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Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Conversation with Matt Farah

I had the pleasure of having a conversation yesterday with Matt Farah, who is the co-host of The Car Show on Speed and the founder of TheSmokingTire.com. When I was told about this opportunity I couldn't believe it because I had just started my car blog and was fairly new to this industry. This was definitely an opportunity that I could not pass up. I was kind of nervous because I have never spoken to an auto journalist before. But that nervousness went away and I was able to have a terrific conversation with Matt Farah.

Matt was really down to earth, funny, and straightforward while we were talking. He made me feel as if I already knew him which made me engage in the conversation even more. In the time that we did talk, we covered a lot of topics dealing with the auto industry. There were things that we really agreed on while there were a few things that we thought differently about.

The first topic that I asked Matt about was his view on Hyundai and Kia. He felt that they were going on the right path and was pleased with their quality and value. He even said that Hyundai and Kia are doing a better job than their Japanese competitors. Hyundai has had success with the Genesis and Equus, and Matt feels that they should make a luxury car brand. This is because many people who purchase a car like that don't want to buy or show up to a dealership where for example an Elantra is being sold.

About a week or so ago I wrote a post titled "What Happened To Acura???". This is a question that I had to ask Matt because I felt that I couldn't be the only one that thinks Acura has a problem. Matt really expressed his true feelings towards Acura's design choices, which were negative. I may be the only person who actually likes the designs that Acura has put out. But we both agreed that there were way more Acura's (especially the TL) years ago then there is now. Matt feels that Acura needs to get better designs if they expect people to buy their cars. I thought that Matt made a lot of sense when he said that Acura needs to have a flagship model preferably the NSX.

Matt and I then moved on to talk about the future of Lincoln and what things need to change. Matt was not very fond of the design choices of Lincoln, while on the other hand I actually like those designs. Just like Acura, Matt feels that Lincoln needs their own design team that will separate Ford and Lincoln. One interesting thing Matt brought up was that Lincoln needs to have a RWD car that draws attention to the brand. It would be very similar to what Chrysler did with the 300. I thought that this was a good idea that Matt had brought up. I do think that Ford will actually devote the time to give Lincoln a major makeover.

I had the chance to drive the 2011 Buick Regal CXL and I can say that I wasn't that impressed with the car. I thought I was the only one who felt that way but Matt had similar views about the Regal and the Buick brand. While talking about the brand Matt was making a few jokes that I just found to be really fun. While the jokes were funny, they were actually pretty true and accurate. As Matt pointed it out that Buick badge still represents a problem for many.

Since I started my car blog I have been trying to get advice from people who have been in the auto industry and how they got to where they are now. Two of the last questions that I asked Matt was how he got started and about TheSmokingTire.com. What I really appreciated about Matt Farah was that he was really honest and genuine when he gave me his answers. He came out and said that the auto industry is really hard to get into but you have to have that drive and passion. The advice that he gave me was exactly what I needed to hear. Matt went on to explain how TheSmokingTire.com started, which was an incredible story. I would like to say anyone who is interested in cars should definitely take a look at Matt Farah's website TheSmokingTire.com

I know how hard it is to get in contact with people in the auto industry, so I am really grateful that Matt Farah took time out of his busy schedule to speak to me!!! I just started out writing about cars and to be given this opportunity is more than I could have ever asked for. Again I want to thank Matt Farah because I appreciated our talk about the auto industry. There aren't too many people on my campus who have a love of cars like I do so it was great to talk to someone else who has a love of automobiles as well.  I also want to give a special thank you to Michael Cilnis who worked with me for the past three weeks trying to make this call happen. I hope that I have the opportunity to speak with the other co-host as well one day.

Please check out The Car Show on Wednesday's at 10pm ET on Speed.  The show is hosted by comedian Adam Carolla, automotive journalist Dan Neil, TheSmokingTire.com founder Matt Farah, and NBA Champion John Salley.

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