Autofield Blog

Gary S. Vasilash

Gary S. Vasilash is the founding editor of Automotive Design & Production (AD&P) magazine, a publication established in 1997 by Gardner Publications with the cooperation of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). He is responsible for the editorial management and direction of the monthly magazine. Vasilash continues to write a monthly column for AD&P and contributes several stories to each issue.

Vasilash has more than 20 years of experience writing about the automotive industry, best practices and new technologies. His work has appeared in a variety of venues, ranging from The Wall Street Journal to Lightworks, a journal of contemporary art. He has made numerous presentations at a variety of venues ranging from the annual meeting of the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) to the Center for Constructive alternatives at Hillsdale College.

Prior to his present position, Vasilash was editor-in-chief of both Automotive Production and Production magazines—predecessors to AD&P. He joined Cincinnati, Ohio-based Gardner Publications in 1987 as executive editor of Production magazine.

Prior to that, Vasilash had editorial positions with the Rockford Institute and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and a Master of Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is a member of the Automotive Press Association.

The Future Isn’t Now—But Could Have Been

By: Gary S. Vasilash 1. December 2014

Art galleries aren’t something we ordinarily write about, but neither are flying cars. And now we’re doing both.

The M.A.D. Gallery in Geneva is exhibiting a collection of photographs by French photographer Renaud Marion. . .of flying cars.

Marion, who is 39, had assumed—as many of us did—that certainly by now we’re all be zipping around in flying cars in the 21st century.

El Camino

As an artist, he may be a little more imaginative than the rest of us, as he said, “As a child, I imagined the new millennium with flying cars, spaceships, parallel worlds, extra-terrestrials living with us on earth, and time travel.”

We are at least with him on the flying cars.

Anyway, he has created a series of photographs of flying cars, a collection named “Air Drive.”

Rather than developing fanciful vehicles, he went for classics, like the Chevy El Camino, as they represent for Marion what he had imagined, as a child, what the future would look like.

Mercedes 190

He also paid careful attention to the background for the cars: “I looked for architecture dating from the 1970s; for me that’s retro-futuristic. The buildings had to be imposing, massive and graphic.”

Well, maybe this isn’t what the future has become, but it is interesting from Marion’s point of view of what it could be.

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A Photo for Black Friday

By: Gary S. Vasilash 28. November 2014

Seeing as how this is so-called “Black Friday” here in the U.S., we decided to share a photo of something black.


Yes, a tire. It is, to be specific, a Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric.

Certainly is a nicer image than a mob scene at a Wal-Mart or something.

The tire, by the way, is a Summer tire, so for those of you who live in the Midwest or East, at least it is something to dream of.

GM Money for Manufacturing in Michigan

By: Gary S. Vasilash 26. November 2014

Late last week General Motors announced that it is spending some serious money for manufacturing in southeastern Michigan. Serious as in $200-million.

Of the money, the Orion Assembly Plant—where the Chevrolet Sonic and Buick Verano are produced—will get $160-million for tooling and equipment.

GM Pontiac Metal Center

The Pontiac Metal Center—which was established in 1926 as part of the Oakland Motor Car company and which presently produces parts for vehicles ranging from the Chevy Cruze to the Cadillac CTS, the Impala to the Yukon—will be receiving $40-million for new dies.

Both investments are for “a future vehicle program.”

It is worth noting that the $200-million is on top of some $575-million that General Motors has invested in the 4.3-million sq. ft. Orion Assembly and the 1.2-million sq. ft. Pontiac Metal Center since 2010.

Cathy Clegg described the latest investment as “a shot in the arm for these two terrific plants known for their teamwork an employee engagement.”

While there are no new jobs being created at the plants as a result of the announced investment, presumably the women and men who work at Orion and Pontiac are going to be having a happier Thanksgiving, knowing of the importance of their plants—to say nothing of those who are at the tooling and equipment vendors that GM will tap for sourcing.

What Some of the 1% Will Drive

By: Gary S. Vasilash 25. November 2014

Reportedly, the 1% in China control about one-third of the country’s wealth, while in the U.S. the richest of the rich handle about 40%.

Of course, given that the population of China is 1,393,783,836 and it is 322,583,006 in the U.S., there are about 14-million 1%-ers in China and a paltry 3.2-million in the U.S.

That said, it is immensely clear why last week Mercedes unveiled the Mercedes-Maybach S 600 at Auto Guangzhou 2014, then hours later at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Mercedes-Benz auf der Guangzhou Auto Show 2014 
Mercedes-Benz at the Guangzhou Auto Show 2014

The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is, as its name implies, based on the Mercedes S-Class, the long version of the car. That car is 524.6-cm—or 17.21-ft—long. Which is insufficient for those who really need to stretch out in a car.

The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is 544.6-cm—or 17.87-ft—long. That’s some real estate.

Mercedes-Maybach S 600 (X 222) 2014

That acreage is taken advantage of particularly in the rear, where there are two “Executive Seats,” which means well-upholstered seats that recline to the extent that taking a snooze is a foregone conclusion.

Powering the behemoth is a V12 bi-turbo engine that produces 530 hp.

As you may recall, Mercedes offered modern Maybachs starting in 2002, but stopped building them at the end of 2012, presumably due to the fact that they sold a few thousand during that period of time.

Mercedes-Maybach S 600 (X 222) 2014

Now that the world economy, at least for some people, is back and better than ever, presumably the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class makes more sense.

As Ola Källenius, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars, responsible for Sales & Marketing, explained, “Our new sub-brand stands for prestigious exclusivity and is aimed at particularly status-conscious customers. From China in particular, we have noted customer demand for us to offer a particularly exclusive and spacious variant of the best automobile in the world.”

If you’ve got it. . . .

Mercedes-Maybach S 600 (X 222) 2014

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