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2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback XSE: Fun in the City

Susan Frissell
Editor, WWW

I, for one, am delighted that the ‘hatchback’ version of the Corolla is here. And dare I saw it, I’m also excited about the comeback of Toyota’s station wagon.’ Of course, it will never be referred to again as a ‘station wagon,’ but the iteration in 2019, is unmistakably, that category of automobile. Too bad Toyota isn’t introducing it here in the U.S.; well, not yet, anyway.

After one week in the newly introduced Corolla Hatchback XSE, our report is favorable. I chauffeured a few friends over the weekend, all of whom liked the Corolla hatchback offering right away. So much so, they headed for the internet and began googling the specs and cost. I have yet to see one on the road, but know they are out there.

One can hardly go wrong putting themselves in a Corolla. Why, I have a neighbor who just last year traded in her old Corolla. It had to be 25 years old, the infamous racing green color, with millions of miles on it. To my surprise, she bought a Volvo SUV. Quite a change, but I think she felt she deserved it after all those years!

The 2019 Corolla Hatchback is available in three trim levels: SE ($19,900), SE AT ($21,090) and XSE AT ($24,090 for manual and $25,010 for CVT-equipped). Our XSE version came in the now popular blue car category; one Toyota calls “Blue Flame.” Liked by all, it turned heads wherever we were in downtown Chicago. Our Hatchback was a prototype model, equipped with the 2.0-liter DynamicForce 4-cylinder automatic. At 168 horsepower, it will get you onto the highway safely, and better than some. It’s quiet, as expected.

The new 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback handles well and drives better with its upgraded technology. Although don’t expect the rocket-like experience of say, the VW GTI! The Corolla is equipped with a large supply of standard safety features for an entry-level four-door hatchback. While not a fan of CVT transmissions (an extra at $1,100), I might as well get used to them, but the lag when taking off isn’t always pleasurable.

Trim options available on the Corolla Hatchback are limited, but we think that is a good thing. Too many choices confuse buyers and in this category one expects the basics, and yet, receives a little more. The SE trim level will offer a Preferred Package for CVT models that includes an upgraded multimedia system with Toyota Connected Services and blind spot warning for $1,400. The XSE Preferred Package also is only available on CVT models and for $1,600 it adds a JBL eight-speaker stereo system, a wireless charging pad and dynamic navigation. An adaptive front lighting system also is available on the Toyota Corolla XSE for $415.

Competition for the new Hatchback includes Hyundai Veloster (R-SPEC), the 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback-starting at just about the same price but with a manual transmission, the 2018 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback ($22,195 starting), and the redesigned 2019 VW Jetta (base trim level $20,645). The latter two vehicles don’t match Toyota’s safety equipment, or other goodies.

Of course, the Corolla’s CVT transmission aids in fuel economy. The manual SE model gets 28/37/31 mpg city/highway, and improves to 32/42/36 mpg with the CVT. In the XSE version, the gas mileage is listed at 30/38/33 mpg. As far as the Corolla’s manual version, the numbers fall a tad behind some of the competitors. We averaged about 34-35 mpg in highway driving, in our automatic.

This is a top-notch, all around vehicle in its segment. The Corolla is peppier, and the interior refinements make this a great value. We-and a passenger-especially liked the Bi-LED combo headlights with auto on/off feature and adaptive front lighting system. It lights the way well, especially when on dark roads. Slyly pointing the way forward, the projected path camera is a welcome feature when doing some nighttime driving.

The seats are comfortable, and our XSE version came equipped with the two-tone leather, a sharp light “Cool Gray.” Legroom is decent in the front seating area, but those in back, if blessed with long legs, might find it a tad cramped. The rear seats are 60/40 split fold-down so space is increased for carrying bikes, packages, etc. Oh, and dogs!

The steering wheel is tilt/telescopic leather, 3-spoke with system controls and paddle shifters. We did not engage the paddle shifters. The leather-trimmed front seats were both heated; the driver’s seat featuring a 8-way power adjustable feature, and the passenger seat a manually adjusted front seat.

The electronics included a 7-inch multi-information display, with Entune 3.0, Auto Plus with App Suite, six speakers and 8-inch touch screen, AM/FM/HD radio and CD player. This writer couldn’t determine if there was a GPS system. A prototype model, we weren’t familiar with the set-up. Nor could we determine where the CD was located (which was listed). As a colleague often reminds me, consulting the manual is the first thing to do. One was not included in our test car.

Additional features on our test Corolla Hatchback Prototype included the Smart Key System on front doors, push-button start, remote keyless entry, LED DRL with On-0ff features, LED fog lights, LED combo tailgates, Black front grille with chrome grille surround, color-keyed power outside mirrors with turn signal and Blind Spot Monitor, Acoustic noise-reducing front windshield, Dual zone A/C, and Integrated backup camera with projected path. All four windows are power with auto up/down.

