Be Car Chic looks back at 2013

It’s safe to say that 2013 was a great year for Be Car Chic, and for me personally. Heading into my fifth year running this website (or “blog”, as I’m not afraid to call it), I am thankful for all of the opportunities this platform has provided me. I have the great privilege of communicating about an industry that’s so vital to our national and global economy – all from my personal opinion and past experience working with dealers, manufacturers and The Hill. I get to share advice with friends, colleagues, and strangers through this forum, hopefully helping them buy or sell their car without all of the anxiety that tends to come with the second largest life purchase Americans make. Thank you for making last year another successful one for Be Car Chic!

Be Car Chic 2013 Highlights

In 2013, we introduced some new contributors, brought you the 4th Annual Super Bowl Automotive Ads Analysis, and continued our quest to get you to commit to putting a stop to distracted driving.

We started the year off strong with a list of the Top 20 Automotive People to Follow on Twitter, which in 48 hours beat out our traffic to all prior posts (wow, thank you!)

Road trip road test: 2013 Escalade Hybrid front quarter

March took us to Stuttgart, Germany, with Mercedes-Benz where we were one of eight U.S. outlets to preview the 2014 S-Class interior. Our trip included a coveted tour of the automaker’s “hallowed halls”, specifically a peek into an off-site warehouse full of the most significant S-Class vehicles ever made, including the original S-Class (a wagon – and I don’t mean a shooting brake).

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland speaks to WAPA.

Also in March, I had the honor of taking on the role of president for the Washington Automotive Press Association. We had a fantastic year, incorporating lots of changes to internal systems and processes, including the launch of our brand-new website. We also had an uptick in membership and event attendance. Read more about WAPA’s accomplishments in 2013 here.

In April, we partnered with AT&T and CBS Radio in Charlotte to promote this message, our Distraction Free Fridays (#DFF) and It Can Wait campaigns. We continued to round out our annual distracted driving campaign with an exclusive interview with NHTSA Administrator David Strickland

In the fall, we learned where the rubber meets the road – Willow Springs Raceway and Atlanta Motor Speedway. Dreams do come true. We got to speed around tight turns and fast straightaways in the one-and-only Mercedes-Benz S-Class AMG Black Series. (And we have the pictures to prove it.) Then, in October, we checked out the electrifying Porsche Panamera Plug-in, which is completely refreshed for the 2014 model year.

AMG president Tobias Moers with SLS Black Series | Photo credit: Greg Jarem

We may have missed the L.A. Auto Show, but we covered another important event (for policy nerds anyway) – a Congressional hearing with CFPB head Richard Cordray and the agency’s Auto Forum in November. Check out our coverage on the dealer-assisted financing issue.


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Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Car News at 8:23 PM

    Nice wrap-up Melanie. I’ve been meaning to do a similar post on my auto blog and CarNewsCafe. We did a Top 10 but didn’t include articles we personally liked.

    It’s amazing when you write about other people, they share your posts. 🙂

  2. Melanie Batenchuk Author at 9:28 PM

    Thanks, Adam! I appreciate that. I hope your site has been going well. Happy New Year!