Grace Bochenek speaks at the MPG luncheon.  —photo by Brad Nelson


Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at the Proud Bird

NHTSA Chief David Strickland reveals U.S. government auto safety policy and activity

From distracted driving to electric vehicle noise requirements, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland provided insight into some thorny and challenging issues that his agency is tackling. 

Get the full report in the February issue of MilePost.

In the mean time, you can click here
for the audio recording.

David Strickland
NHTSA Administrator David Strickland speaks to MPG members. 
—photo by Brad Nelson

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at the Petersen Automotive Museum

Karl Ludvigsen wins the 18th Annual Dean Batchelor Award

The Motor Press Guild came together on December 11 to honor the best automotive journalism of the year at the 18th Annual Dean Batchelor Award banquet at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

The 2012 Dean Batchelor Award went to Karl Ludvigsen for his book, "Porsche: Origin of the Species" (Bentley Publishers) which also earns Best Book of the Year.

Best Article of the Year went to Greg Sharp for "The World's Fastest Hot Rod" (The Rodder's Journal, Spring 2012).

Taking Best Audio/Visual of the Year were Micah Muzio and Michael DeLano for "KBB Races a Mazda Miata" (Kelly Blue Book -, Feb. 22, 2012). 

MPG capped the evening by honoring former Road & Track editor Thomas L. Bryant with its Lifetime Achievement Award. 

DBA Award Presentation
The MPG Board of Directors present the Dean Batchelor Award. — photo by Brad Nelson

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at the L.A. Auto Show

MPG presents 2012 Vehicle of the Year Award to Cadillac

MPG President Laura Burstein presented the 2012 MPG Vehicle of the Year Award to Cadillac Vice President of Marketing Don Butler for the 2013 Cadillac ATS today at the L.A. Auto Show.  



VOTY Award Presentation
— photo by Brad Nelson

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at the L.A. Auto Show

Toyota President and CEO Jim Lentz delivers MPG Keynote Address at L.A. Auto Show


Jim Lentz
— photo by Brad Nelson

Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at the Auto Club in Costa Mesa

Electric Car Panel: Plugging into the reality of EV ownership

MPG brought a strong cast of electric vehicle experts together on Tuesday, Sept. 11 to discuss the reality of electric car ownership. The panel discussion was held at Auto Club of Southern California in Costa Mesa, a fitting venue as the organization deals directly with automotive realities on a daily basis.

Charlie Vogelheim moderated the discussion with panel members Steve Mazor from the Auto Club's Research Center, Plug-in American co-founder Paul Scott, Motivo Engineering CEO Praveen Penmetsa, and Charlie Botsford from Aero-Vironment. The panel was informative and the format made for a lively interaction with the audience during much of the meeting.

Get all the details in the October edition of MilePost

Electric Car Panel
Charlie Vogelheim (left) led the discussion with panelists (from left): Steve Mazor, Charlie Botsford, Praveen Penmetsa and Paul Scott.  — photo by Brad Nelson

Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at the Proud Bird

VW of America EVP Tim Mahoney reveals brand strengths, challenges and direction as quest for No. 1 in the world continues

Volkswagen of America Executive Vice President and Chief Product Marketing Officer Tim Mahoney dropped in at the Proud Bird on Tuesday to give MPG members a good look at the current successes and challenges VW is finding in the U.S. market as the company continues efforts to grow and improve its reputation here.  Mahoney also touched on where the brand is going in the U.S. and how it plans to get there.  

Full details available in the next MilePost newsletter on Sept. 1. 

VW EVP Tim Mahoney
VW Executive VP Tim Mahoney at the Proud Bird.  — photo by Brad Nelson

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 at the Proud Bird

Honda Mfg. VP Rick Schostek details major U.S. manufacturing moves as company nears 30 years of car building in America

With more than 20 million cars produced in its North American plants in 30 years of business, one might be tempted to think Honda manufacturing has peaked in the U.S. Not so according to Senior VP of Mfg. Rick Schostek as he detailed a comprehensive expansion of manufacturing activity throughout the country at the MPG luncheon on Tuesday, July 24. 

Schostek said that investments announced in the last 18 months total $2 billion, and Honda's annual North America build rate will grow from 1.63 million to 1.92 million units by 2014. By that time, nine out of every 10 vehicles it sells in America will be made here as well. 

Get the full story in the next installment of MilePost on August 1. 


altHonda Mfg. Senior Vice President Rick Schostek speaks to MPG at the Proud Bird.  —photo by Brad Nelson

Monday, June 18, 2012 at the Petersen Automotive Museum

MPG design panel explores "Eurasian" automotive trends

Four prominent designers from some of the hottest brands in the automotive world discussed emerging design trends and influences under the theme, "Eurasian Persuasion" at MPG's annual Design Panel at the Petersen Automotive Museum on Monday, June 18.  Designers Richard Kim (BMW), Peter Schreyer (Kia), Derek Jenkins (Mazda), and Jae Min (Volkswagen) shared their thoughts as the always capable Eric Noble from the Car Lab probed with insightful questions.