The redesigned 2019 Corolla hatchback arrived on dealership lots in the U.S. earlier this year and is noticeably ‘changed.’ As an update, it rides on a lighter, more agile platform, which it also shares in some version on the Prius hybrid, RAV4 and Avalon. In addition, fuel economy is markedly improved.

Frissell Fido Friendly Rating

The Frissell Fido Four didn’t get a chance to ride in the Corolla Hatchback, but had they, rear seats would have been collapsed to accommodate all four more leisurely. Although the fit would have been made, the space wouldn’t have been anymore generous than their everyday sedan; in fact, the sedan they ride in on most days is probably more generous.

When thinking about buying a vehicle “fit for a dog” (king?), one’s money is probably better spent (or so friends tell me) on a large SUV (think GMC Terrain, Toyota Highlander, etc), or a minivan than on a compact hatchback. What most pet owners know-or should know-is that transporting a dog in a car without a harness is dangerous. Should a sudden stop be made, any dog, particularly a small dog, will fly through the car, much like a projectile. The best option no matter the wheels, is to crate your dog(s).

All dogs are different in their preferences and when riding in a vehicle, this becomes clear. Most prefer standing, but two of mine, like sitting-or sleeping (Chihuahuas). The Whippets prefer stretching their heads out the window, grabbing plenty of fresh air. This doesn’t accommodate seat belt wear very easily. Truth be told, we don’t seatbelt the dogs like we should. Rather, their leashes are tied to the seatbelts.

Why do dogs love riding in cars? According to Kevin Behan of Natural Dog Training, it may be because they feel as though they are on a hunt. While this could certainly be accurate for the
Whippets, I’m not sure about the Chihuahuas; although Lucille is a different story. She is a hunter by nature.

Apparently, a dog is induced by the synchronized physical movement of a car into a state of emotional suspension; therefore, a dog feels as if it is part of the group that is on the hunt. How much sensory input (energy) can this feeling of weightlessness sustain seems to be determined by the temperament of a dog. They will respond in different ways. For some dogs the feeling can be very strong and when their emotional capacity is exceeded, may strike out at things going past (don’t quote me on this!)

Most of us assume that hunting for a dog means stalking, chasing and killing prey to obtain food. In the animal mind, however, a hunt is a “state of emotional suspension;” the animal projecting itself into its prey. If the prey acts like ‘prey,’ the predator mirrors it by feel with equal and opposite movement in order to counterbalance.

What’s ahead for the Corolla

Expect new changes in the Corolla design coming for the year 2020. Toyota isn’t saying much about the up- and-coming redesigned 2020 Corolla sedan; its 12th generation to go on sale in the U.S. Is there a compact sedan that’s lasted this long? And still gets good ratings. The current design dates back to 2014 and although has had a few tweaks here and there, will welcome a total redo. Particularly, with all the competition today. We can certainly say that about the redesigned-long overdue-Camry. Finally, it’s got some style.

Next week will bring the debut of the redesigned 2020 Corolla which Toyota will emphasize for its ‘global nature’ as a compact sedan. Most likely seen for the first time in the U.S. will be at the L.A. Auto Show in California later this month, with its initial debut at the Guangzhou auto show in China.


Engine: 2.0-liter DynamicForce 4-cylinder DOHC, 66—rpm
16-valve, Dual injection with dual VVT-1, 168 hp., 151 lb.ft. torque
Transmission: Dynamic shift, CVT with physical first launch gear. Drivetrain FWD, suspension independent MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear.
Wheelbase: 103.9 in.
Length: 169.9 in.
Width: 69.9 in.
Curb weight: 3,060 lbs.
Height: 57.1 in.
Tank Capacity: 13.2 gal.
EPA Fuel Economy: 28/37 mpg.
Wheels: 18-inch machine finished alloy
Tires: P225/40R18 in.
Sound system: Entune 3.0 Auto Plus with App Suite, 6 spkrs, 8-inch Touchscreen AM/FM/HD Radio, CD player
Bi-LED combo headlights with auto on/off feature and adaptive front lighting system
LED DRL w/on-off features
LED fog lights
LED combo taillights
Black front grille with chrome grille surround
Color-keyed power outside mirrors with turn signal and blind spot monitor
Acoustic noise-reducing front windshield
Dual zone A/C
Integrated backup camera with projected path
Power windows with 4-window auto up/down
Smart key system on FR doors and trunk with push-button start remote keyless entry
Aux port, USB media port 2 usb charge ports advanced voice recognition
7-inch multi-information display
Leather-trimmed heated front seats with 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, manually adjusted front passenger seat
60/40-split fold-down rear seats
Tilt/telescopic leather e-spoke steering wheel with system controls and paddle shifters
Interior cool gray
Exterior: Blue Flame
Warranty: Full. Basic: 3 yrs./36,000-miles; Powertrain: 5 yrs.

