New York Times Takes Bill Vlasic for a Ride as New Detroit Chief

Looks like there'll be a new sheriff in town for the New York Times. The Old Grey Lady's gone and stolen Bill Vlasic, veteran of many a Detroit automotive battle, from the Detroit News to act as their new whipping boy Detroit bureau chief. If you'll remember, Vlasic penned the classic story of the famed "merger of equals" between Daimler and Chrysler dubbed "Taken for a Ride." We're told the NYT even likened it to "Barbarians at the Gate...a spellbinding tale, juicy gossip and all, of how business is really done among the world's largest companies." Yes, it was exactly like "Barbarians at the Gate" except for the part about it making a big pot of money through selling lots of copies. We kid the new Times main-man and look forward to finally seeing continuing to see Bill at auto press events in the near future. Full press release from Larry Ingrassia below the jump.

I'm pleased to announce that Bill Vlasic will be the Times' new Detroit bureau chief, taking over from Micki Maynard, who will be moving on to a new assignment in Washington next year.

Micki is hard to replace, with her knack for seeing around corners, and for writing smart and bright enterprise that tends to walk onto Page One. But we're confident Bill can continue the Times' tradition of first-rate coverage out of the nation's automotive capital.

With more than a dozen years' experience covering the industry, most recently for the Detroit News, Bill knows the business inside-out. Detroit is a company story, a consumer story, a labor story, an environmental story and a political story, and Bill has demonstrated an ability to approach the beat from all these angles.

He won a Loeb Award in 2005 for a series on safety problems with car roofs, and was a Loeb finalist in three other years. And he wrote a gripping series on Heinz Prechter's battle with manic depression, and how it drove the prominent auto executive to take his own life.

His book, "Taken for a Ride," about Daimler Benz's buyout of Chrysler, which he wrote with Brad Stertz, was lauded by our own Keith Bradsher in the Times' Book Review. He likened it to "Barbarians at the Gate...a spellbinding tale, juicy gossip and all, of how business is really done among the world's largest companies."

Bill is a Detroit native and the father of two sons, ages 24 and 21, and a 16-year-old daughter. Please welcome him when he arrives in New York for orientation in the next few weeks.