It’s May 2000. A fresh-faced young graduate by the name of Neil Cumins is starting a marketing job in the motor trade, writing press releases and producing a customer magazine. Among the key features being promoted by manufacturers at the time are a four-speed automatic gearbox (Chrysler PT Cruiser), twin airbags (Suzuki Jimny) and electric windows (Vauxhall Astra Coupe). Radio-cassette players were still being fitted in every new BMW 3-Series, and the entry-level Citroën Saxo model didn’t even have power steering.
Fast-forward to May 2020, and even buyers of affordable family cars increasingly take for granted features which would have astonished any freelance motoring journalist two decades ago. Scotland’s current Car of the Year, the Mazda 3, has a head-up display which projects satellite navigation instructions onto its windscreen, while the Ford Fiesta can reverse itself into parallel parking bays only 20 per cent longer than the car itself. Increasing levels of automation enable cars to keep themselves in lane on the motorway, with radar-guided cruise control maintaining a steady gap to the vehicle in front. We may not have fully autonomous vehicles just yet, but the prospect feels increasingly close.
The car’s the star
Keeping up with such rapid progress would be a challenge for any freelance motoring journalist, but it’s a challenge which your humble correspondent has embraced. A 40-year archive of motoring publications and manufacturer brochures fills a six-foot bookcase in the G75 Media office, augmenting an encyclopaedic knowledge of model specifications and technical attributes. As such, every piece of freelance motoring journalism produced by G75 Media is thoroughly fact-checked for accuracy before it’s filed (ahead of deadline, naturally).
Twenty years spent proofreading sales materials and marketing copy (mostly as a freelance motoring journalist) means there’s no risk of any confusion between ABS and EBA, or selectable four-wheel drive being described as permanent. And because G75 Media currently works for motor trade clients on both sides of the Atlantic, we’re equally comfortable talking about PS or HP, hoods or bonnets, NHTSA or Euro NCAP.
Driving up standards
Of course, quality freelance motoring journalism isn’t just about knowing the difference between pushrods and overhead camshafts, or understanding why carbon ceramic discs provide fade-free braking power. A successful freelance motoring journalist needs an instinctive ability to judge a car’s effectiveness and quality – something which can only be achieved with hands-on testing. That’s why the review of the Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain on the Portfolio page of this site highlights the impracticality of thick carpet in the boot of a vehicle designed to tackle rutted fields. It’s also why ride quality is a high priority in any road test review – because who wants to be jiggled around over motorway expansion joints or scarred urban tarmac?
If you need freelance motoring journalism services, or require a freelance motoring journalist to produce copy for your brand, give G75 Media a call or send us an email here. We’ll be happy to assist with any motor trade editorial brief, and provide a competitive quote for motoring journalism in the UK or overseas.