The Guinness Book of World Records’ best-selling two-seat sports car: 2019 Mazda MX-5 (Miata) RF

Susan Frissell
Editor, WWW

This is not a point one can argue. Anyone who has owned-or even driven a Miata (as we grew up referring to them), knows, this is, indeed, the best little two-seat sportscar out there.

As those in my generation have mused, when growing up in the 1960s, many ached for those British MG’s, Triumphs and of course, the iconic Jaguar XKE. Who could not love these beauties and aspire to owning one.

The bad news, as all know, was that they were not at all dependable. The old joke was “if you owned a Jaguar, you had two. One was always in the shop.”

No matter. We still coveted them. And in Mazda’s wisdom, they knew it too. So, when the little sportster made it over to the U.S. in 1989 as a 1990 model, we were hooked. And as time passed, there were more than one iteration of this little bugger: Our test car for the week, the MX-5 RF edition.

Some debate the value of hardtop vs. soft top. We think both are desirable and perhaps for different driving times. It’s convenient to have a hardtop during cooler months, and when navigating highways, having a quieter cabin is a luxury.

But when temps are upwards of 80 degrees, and the sun is bright in the sky, there’s nothing like the ease and convenience of a soft top. And the Miata’s is so easy to drop at a moment’s notice.

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 RF is for those purists, and those willing to pay an extra $3,000 for the hardtop. Our test 2019 MX-5 RF carried a MSRP of $33,335 and a total price of $36,005. While this may seem like a high price tag lot to many, it’s money well-spent, or so our reasoning goes.

One will have this Miata for years, and with little upkeep. The styling never goes out of fashion, and once a convertible driver, always a convertible driver.

Having assembled more than one million Miatas over the years, those who haven’t spent seat time in the MX-5 have no business criticizing. When Mazda introduced the RF some 18 months ago, adding a retractable roof to the fourth-generation MX-5. They must have known, as the NC model by the end of its life accounted for more than half of the MX-5 sales.

Some owners do make their MX-5 an all-season car. Power windows, cruise control and air conditioning make it all the more practical. The manual soft top can easily be unlatched, thrown over the driver’s shoulder and in five seconds, you’ve gone topless. The soft top is now easier to open and close, but don’t expect much more head room than before. The RF feels even closer inside. In fact, the driver who delivered the MX-5 RF last week was over six feet tall. How he managed that space for 4 hours is amusing.

The MX-5 has been given a bump-at last-in horsepower for the 2019 model year. You can now get your kicks with the 181horsepower engine at 7,000 rpm (17 percent improved). Torque is at 15 lb.ft. at 4,000 rpm.

Roomy trunk space

The RF roof more resembles the targa top. It makes for a quieter cabin, although the newest ragtop iteration is a much better quality soft top. A car buff can argue that while today’s vehicles are easier to drive, they lack the feel of the road. Not so with the Miata, and perhaps that is its number one appeal.

Mazda boasts that the RF hardtop opens and closes in 13 seconds. The switch is located on the dash, easy to see and use. The RF is available in Grand Touring and Club levels. New for 2019 are a standard tilt/telescoping steering column, standard rearview camera, Metallic black wheels, Newly available Smart City Brake and New Traffic Sign Recognition. New packages for 2019 include the New Club i-ACTIVSENSE Package which includes Smart City Brake Support and Lane-Departure Warning, New GT-S package which includes a limited-slip rear differential (our test RF came with this option), Bilstein dampers, shock tower brace and a black roof on the six-speed manual transmission only.

Performance highlights on our RF included a sport-tuned exhaust system, Sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein dampers on manual transmission models, Limited-slip differential on manual transmission models, and shock tower brace on MT only.

The Bose 9-speaker audio system with headrest speakers was a nice upgrade and the sound takes off in this little roadster. Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming, along with Adaptive Front-Lighting System are standard highlights with Mazda’s Advanced Keyless Entry. Pushbutton start is also standard.

The 4.6-inch full-color TFT display is easy to read and works fairly simply. However, the controls are located on the center console so setting down your arm/elbow there-a natural driving position-inadvertently turns the channel when you don’t intend to.

This RF offers so many up-to-date features, it would take a page to list them all. Be assured, you’re getting what you pay for. Just to name a few: power automatic door locks, power windows, one-touchdown, clear wind blocker, tire pressure monitoring system, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning system, heated power side mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated front seats, etc.

No rides for the Frissell Fido Four this time. although someone before us did give a pooch a ride. The Chi’s would easily fit in the front seat; a squeeze for the Whippets. I once transported all four Fidos in my 2003 Corvette-all in the passenger seat! They weren’t happy.


