AD #1521 – EU Sales Up Slightly, Chrysler Changes Its Name, 3D Printed Lightweight Concept

December 16th, 2014 at 11:53am

Runtime: 7:53

- European Sales Up Slightly
- UAW Concerned Recalls Will Cost Members
- Chrysler Gets New Official Name
- Conti’s Next-Gen Automated Driving Tech.
- 3D Printed Lightweight Sports Car
- Indy Lights Gets Its Zoom Zoom
- Nissan Trumps Ford’s Pass. Car Sales

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38 Comments to “AD #1521 – EU Sales Up Slightly, Chrysler Changes Its Name, 3D Printed Lightweight Concept”

  1. Ziggy Says:

    The UAW cracks me up, they only want to be part of the company when it is doing well and they can get their big checks, God forbid they might actually have to suffer through the bad times too with the rest of the company.

  2. Ziggy Says:

    I for one will always just call it Chrysler.

  3. Duke Says:

    Ziggy, what do you think the chances are that execs are getting their profit-sharing checks regardless – even though management is the sole source of decisions of what goes into a vehicle (including defective parts)?

    Rest assured that the assemblers were not involved in those decisions – including to keep installing them long after it was known that there were problems.

    Just saying.

  4. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Nissan is selling a lot of cars, but according to CR’s owner satisfaction survey results, the buyers don’t like them as well as most other brands. In a few years, we’ll know more about what they replace them with, but this should be food for thought for the powers that be at Nissan.

  5. Lex Says:

    Is it true that FCA will drop the Caravan, and only build the Town & Country? What a huge mistake IMHO! The Caravan nameplate is iconic. The Caravan name should remain and the Town & Country name should be the upper most trim level on the Caravan.

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    5, If they drop the Caravan name in favor of Town and Country, will I be able to take my ’89 Caravan to “orphan” car shows?

  7. Lex Says:

    I am sure glad my wife choose the 2015 Honda Pilot over the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder as our last vehicle purchase. If she would have gotten the Pathfinder and read the CR review I would never hear the end of it. The only real thing she liked about the Pathfinder was the panoramic roof, are you listening Honda?

  8. Dan Turnpaugh Says:

    So much for quality union labor, if they get higher wages they will just move to Mexico and other countries now with oil being cheaper they can ship engines and transmissions instead of building in the U.S.

  9. Lex Says:

    Takata should bear the cost of all the it’s airbag recalls. How many airbag suppliers are there to supply these devices to the Automotive Industry.
    Is there any substantial technological differences from one supplier to another? A side by side comparison might be helpful. This might be a good topic for an episode of ATW.

  10. pedro fernandez Says:

    Big mistake dropping the Caravan, I sure do see a lot more of them than the Chrysler one, just like calling it a Ram instead of Dodge, Ram should only be trucks not minivans.

  11. Buzzerd Says:

    Ziggy- the UAW is just doing there job, representing the workers. Think of them as the official opposition. The opposition is supposed to bring forward the opposing view, whether they believe it or not.

  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    Quick question to those who know more than me: Today I was behind a Mercedes, with MI mfg plates, no emblems or names in the rear, appeared to be the size of a C-class only a bit smaller, any ideas what it could have been?

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    11, CLA? Maybe it was a prototype of an “improved” CLA. Just a thought.

  14. Ziggy Says:

    @3 Duke, if there is no profit due to the recalls then there is no profit sharing checks for anyone. You are either part of the company or you aren’t, there is no middle ground, if the designers come out with a great design and management gives the green light to it and it sells well and the company makes a lot of money off it should the UAW assembly line workers share in that if they had nothing to do with the design of the car or approving it for production? By your logic they shouldn’t, but they will demand that they do and they will. Just saying.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Golf and Canyon are AW’s “vehicles of the year.”

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit the tail lights did not look like a CLA, I just thought it weird NOT having any emblems on the trunk lid, could not pass him to look at the front end.

  17. Ziggy Says:

    @10, Buzzerd, totally agree with you, but that is the fast track to losing their credibility by supporting something that they don’t believe in. Integrity is what makes people believe in you and support your view.

  18. RS Says:

    All part of a plan – ultimately, drop Dodge. They will starve the brand to extinction just like Plymouth. The higher powers must think most Dodge buyers will make the transition to the Chrysler brand.
    It will be extremely sad to see the fabled Dodge name disappear. If history had not seen the influenza outbreak and if the Dodge brothers had lived, the North American auto landscape would be very different. Henry Ford was very shaken when John and Horace decided to break out and start their own brand. The Dodge name was well known to be the engineering powerhouse behind the Model T. Most authentic part for the early T’s still must carry the Dodge Brothers stamp.

  19. RumNCoke Says:

    I owned a Maxima back when it had a stick and was still “the four door sports car”. It was a really great ride. But Maxima has lost its way and Nissan doesn’t seem to be doing much to get it back on track. What a shame.

