Mates, family members and colleagues mourn the decline of James M. Amend, an award-successful journalist and Wards Intelligence senior analyst who died unexpectedly on Thursday, Sept. 17, at his house in suburban Detroit. He was 53.

Amend began at Wards in 2007 masking Common Motors and rapidly realized the firm inside and out, reporting thoroughly on all the things from item growth and superior technological innovation to manufacturing and the automaker’s money health and fitness.

“James was an outstanding journalist and author,” claims Dave Zoia, govt director-information for Informa Tech Automotive Group, which features the Wards manufacturer. “But additional importantly, James was a excellent colleague, and his absence leaves a void not effortlessly crammed. We’ll pass up his professionalism, but even far more so his presence.”

JA drive 750i 2016 10 Best UX.jpgLoved ones was almost everything for Amend, and he normally documented on Facebook joyous relatives vacations with his spouse Kandace and their 3 young children, Kate (15), Nicholas (10) and Lauren (8). This summer time, he coached Nicholas’ baseball group to a championship, aided Lauren capture her initially fish and was educating Kate how to generate.

Amend grew up in the tiny city of Caro near Saginaw, MI, and attained a bachelor’s diploma from Saginaw Valley State University and a master’s diploma in English from Western Michigan University.

Soon after graduation, he worked as a personnel writer and editor for Detroit Vehicle Scene and then moved to New York Metropolis to deal with the mutual fund industry for Money Administration Executive. Amend turned a company writer for the Associated Push in 2006, targeted on Wall Road stocks for the transportation field.

He arrived at Wards in 2007 as the Detroit automakers were nonetheless referred to as the Major Three, but that would change as Typical Motors and Chrysler would descend into individual bankruptcy in 2009. Masking GM intended documenting in unpleasant detail all the plant closings, task cuts and brand consolidation in just one of the major company bankruptcies in U.S. history.

Amend Jordan Lee 2015 Corvette Z06.JPG“James was the consummate qualified,” Standard Motors says in a assertion. “Always a truthful and moral journalist, a real pleasure to operate with. He will be skipped. Our thoughts are with Kandace and their small children.”

Jordan Lee, GM’s world wide chief engineer of smaller block engines, states he savored looking at Amend at powertrain situations (pictured with each other earlier mentioned, still left).

“James was one of those people exceptional folks that exuded wonderful enthusiasm for the marketplace, was normally upbeat, pleasant and genuinely enjoyment to be all-around,” Lee claims. “I constantly liked chatting with him and catching up. He was one of my all-time favorites and I will overlook him enormously.”

Over the earlier various yrs at Wards, Amend had expanded his coverage to include the complex world of artificial intelligence and autonomous driving.

“James brought to this new assignment a scarce depth of knowledge and perception,” Zoia claims. “Those traits also performed into the relaxation of his do the job, whether check driving new autos for solution assessments or aiding Wards decide on its annual 10 Finest awards.”

In new decades, Amend wrote exclusive experiences for Wards Intelligence and was a recurrent presenter and moderator at Wards conferences.

“James was a passionate reporter and analyst who meticulously examined all angles of a story – from the OEM to the supplier, and from the technologies to the people today powering it,” claims Robert Bosch spokeswoman Alissa Cleland.

“He had an acute appreciation for how engineering was reworking the marketplace and sought to notify the story of its journey from the lab to the plant to the end shopper,” Cleland suggests.

Continental Automotive spokeswoman Kathryn Blackwell remembers Amend as experienced, professional and a gentleman. Amid lots of media excursions and activities, she recalls Amend bringing his children to Continental’s media celebration decades in the past at the Administration Briefing Seminars in Traverse Town, MI.

At that social gathering, the Conti PR workforce arranged for his daughter Kate, who was 6 or 7 at the time, to acquire a single of the game titles. “She was so energized and James’ facial area lit up looking at her reaction to profitable a prize of her decision,” Blackwell states. “He was a great gentleman, and we are fortunate to have recognised him.”

Previous Wards editor Byron Pope had the “extreme honor” of performing with Amend two times for the duration of their occupations. “James was a person of the smartest and kindest individuals I ever fulfilled. The planet needs a lot more folks like James,” Pope claims. “Godspeed.”

Family mates have set up an account in help of the Amend young children.

Tom MurphyJames Kate Camaro 2013 Dream Cruise.JPG

Amend guiding the wheel and daughter Kate in backseat of typical Chevy Camaro all through 2013 Woodward Desire Cruise.

By Bethann