Engine: 2.0L SKYACTIV Inline-NE-Four Cylinder, 181 HP., 7,000 RPM, 151 LB-FT. Torque, 4,000 RPM
Transmission: Rear-Wheel-Drive, Six-Speed Manual
Type of Vehicle: retractable hardtop sports car
Brakes: Four-wheel disc with ABS
Tires: P205/45R17
Price: As Tested: $33,335; Total price: 36,005; Destination: $$895
Standard Features:Power-retractable hard top, 17-inch alloy wheels, sport suspension with Bilstein shock absorbers, limited slip differential, strut tower bar, advanced blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-t… Read More
Options: Machine Grey Metallic paint AND Auburn Napa interior ($600), GT-S package: Limited Slip Differential, front shock, tower brace black roof ($750), Interior package for M/T, alloy pedals, Red engine oil cap, WMX logo ($425)
Weight: 2,453 LBS
Fuel Economy 26/34/29 MPG

Consumer Reports 2018 Reliability List

As it does every year, Consumer Reports rates the automobiles, top, bottom and in-the-middle, for reliability. This year, 2018, it is again no surprise who is at the top of the list. Lexus and Toyota vehicles are tops, followed by Subaru, Kia, Infiniti (top six spots), and Mazda-who took a huge leap from 12 to number three. Go Mazda!!!

The German brands fell in the middle, coming in at numbers 7-9; Porsche at 11, VW at 16 and Mercedes-Benz at seventeen.

The Korean brands-Hyundai and Genesis, as well as the Japanese brands Acura, Nissan and Honda also fell in the middle, ranking at 10,12,13,14 and 15th, respectively. Honda’s reliability ranking dropped by 6 thanks to the Odyssey minivan that allegedly has infotainment and door lock issues, yielding much worse than average reliability. The CR-V and Accord’s ratings are also down to average, thanks in part to infotainment system issues, interior rattles, and the Clanty line of cars apparently has “electronic glitches” that bring it to “much worse than average.”

However, Acura is up 6 spots, thanks recently to working out transmission and infotainment problems.

Left at the bottom, however are the American cars, with the exception of Volvo, which is literally at the bottom, ranked 29, in part, because of issues with the XC60 and the XC90, as well as complaints about engine knocking or pinging on the S90.

Ford sits at number 18, and Buick dropped a whopping 11 spots, to number 19. Consumer Reports attributes the giant drop of GM’s mid-level luxury brand to the Enclave’s 9-speed transmission woes. The Lacrosse, Encore and Envision rated average.

Lincoln, Dodge, Jeep, Chevrolet and Chrysler ranked 20 and 24. While GMC, Ram, Tesla and Cadillac are in positions 25 to 28, respectively. American brands that dropped the most were Chrysler (down 7), Tesla (down 6), and Chevrolet (down 5). According to Consumer Reports, Chrysler’s Pacifica contributed to a drop in rankings due to infotainment and transmission issues.

The Automobile Changed American Life

Susan Frissell, editor

Among all the talk these days about driverless cars, we’re reminded of when and where the automobile came. From the establishment of the first automobile company by brothers Charles E. and J. frank Duryea in 1896, to superhighways and green-and-white signs to guide travelers, the advent of the automobile has transformed American life.

In 1996, the Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI celebrated 100 years of the Automobile in American Life in an exhibition that included more than 100 cars and thousands of artifacts to illustrate how the automobile evolved from the 19th century novelty into a mainstay of American culture.

One of the most influential industries in America, the automobile industry is responsible for the existence of such phenomenons as fast food restaurants to motels, to gas stations, Drive-in movies, campgrounds and gas pumps are all a part of the American scene.

Significant events in the auto industry include such happenings as a massive oil strike at Spindletop Beaumont, Texas (1901), the introduction of the Model T (1908) by Ford, the first U.S. transcontinental automobile trip (1903), and President Eisenhower signing the Interstate Highway Act in 1956. When considering the automobile, one also thinks of certain people connected with it, including Harvey Firestone, Walter Reuther, Ransom E. Olds, and Ralph Nader. The list goes on and on. Milestones abound when summarizing the U.S. auto industry, beginning in 1896, right up to the present.

Of course, a lot of innovations have come to pass since the early days, including electric and hybrid cars, and of course, Elan Musk’s Tesla endeavor.
How has the automobile transformed American life? In ways we might not realize. I suspect, including these ten:

1) The car made in Detroit changed the nation. Detroit was the first city to have a large number of cars made and driven. Mass production led to good paying jobs, making it possible for people who worked in the car factories to own cars and drive them to work. As the industry grew, the city grew, making it necessary for developments to accommodate cars. This set the pattern for other growing urban centers. One need only consider Los Angeles, a city where few cars have ever been made, but where most people own one.

