AD #1520 – Audi Reveals New Q7, JLR’s Invisible A-Pillar, Chrysler Plans New Models

December 15th, 2014 at 11:53am

Runtime: 7:36

- Audi Reveals New Q7
- Volvo Shakes Up Its Strategy
- Chrysler Plans New Models
- JLR’s Invisible A-Pillar
- Renault-Nissan’s Powerful 2-Cylinder
- Automakers Hold Takata Summit
- Fiat Aims To Improve Brand Awareness

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44 Comments to “AD #1520 – Audi Reveals New Q7, JLR’s Invisible A-Pillar, Chrysler Plans New Models”

  1. Carroll E. Gant, JR Says:

    The video won’t play?

  2. Mike Says:

    Boy, that is tough. Not only Takata but the automakers as well. That they are this far into a media storm and “Root Cause” is yet to be determined is really a problem. It can get even harder think when howling masses of would be reporters/doomsayers are banging on the door.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That Renault 2-stroke diesel must work like the old GMC’s, with intake ports at the bottom of the cylinders, and poppet valves at the top. I’d think fuel economy might be a problem. At least it was with the Jimmys, after people started caring about fuel economy.

  4. RumNCoke Says:

    Leave it to the British to come up with an unnecessarily complicated solution to a problem. I think it was Kia at last year’s Detroit Auto Show that had a sports car concept featuring lattice-like A pillars. Seems like a pretty good (and inexpensive) solution to me!

  5. Jon M Says:

    It would seem to make more sense to consolidate the Chrysler and Dodge brands. There are a small number of models under either brand and Dodge always was the mainstream line. The trucks were split into their own brand, so why not reorganize the Chrysler and Dodge brands? Certainly it takes more consideration than my three sentences, but one thing is for sure: Al Gardner is right for finally accepting that Chrysler can’t compete with the luxury brands.

  6. Andy Says:

    Didn’t Volvo come out with a see-through A-pillar a few years ago on a concept vehicle? Wonder why it did not get off the ground? Looks to me it would cheaper than video camera’s.

  7. Chuck Grenci Says:

    I’m thinking Chrysler’s niche is an ‘upscale’ to the Dodge models. Since Chrysler stood aside (from luxury aspirations, of old, quite a long time ago), they would be their ‘Buick’ (as to Chevrolet). And having said that, Chevrolet and Buick certainly compete against each other between some models. There’s probable room (and enough differentiation) between Dodge and Chrysler so it will be interesting to watch what develops.

  8. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5, Based on volume, it would seem that one brand should be enough for Chrysler, but there would be an identity crisis. The Challenger should be a Dodge, and the 300 should be a Chrysler. Just my thought.

    As far as I’m concerned, Chrysler pickup trucks should be Dodge, not Ram, but I suspect the Ram “brand” is here to stay for some time to come.

  9. Drew Says:

    The Chrsyler/Dodge debate is all about image. As they are sold in the same stores, it is not about volume. Sergio proviously outlines the image strategy – Chrysler is for family vehicles and Dodge is for performance/attitude. So, it makes sense to me that crossovers like Journey will migrate to Chrysler for their next major change.

  10. Brett Says:

    Is it just me, or is that Audi Q7 awfully station wagon-ish for a CUV?

  11. Bradley Says:

    Fiat is hurting as a brand in the United States, because they haven’t told the public “Chrysler” is no longer the company your dad use to know. And I don’t mean in new better products, Chrysler is controlled by a foreign company.

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too. ;)

    If you want all your RAM owners to not be offended that RAM is now a foreign nameplate, then Fiat has the same hurdles as KIA.

  12. Bradley Says:

    #10

    I like the station wagon look of it, however it needs to look even more like a wagon.

    CUVs – thumbs down
    Wagons – thumbs up

  13. Lex Says:

    The small CUV market is going to get pretty crowded with the introduction of the FIAT 500X, Chevy Trax, Honda HR_V and more. What is a consumer to do? Styling and the best use of space will be paramount but reliability with affordability will also be key elements which buyer will use to make their decisions.

  14. Lex Says:

    The new Audi Q7 looks likes like a through back to the 1980′s with that tall green house. I think designers have finally realized that consumers want good visibility when driving. No amount of blind side cameras is as good as a tall greenhouse with plenty of large glass panels to see what is around you.

