Tom Murphy

Senior Editor,

Tom writes about suppliers, automotive technology and other wide-ranging topics.


ZF CEO Still Concerned About Trump; TRW Signs to Disappear
Stefan Sommer says consequences for auto industry will be dire if U.S. imposes taxes on imports. Also, two years after ZF acquired TRW for $12.4 billion, the two company logos no longer will share space on buildings.
ZF Technology at Global Press Event
ZF hosted journalists from around the world in Bratislava, Slovakia, to learn about newest technologies designed to save fuel, meet emissions regulations, reduce weight, boost prospects for electric vehicles and display the feasibility of self-driving cars.
ZF, Hella Join Forces; Vision Zero Concept Coming
ZF is eager to form partnerships to achieve economies of scale, speed up product development and share competencies. The plug-in Vision Zero concept, to be shown in Frankfurt, incorporates many of ZF’s latest technologies.
The Big Story: Cake Bakers and Brand Caretakers
Successful automakers need “brand caretakers” who represent the heart and soul of the product and will fight passionately on behalf of the brand.
Stamping Market Heats Up for Gestamp
The Spanish supplier considers its expertise in hot stamping a competitive advantage and has invested $500 million in its U.S. operations, including a new R&D center in Michigan.
High Compression, Short Intake Distinguish VW Tiguan 4-Cyl. 1
Automakers for years have been extolling the virtues of “downsized” engines with fewer cylinders, optimized fuel economy and adequate power, but Volkswagen says the “B-cycle” 2.0L turbo-4 is part of its “rightsizing” powertrain strategy.
Taking New Tiguan Offroad
A VW engineer disclosed technical details about Tiguan's all-new 2.0L turbocharged "B-cycle" 4-cyl. engine at a media event this week in Michigan. Then journalists drove the Tiguan offroad, as well as a new Passat with the same engine on the highway.
Qualcomm Gets EV Charging Off the Ground
Asphalt at a French military outpost has been inlaid with 328 ft. of inductive chargers that project energy only when a vehicle passes over with plates designed to receive an electromagnetic pulse of up to 20 kW. The vehicle converts it to electricity.
Misfits and Missteps – 2017 Wards 10 Best Interiors Nominees
We call out vehicles with problematic fit-and-finish, materials, ergonomics or unfortunate design choices. Each of these items resulted in points deducted as WardsAuto editors selected the 2017 Wards 10 Best Interiors.
2017 Wards 10 Best Interiors Quick Hits
A summation of all 31 interiors evaluated in the 2017 competition. Many of these comments are taken directly from score sheets submitted by WardsAuto editors. Prices listed are sticker.
With Moss Underfoot, BMW Reimagines Interiors
Designer Eric Brown spoke at this week’s WardsAuto Interiors Conference about the BMW i Inside Future Sculpture show car, which integrates holographic controls and a second-row lounge with a bookshelf.
Emerging Markets Pose New Plastics Challenges
One expert sees automakers requiring interior materials be designed to withstand spills of a growing menu of foods, beyond ketchup and mustard. “I think specs will change somewhat along with some very exotic-type chemical and food sources we will see,” Rose Ryntz says.
Uniquely Stylish, Continental Fits Like a Glove
The Continental is so much more than comfy seats. Its interior design is fresh and invigorating, a reminder of what made Lincoln an iconic brand of American style so many years ago. It refuses to emulate other luxury marques.
Bentayga: Knurled, Burled and Out of This World
It takes 130 hours to build Bentley’s new SUV – much of it by hand – and six of those hours are spent crafting and stitching the steering wheel. At $278,730, it truly defines the term, “pretty penny.”
Luxury Floods Wards 10 Best Interiors Competition
Yes, we enjoy mixing it up from time to time, when we recognize great strides on behalf of less-familiar brands, particularly Alfa Romeo, Bentley and Maserati, and those upscale brands we’ve known for years, namely Buick, Lexus and Lincoln.