2) Development of the interstate highway system. The nation’s largest public works program, the building of the interstate highway system linked communities, but also cut others apart by using straight lines as the shortest distance between places. In some places, there are still remnants of what was once important (such as on Route 66) but have fallen away as interstate stops became growth areas. Because of car traffic, and a highway system, the expansion of the national parks system was possible, which gave people more places to go.

3) Suburbanization. Because of automobiles, communities could be built that were neither urban nor rural, but had some of the advantages of both.

4) Growth of the drive-in lifestyle. Beginning with movies and fast food, drive-ins have evolved to include banks, dry cleaners and even weddings and funerals.

5) Changing the purpose of the streets. Once an extension of front yards, streets enabled people to walk and vendors to sell their goods from carts. At one time, transportation was a secondary use; now it is reversed.

6) Architecture of American homes. The elimination of the front porch can be dated back to the rise of automobiles in the late 1920s. Porches became smaller and have now practically disappeared. As garages took over in popularity, the backyard became more of a focal point for relaxation.

7) Decline of railroads and streetcars. With the increase in popularity of the automobile came the decline of trains, trolleys and inter-urbans as a means of transportation, even before the growth of air travel. In cars, travelers could go where they wanted, when they wanted, rather than having to adhere to a fixed route and time.

8) Breakdown of rural isolation. Those living in outlying areas of cities embraced the automobile as a means of maintaining their rural lifestyle. The car provided a link between towns and cities.

9) Becoming the engine that drives an economy. Because of the automobile, oil, rubber and a whole host of industry activities exist. Motels, restaurants and service businesses grew up on trade from drivers. Advertising has also been affected as witnessed by the billboard. Billboards were not just posted along railroad track routes.

10) Defining the work of the 20th century. Standardization of parts and assembly necessary for mass production of the automobile led to an abundance of high-wage, low-skilled jobs. These jobs made it possible for workers to live a comfortable lifestyle; especially for immigrants who didn’t speak English and/or people who were untrained but willing to work. In the 21st century, workers began moving into a situation similar to the one that existed at the beginning of the industrial evolution: the best paying jobs go to the more skilled workers.

The Latest Report on Vehicle Recalls

Washington D.C.–According to Jack Gillis’ latest report, there are 70 million vehicles on the road with open recalls. I know I’ve heard many people say they don’t bother to take their vehicle to the dealer when receiving a notice. Of course, it is voluntary, but if it’s at no expense to the owner, why wouldn’t you?

In the last 10 years, Gillis reports, over 280 million vehicles have been recalled – more than the 270 million vehicles currently on the road. With recall completion rates in the 70-75% level[i] that leaves over 70 million vehicles on the road with open recalls.

With 70 million vehicles driving around with open recalls it poses a large highway safety danger. “While these open recalls present a clear hazard to the occupants of these vehicles, they are also a hazard to the rest of the driving public,” said Jack Gillis, CFA’s Executive Director and author of The Car Book.

Of course, this high number of open recalls means that a significant number of owners are “turning-in” used cars with an open recall or those vehicles may be recalled by the manufacturer while waiting to be resold. And the sale of used vehicles keeps going up, as the cost of new cars increases. In addition, warns Gillis, “Some car dealerships are violating state laws that prohibit them from selling unsafe vehicles, particularly when they are subject to a safety recall.”

The result: a significant number of used vehicles are likely to be sold with open recalls. While the subsequent owner can have any recall addressed at no charge for 15 years from when the recall was issued, they may not know about the recalls or fail to check their particular vehicle. They may also experience lengthy delays in being able to obtain repairs, due to severe shortages of repair parts, or the manufacturer’s failure to provide a remedy.

One of the government’s most important auto safety functions, notes Gillis, the automobile recall program can be fully effective only if recall completion rates are dramatically increased. “It’s simply not enough to announce a recall, the car companies, car dealers, and government must do everything possible to remedy those recalls,” said Gillis. “Under federal law, car dealers can’t sell new cars with open recalls, and under state laws, car dealers are not allowed to sell recalled used cars either. But those laws are not being adequately enforced. With today’s communication technology, social media, and information databases, there is no excuse not to significantly increase compliance with safety recalls,” added Gillis. The entire auto industry, all levels of government, and individual consumers each have an important role to play in ensuring that safety recalls are performed, maintains Gills. The huge rental car industry must acknowledge and respect the importance of recalls, so too should the rest of the automotive use and retail industry.