  15. RS Says:

    The Chrysler push into the low price mass market makes absolutely no sense to me. Chrysler has always been a halo brand. What sense would it make to convert Chevy into a super lux like Maybach or Bentley and bring Caddy down market to increase sales?
    Although Chyrsler-Fiat has not put a foot wrong since the bad old days of bankruptcy, I am beginning to wonder what genius dreamed up this shuffle. The obvious possibilities are:

    1. The Chrysler brand is better suited to overseas markets (spelled C-h-i-n-a) than Dodge.
    2. Sergio really does want to eliminate another brand, and the logical choice is Dodge. Ram has already been torn out of Dodge (and I still think that has not been a logical move)

  16. Steve W Says:

    It would seem to me that Chrysler would be wiser to develop a Luxury brand in addition to adding lower priced models.They are more profitable and are becoming more in demand as the economy improves.

  17. HtG Says:

    Being the luckiest boy in the world, I got to sit in the Lexus LFA. I saw that the A pillar wasn’t more than 1.5″ wide, and hardly obstructed your view. It was like being in a cockpit as you turned your head from window to windshield. The pillar looked to be carbon fiber whose non driver facing panels were squared off and much wider than the plane meeting your eye. We’ve seen the loom that wove this part, but I’ve heard there is a second loom at Toyota as well. I wonder what they’re doing with that bit of equipment.

    Speculation, thy name is Internet

  18. HtG Says:

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Being the luckiest boy in the world, I got to sit in the Lexus LFA. I saw that the A pillar wasn’t more than 1.5″ wide, and hardly obstructed your view. It was like being in a cockpit as you turned your head from window to windshield. The pillar looked to be carbon fiber whose non driver facing panels were squared off and much wider than the plane meeting your eye. We’ve seen the loom that wove this part, but I’ve heard there is a second loom at Toyota as well. I wonder what they’re doing with that bit of equipment.

    Speculation, thy name is Internet

  19. HtG Says:

    (sorry about that Ben)

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That new Q7 looks great, for a CUV. It looks much more wagon-like than most. I hope they will sell it like the one in the picture, sans roof rack that, for most owners, serves only to hurt gas mileage and make noise.

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Chrysler should make a stretch version of the 300, and call it Imperial. I suspect few enough people remember the ’80′s Imperials, that the nameplate is not “damaged goods” to a great extent.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    12, 13 I’m still waiting for car-height wagons to make a comeback. It will happen, but I may not live long enough to see it.

    The U.S. market is great for those wanting small CUV’s, with about 30 of them to choose from, but if you want a moderately priced wagon, there is only one, the VW Sportwagon.

  23. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Going from a ‘Dodge Ram’ to just Ram hasn’t hurt the truck line at all,no harm,no foul.Imho the performance cars should remain ‘Dodge’,and the rest of the line could go to Chrysler,or not.If there are still people here in this country that don’t know that the Ram/Dodge/Chrysler brands are foreign owned by now,they must be living under a rock.

  24. G.A.Branigan Says:

    Oppps,I forgot to add Jeep to that…

  25. T. Bejma Says:

    LOVE the invisible A-Pillar. Saw a dramatization a while back about a whole invisible car! Can you imagine, from the inside it would be like you are floating in air with absolutely ZERO blindspots.

    I bet my wife would still figure out a way to scrape the car along the garage opening ;-)

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    22, I suspect most people know by now that Chrysler is foreign owned, but the buyers don’t care.

    I think the only foreign ownership of a car company selling in the U.S. that would keep me away is Volvo. China is taking too many of our jobs away, for me to want to support a Chinese owned car company.

  27. HtG Says:

    24 She’s in good company, TB. ;)

  28. Chuck Grenci Says:

    With the high shoulders of newer cars it is becoming more and more difficult to see your car’s corners (and out back the window too). I guess the reason for the smaller green-house is for safety (in a crash) but I fear they could also lead to a crash (due to limited visibility). Them ‘high shoulders’ also make parking more of a challenge too.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    27, In addition to safety, isn’t the small greenhouse also partly because it is fashionable, like “rubber band” tires on family sedans and SUV’s?

  30. HtG Says:

    As much as I dislike the high belt lines and shoulders of today’s cars, the low slung ’96 Miata made me too scared to even breath sometimes(not kidding). I’d be on the highway next to a semi truck, aware that I was looking up at the Minis, and had a tough time inhaling and exhaling. That’s scared. Sadly, I look at sporty cars like the new Porsche Boxster and see how the shape is contorted to get the belt line up. I tend to discern lots of safety regs on the cars, but at least it’s sensible. And why get worked up when so many cars are painted grey or white? Real exciting.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    29, My Corvette is pretty low, but I don’t know how it compares with a Miata. I’ll park next to one when I get a chance, and see how they compare.