The evening was made possible with event partner, AutoDesignO, and  sponsors, Auctions America by RM, Mothers, Bunkspeed and Linkage Design.  A special thanks to the Petersen Museum for providing the venue.

21_-_sized.jpgDesign Panel 2012, from left: Richard Kim (BMW), Peter Schreyer (Kia), Derek Jenkins (Mazda), Jae Min (Volkswagen).  photo by Myles Regan 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at the Proud Bird

Dodge CEO Reid Bigland tells of Chrysler resurgence, Calif. marketing and the dirt on the new Dart

Dodge CEO Reid Bigland took the speaker's podium at the Proud Bird on Tuesday, briefing MPG members on the company's U.S. resurgence, California market plans plus an inside look at its new Dart—the first joint vehicle development between Chyrsler and Fiat and a crucial part of Chrysler's U.S. strategy.

Bigland kicked off his presentation with some notes on Chrysler's rapid recovery from its 2009 bankruptcy, noting the company paid back its federal loans in full last year, along with a sobering $1 billion in interest.  A retail sales increase of 43 percent in 2011 helped accelerate the payback, followed by a 37 percent increase in the first quarter of 2012 that resulted in Chrysler's "strongest quarterly profit in 13 years," said Bigland. 

The new Dodge Dart is also part of a renewed emphasis in the California market where the firm hopes to spread some of the old "Dodge fever," a mythical condition featured in corporate advertising in the '60s and '70s when the firm sold nearly 4 million Darts. 

With a platform based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and "MultiAir" engines sourced from Fiat, the new car has an unusual pedigree that Dodge clearly plans to play to its advantage.  MPG members were able to sample the new Italian-American hybrid with test drives around the Proud Bird/LAX area. 

Look for a complete report in the June 1 issue of MilePost.   



Dodge CEO Reid Bigland and the 2013 Dodge Dart. —photos by Brad Nelson 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at the Proud Bird
California Congressman John Campbell brings D.C. insight and O.C. car biz perspective to April MPG luncheon

Republican Congressman John Campbell addressed the Motor Press Guild today, giving members a peek into the current state of affairs in Washington as it relates to cars, the auto industry, and what it all means for how and what we'll be driving in the future. Campbell brought his unique combination of D.C. insight and 25 years as a Southern California auto dealer owner/advisor, covering such topics as infrastructure, CAFE, alternative fuels, taxes and the car hobby.

The congressman noted that the internal combustion engine has plenty of life remaining but we should encourage alternative technology and fuels. Exactly how that's accomplished is one of the major challenges in the current political climate, but Campbell feels that congress is ready to make things happen; "There's a hunger to get things done," he says. And "2013 is likely to be extremely productive."

One way Campbell is encouraging automotive innovation is through a bill he authored last fall designed to make low-volume auto manufacturing more affordable by reducing safety and emissions-related regulatory burdens on smaller car makers.

For more on MPG luncheons and meetings, click here.


Congressman John Campbell. —photo by Brad Nelson

Audio of the presentation:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 

Erich Merkle at the Ford Design Showroom

Ford hosted our luncheon at the Ford Design Showroom in Irvine, CA. Ford’s U.S. sales analyst, Erich Merkel discussed the new Ford Fusion and its place in the mid-size segment, and displayed a prototype of the 2013 Ford Fusion.

For the audio, click here.
For more on MPG luncheons and meetings, click here.

Freeman Thomas and Erich Merkle
Freeman Thomas (left) and Erich Merkle with the 2013 Ford Fusion. photo by Pete Lyons for MPG

Tuesday, February 28, 2012: Back at The Proud Bird

Bill Tally of Fisker Automotive Presents:
The 2012 Fisker Karma

Fisker's Director of Vehicle Integration, Bill Tally, presented the 2012 Fisker Karma. Assembled in Finland, three of the American luxury car were showcased in front of the Proud Bird.
Limited test driveswere available after the presentation.

For the audio of the presentation, click here.
For more on MPG events, click here

Fisker at The Proud Bird
The Fisker Karma at The Proud Bird. —photo by Lorna Lyons for MPG

January 12, 2012: Board of Directors Meeting

The Motor Press Guild announces election results and officers for 2012

Congratulations to newly elected Board members Joni Gray, Brendan Flynn, and Michael Harley. They replace Mike Levine, James Bell, and Jeff Holland whose terms expired at the end of December. MPG thanks all of them for their service.

The new officers for 2012 are:
President: Laura Burstein
Vice-President: Aaron Gold
Treasurer: Chris Martin
Secretary: Joni Gray

Committees for 2012 are currently being formed. Anyone wishing to be considered for a committee slot in 2012 should contact President Laura Burstein,, as soon as possible.

OnTrackTrack Day 2011. One of MPG's premiere events. photo by Pete Lyons for MPG