The actions needed to Protect the American Public from Defective Recalled Vehicles include:

1. State attorneys general should enforce existing state laws that prohibit car dealers from knowingly, negligently, or deceptively selling unrepaired recalled used cars.
2. In addition, Congress and the President should enact federal legislation, enforceable by NHTSA, to prohibit car dealers from selling recalled used cars.
3. Require fleet operators to remedy open recalls upon notice and prior to returning vehicles to service.
4. Recalled taxis and ride service vehicles must be remedied upon notice and prior to returning vehicles to service.
5. Auto auction companies must remedy recalls during their refurbishing process and prior to the transfer of the vehicle.
6. Require car companies to send out notices (by e- and postal mail) every two months until the recall is resolved or vehicle has been removed from service.
7. Require DMVs and state inspection programs to include VIN-specific recall notices on registration renewals and inspections to alert the owners that their vehicles have unrepaired recalls.
8. The government (NHTSA) must initiate an effective public education campaign to get vehicle owners to sign up for recall notifications.
9. New and used car dealers must register owners for recall notices on as part of the selling paperwork. Insurance companies should provide a recall report before providing insurance.
10. Manufacturers must provide loaner cars for owners of recalled vehicles when there are significant delays in obtaining recall repair parts.

Chief Executive Leadership Institute Honors Mary T. Barra with Legend in Leadership Award

Mary T. Barra, chairman and chief executive of General Motors Company, accepted the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute’s Legend in Leadership Award on September 24 at a ceremony at the Yale CEO Caucus in Washington, D.C.

The award was to chairman Barra, among other leaders on Monday presented to Barra by Caucus organizer Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, senior associate dean for leadership studies at the Yale School of Management. He commented, “Mary Barra has GM in her DNA. She worked in GM for 33 years—starting as an 18-year-old co-op student working on the factory floor—before being named CEO in 2013. Her father worked for GM for almost 40 years as a tool-and-die maker, and Mary went to college at what was then called the General Motors Institute. She held a series of manufacturing, engineering, and senior staff positions, including plant manager, global HR, and global manufacturing engineer. In the aftermath of GM’s 2009 bankruptcy, she led the revitalization of GM’s product development process, resulting in the launch of celebrated new products, the delivery of record product quality ratings, and a dramatic improvement in customer satisfaction.

“Barra led the company through a product-safety crisis she inherited on her first month on the job in January 2014, when an ignition-switch defect led to many deaths in earlier years,” Sonnenfeld continued. “Through toughness, transparency, competence, and putting her A-team talent on this challenge as a top priority, she restored and enhanced public trust. She cut unprofitable businesses to invest in the firm’s future. On the frontiers of autonomous driving, she has sparked profound strategic, technological, and cultural change. Last year in October, she announced a bold new vision targeting: zero accidents, zero emissions, and zero congestion. With strong financial performance, it is no wonder that both Fortune and Forbes have ranked her at the top of the most influential women leaders in the world.”


Need Mustard with your hot dog? Try the wienermobile

Susan Frissell
Publisher, WWW

There can’t possibly be anyone who doesn’t like a hot dog now and then. And for those who really, really like hotdogs, here is a trivia quiz to test your knowledge about one of American’s favorite foods.

As you’ll soon learn from the following trivia answers, hot dogs are well-loved. It’s estimated Americans consume 20 billion hot dogs a year. That’s enough wieners to reach to the moon and back four times. Even Babe Ruth, the great ball player, ate 12 hot dogs between games, of a scheduled double-header, chased by eight bottles of pop.

See what you know about one of America’s favorite foods:

1) On what national television shows has the Wienermobile appeared:
2) In how many movies has the Wienermobile co-starred?
3) What did New York Polo Grounds hawkers call ‘hot dogs’?
4) Who wrote the wiener jingle for Oscar Mayer?
5) What city’s citizens prefer their hot dogs topped with sauerkraut and swiss cheese?
6) Where and when did the first Wiernermobile cruise the streets?
7) How much did Wiener Whistles cost at the 1965 New York World’s Fair?
8) What was the chef’s name who handed out Wiener Whistles to children from his Wienermobile?
9) Who took a Wienermobile for a test lap at the 1988 Indy 500?
10) Where and when were hot dogs first served in buns?
11) Which symphony orchestra recorded the familiar ditty: “I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Wiener?”
12) Where was the first hot dog created?
13) Which three presidents served hot dogs at an official White House function?
14) How many hot dogs will Americans eat in major league ball parks during a season?
15) How many hot dogs will Americans eat between Memorial Day and Labor Day?
16) What were some of the vanity plates used on the Wienermobile?
17) What are the Wienermobile drivers called?

A big part of promoting the hot dog is the traveling Wienermobile. By logging on to Kraft Foods web site, you can find out just where the Wienermobile can be seen. Each year the Wienermobile travels about 1,000 miles per week, or about 50,000 miles per year. If you’re lucky enough to spy it cruising the neighborhood, be sure and get on board.

In 2004, the updated Wienermobile included voice-activated GPS navigation audio center with wireless microphone, a horn that plays the wiener jingle in 21 different genres from Cajun to Rap to Bossa Nova! Of course, it includes better gas mileage! Over the years, the Wienermobile’s chassis was a Dodge, and during the 1950s, a Willys Jeep chassis.