  32. HtG Says:

    Kit, just compare to a Mini. I was looking up from the Miata, and I’m about the same height as a Mini from the Civic.

    It’s true, that car scared me. I wouldn’t drive an early generation one today. Just like when I see older sexy cars without headrests; no thx.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    31, According to the wikipedia articles, my ‘Vette is about 2 inches lower than a first generation Miata, and about 9 inches lower than my MINI. I knew the Corvette was lower, both from driving the cars, and seeing them next to each other in the garage, but I didn’t realize there was that much difference.

    Wikipedia could be wrong, but they are generally good on non-controversial things, like dimensions of cars.

  34. HtG Says:

    yes, lower is cooler, no argument

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Even Corvettes are getting taller. A C7 is two inches taller than a C4. Low is cool, but I sometimes feel the way you do in certain traffic situations.

  36. HtG Says:

    This issue makes me more empathetic to consumers that want to sit higher in their cars. It just feels safer, even while for some people it may be a power trip.

  37. HtG Says:

    I think a few years ago I described a gent getting into his 911 cabriolet, leaning against the B pillar and shimmying down into the seat as being ‘no panty dropper.’ It was always weird for me too, getting down into the Miata, as people(women) would watch me do it. (Why?). Mommies in Subies would watch. (The trick was to clasp the steering wheel with my right hand as I descended)

  38. cwolf Says:

    You want low? How about riding in a vintage MGTC or MGTD! With the cut out doors, you feel you might drag your knuckles on the road!

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35, Taller “feels” safer, but in the case of my cars, it isn’t. My “tall” car is a first generation Dodge minivan that weighs only 500 pounds more than the MINI, and the van has no air bags. Also, the van handles poorly, even compared to the Prius.

  40. Kit Gerhart Says:

    37, An MGTC is about 6 inches taller than a C4 Corvette, 53 vs 47 inches, but the the MG would certainly “feel” low with the cut out doors. You feel a little vulnerable, even in a tall Jeep CJ or Wrangler with the doors off.

  41. cwolf Says:

    The old Triumph Spitfire would feel even closer to the ground because it lacked running boards. I wasn’t very fond of this car. The bug-eye sprite is another goodie!

  42. C-Tech Says:

    I think it will be confusing to customers and dealers to try to make Dodge a strictly sporting brand and take Chrysler down market. Toyota, Chevrolet, Nissan have their sporty cars and are mainstream. Dodge should do the same. GM had much success with Pontiac from the late 50′s to the 60′s with that strategy. Keep the focus on producing great and dependable vehicles, and the marketplace will provide the best strategy.

  43. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Even though the Charger and 300 are the same mechanically, they look a lot different, and occupy different segments of the market. The Charger is a better buy than 300, with a base price $3400 lower, which means the 300 is much higher profit for the company. The 300 would work as well as Charger as a police car. Should they drop the Charger and have a “price leader” version of the 300 to replace it? Having only one body would save significant money, so maybe they could sell a “cheap” 300 and make as much money. That would leave Challenger as the only Dodge car, but is there anything wrong with that? If the limit the “brand” bureaucracy, probably not.

    Most Chrysler dealers are now “all brand,” Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, so I wouldn’t think the Chrysler brands need separate organizations. Couldn’t they just use the appropriate brand for the car, like Dodge Challenger, Chrysler 300, and Jeep Grand Cherokee without a bunch of bureaucracy specific to the “brands”? It would seem that they could.

  44. stas peterson Says:

    There is no need for a Chrysler Luxury brand such as Imperial, as the corporation has Maserati and Alfa Romeo as established luxury and sport-luxury brands.

    GM has three brands post BK in Chevy, Buick and Cadillac. FCA has several. Fiat (small), Dodge (Sporty) & Chrysler (mainline), as mid-NAFTA brands, and Alfa (sporty), Maserati (lux-sport) and Ferrari (exotica).

    It even has Jeep (off-road) and Lancia (sport Luxury)to fill other niches.

    That is too many brands; and Sergio Marchionne is reducing them. Sergio is creating niche sub-brands. He is also silently killing Lancia, selling Ferrari, and reducing Dodge models to create another niche sub-brand.

    It’s nice to see a Leader in charge, and not a mere manager.