1) The old Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Late Night with David Letterman, CNN Headline News, The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder and “Love Connection.”
2) Two “Ladybugs” starring Rodney Dangerfield, and “Another You,” starring Richard Pryer and Gene Wilder.
3) Dachshund sausages, renowned sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan couldn’t spell dachshund so he wrote ‘hot dog.’ The name stuck.
4) Richard Trentlage in 1953.
5) Kansas City.
6) Chicago, 1936.
7) Two cents, and they were sold in vending machines.
8) Little Oscar.
9) Al Unser, Jr., topped off at a speed of 110 mph.
10) 1904 St. Louis Exposition-the concessionaire had been giving customers white gloves to protect their hands from the steaming wieners, but they kept disappearing.
11) The Berlin Symphony Orchestra-as well as a teenage rock band, a string ensemble and a Nashville country western group.
12 )Frankfurt, Germany, hence the name “frankfurter.”
13) Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. Jimmy Carter in 1977 and Ronald Reagan in 1980.
14) Hotdog and sausage consumption at major league ball parks in the U.S. in 2016 was 19.4 million; the most at San Francisco Giants park (475,000), followed by St. Louis Cardinals (400,000), Boston Red Sox (377,00).
15) More than 7 billion-enough to circle the globe 15 times. And, 2 billion in July, National Hot Dog Month.
16) Yummy, Our dog, big bun, lil link, oh I wish, weenr, wnrmble, bologna, relshme, oscrmyr.
17) “Hotdoggers.” And they hand out toy wiener whistles!

Best & Worst Cities for Women-Owned Businesses: 2016

Entrepreneurship was once an opportunity accessible only to men. With the exception of a few brave women who defied the odds, most females historically failed to break through the barriers of the male-dominated business space. However, it is the 21st century, and it is becoming an era in which women are a powerful force in society, especially in our economy.

It is not only common for women to be entrepreneurs today, but it also means they are becoming part of an influential group. According to an American Express OPEN-commissioned report, more than 9.4 million women-owned businesses currently operate in the U.S. Combined, those firms account for nearly a third of all privately held companies, pull in annual revenues to the tune of $1.5 trillion and provide jobs to roughly eight million workers.

Women-owned businesses are among the fastest-growing enterprises in the nation, increasing at a rate 1.5 times the U.S. average and topping “the growth rates of all but the largest, publicly-traded firms” in the past 18 years.

If you are inspired to become the next Madam C.J. Walker or Jessica Alba, two women known for their epic entrepreneurial achievements, you might want to consider where to begin your future endeavor. Location plays a key role in the success of any business; particularly, a woman-owned business. It’s true that some areas are better than others at encouraging female entrepreneurship and recognizing its value.

To determine where best to begin your entrepreneurial endeavor, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, (MSAs), across 10 key metrics indicating friendliness toward this group. Their data set ranges from average revenue growth of women-owned businesses to presence of women’s business centers to industry variety for women-owned firms.

Overall Rank MSA Total Score ‘Overall New-Business Friendliness’ Rank ‘Female Entrepreneurship’ Rank ‘Business Climate for Women’ Rank

1 Nashville-Davidson-
-Murfreesboro–Franklin, 70.04 13 20 18

2 Chattanooga, TN-GA 69.79 2 50 18

3 Columbus, OH 68.13 7 23 27

4 Memphis, TN-MS-AR 66.99 4 66 18

5 Milwaukee-Waukesha-
West Allis, WI 66.44 30 48 2

6 Rochester, NY 64.89 18 77 5

7 Kansas City, MO-KS 64.82 22 14 25

8 Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA 64.60 25 55 11

9 Greensboro-High Point, NC 64.57 6 56 40

10 Honolulu, HI 63.88 43 3 17

11 Oklahoma City, OK 63.17 14 5 86

12 Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson,IN 63.08 24 6 55

13 Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY 62.90 42 35 5

14 St. Louis, MO-IL 61.95 31 19 25

15 Knoxville, TN 61.26 21 75 18

16 Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI 61.22 11 41 76

17 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 61.16 57 25 1

18 Madison, WI 60.77 48 54 2

19 Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA 60.67 19 88 16

20 New Haven-Milford, CT 60.57 N/A 33 22

21 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 60.35 40 1 89

22 Tulsa, OK 60.27 1 65 86

23 Salt Lake City, UT 60.18 27 11 69

24 Winston-Salem, NC 59.92 12 76 40

25 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-
Newport News,VA-NC
59.82 37 10 38

26 Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC 59.67 5 73 72

27 Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN 59.47 17 28 88

28 Syracuse, NY 59.19 N/A 67 5

29 Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 59.11 54 26 10

30 Fresno, CA 59.05 29 21 59

31 Wichita, KS 58.84 10 81 44

32 Albuquerque, NM 58.61 47 4 34

33 Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 58.17 N/A 46 22

34 Stockton-Lodi, CA 58.04 23 47 59

35 New Orleans-Metairie, LA 57.72 8 37 96

36 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 57.30 26 12 89

37 Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford,CT 56.26 N/A 57 22

38 Colorado Springs, CO 55.71 33 62 35

39 Jackson, MS 55.62 3 98 75

40 Richmond, VA 55.54 32 64 38

41 Toledo, OH 55.18 16 97 27

42 Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 54.68 60 51 4

43 Tucson, AZ 54.52 44 30 57

44 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 54.49 46 8 72

45 Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL 54.28 N/A 32 46

46 Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI 54.22 36 39 76

47 Jacksonville, FL 54.15 39 53 46

48 Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 54.05 28 85 27

49 Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 53.34 41 58 40

50 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 53.33 51 22 46

51 Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA 53.10 34 69 45

52 Worcester, MA-CT 52.98 59 52 13

53 El Paso, TC 52.75 15 79 89

54 Birmingham-Hoover, AL 52.58 9 82 95

55 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 52.48 50 40 46

56 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 51.83 72 24 11

57 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO 51.59 61 9 35

58 Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach,FL 51.35 N/A 45 46

59 Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY 50.92 N/A 99 5

60 New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 50.70 74 15 5

61 Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH 50.27 69 42 13

62 Springfield, MA 50.13 N/A 96 13

63 Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA 49.27 N/A 70 27

64 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 48.74 38 61 89

65 Boise, ID 48.46 45 60 78

66 Cleveland-Elyria, OH 48.15 53 72 27

67 Miami-Fort Lauderdale
-West Palm Beach, FL 48.05 64 13 46

68 Raleigh, NC 47.83 63 31 40

69 Baton Rouge, LA 47.70 20 84 96

70 Bakersfield, CA 47.63 52 59 71

71 Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV 47.48 55 29 85
72 Austin-Round Rock, TX 47.07 58 16 89

73 Dayton, OH 46.65 N/A 86 27

74 Akron, OH 46.54 49 93
75 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario,CA 46.23 68 17 59

76 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 46.20 66 27 57

77 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX 46.01 N/A 44 89

78 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim,CA 45.88 70 7 59

79 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 45.46 55 78 46
80 Sacramento–Roseville
-Arden-Arcade, CA 45.02 62 43 59

81 Little Rock-North Little Rock
-Conway, AR 44.90 35 94 79

82 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria 44.o4 73 2 74

83. Ogden-Clearfield, UT 43.58 N/A 80 69

84. Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL 43.54 N/A 90 46

85 Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton,
PA-NJ 43.15 N/A 68 80

86 Charleston-North Charleston, SC 42.55 N/A 36 98

87 Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA 42.25 N/A 74 80

88 Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 42.17 75 34 37

89 San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward,CA 41.01 77 18 59

90 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington,
PA-NJ-DE-MD 40.84 64 49 80

91 Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro,OR-WA 40.59 76 38 56

92 San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 39.56 71 63 59

93 Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton,PA 39.34 N/A 87 80

94 Provo-Orem, UT 39.23 N/A 95 69

95 North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL 39.10 N/A 100 46

96 Pittsburgh, PA 37.52 67 71 80

97 Columbia, SC 33.05 N/A 83 98

98 Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC 31.78 N/A 91 98

99 Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA 31.64 77 92 59

100 San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 31.26 79 89 59

Source: WalletHub

Girls Auto Clinic is ready to ‘ratchet up’ locations nationwide!

Susan Frissell, PhD

Patrice Banks, of #sheCANic fame has been hinting she has some exciting news to announce. She hopes you’ll be as excited as she is. I know we are, having watched her progress. Who says ‘girls’ don’t want to know more about cars? We’ve known this for some time.

Some of you may know that Patrice has been on a “bold mission to educate and empower women” through their cars. It has been her goal “to reach every woman driver and to change the face of the automotive industry to support its number one customer – women!”

According to Banks, the success of her flagship Girls Auto Clinic Repair Center in Philadelphia and the #sheCANic movement has been powered in part by the incredible support she’s been given, her team, and her business. “People are inspired by our story,” she says, “of an auto airhead turned auto mechanic who opened the nation’s first auto repair garage to employ women mechanics, offer a nail salon & lounge, and host car care workshops.” The question everyone asks now is “When is Girls Auto Clinic coming to my city” and the answer is SOON!”

Banks is so excited to announce that she is launching a crowdfund campaign on August 15th to grow the #sheCANic movement and expand Girls Auto Clinic Repair Center locations across the country! They are asking for the public’s help to get the news out there, and to support her Girls Auto Clinic.

So check out her pre-launch page and keep in touch for her exciting news to come. Jump on the bandwagon and be a part of this exciting movement around girls and their cars!