    Kudos to Mazda. An engine that can hold together for a whole Indy Lights season? That’s solid. I wonder if there will be a “lightweight” version for qualifying.

  20. Kit Gerhart Says:

    19, Was your Maxima rear drive, or was it later than that?

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    18, As long as they make the Challenger, it should be called a Dodge, but as I mentioned yesterday, they don’t need a “Dodge Division” to use the Dodge nameplate where it is appropriate.

    If they plan to drop the Dodge brand, maybe they plan to change the Challenger to Barracuda, or ‘Cuda, where the Chrysler name would fit better. The Prowler and PT Cruiser were originally intended to be Plymouths, but it didn’t change much when they ended up calling them Chryslers. It would work the same way with a ‘Cuda.

  22. Bradley Says:


    I agree.

    A 1992 Nissan Maxima SE made me a car guy. The current Maxima’s share very little with what made that car great.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I find that they did an “Acura” with the current Maxima. They tuned the engine for a little more power than the similar Altima V6, which almost no one would notice, but the Maxima needs premium fuel while the Altima does not.

  24. cwolf Says:

    Allow me to avoid any misunderstanding about the UAW’s quest to exclude recalls from the profit sharing agreement. Only the recall of vehicles made under the prior contract are asked to be excluded which reduce present company profits, as I am told. Not to do so would be asking to make sacrifices twice! Furthermore, profit sharing does not include the entire workforce; Old timers, who earn a higher hourly wage are not included in the current contract. By the way, these old-timers haven’t had a raise in about 10 years.

  25. cwolf Says:

    Kit, I just don’t see why the Golf was chosen. There is nothing over dramatic about this car other than it’s multiple offerings.

  26. HtG Says:

    25 I can see the merits of Golf. That interior is really well done and so comfortable. The dash is well laid out. I thought it was the star of the NY show last spring. Maybe just me.

    thanks for the EOB for the profit sharing, cwolf

  27. Kit Gerhart Says:

    25, The new Golf looks quite a bit like the old one, but from tests I seen, it is better in every way. It is roomier, quieter, has a nicer interior, and the U.S. market gas versions get much better fuel economy, with the 1.8 turbo 4 replacing the agricultural sounding, and somewhat thirst 2.5 liter 5 cylinder.

    It’s hard to compare the Golf with the other “car of the year” candidate, the Mustang. The Mustang is much better than the old one, and even has IRS, but it remains a niche product, while the Golf is the best selling car in Europe, and some other parts of the world.

    The “biggy” of the year’s awards, NACTOTY remain to be announced, and the results will be interesting. There are two very compelling candidates for both the car and truck awards.

  28. cwolf Says:

    Kit & HtG: I have test driven many a new Golf and Jetta over the last many years and have always been attracted by the interior layout, space and comfort. Is this just a bit better than before or is it that good and deserving? There is more than just a good interior , ya know.

    On the surface,it looks rather cut and dry what the UAW will bargain for. But the southern foreign plant activities and desire to deal with the high temp worker population really creates a spiders web in making long term bargains. The important thing not to forget is that the UAW needs money/membership to regain bartering power. That said, I’m afraid, as in the last contract, the UAW will sacrifice the old timers for what is to be gained by uplifting the new and temps.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Cwolf, I haven’t driven the new Golf, but have seen it and sat in it. The interior is very nice, for the class, and the seats are very comfy, at least for me. The standard engine in the U.S. market is much better. The previous 2 liter 4 was slow and thirsty. The previous 2.5 liter 5 was quicker, but thirstier, and sounded like it belonged somewhere other than in a modern car. It might be good for a wood chipper or log splitter.

  30. HtG Says:

    I still say Mustang wins NACTOY, if only because the jurors(all 50+) can push all their 10 points to the one car they really like. It isn’t just a 1-2-3 type vote.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30, I think we get to find out how the jurors voted, after it’s over. We probably shouldn’t make predictions on John Mc’s vote, though. That might not be appropriate.

  32. pedro fernandez Says:

    Having driven the new Golf GTI. I would give it the award, but I don’t know if the normal Golf is as good. I think VW has raised the bar for that class of car.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    30, I’d say Mustang too, for the same reasons, and it really is taking a step into the 21st. century. For truck, I hope Colorado, but it’s hard to say. Some of what is coming out is that the F150 is more technology for technology’s sake from Ford, but it’s too early to really know.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I guess we will need to wait about a month to find out.

  35. G.A.Branigan Says:

    With the golf gti being big in europe,what does that have to do with the NACOTY?It ain’t that big here,whereas the Mustang sure is.My vote:

  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    35, The Golf being big in Europe doesn’t have too much to do with North America, but the Transit Connect won NATOTY, I guess it won because it is big in Europe, and because it was new to North America.

  37. G.A.Branigan Says:

    I see a lot of transit connects around my area,but only one golf so far.In fact,I don’t see a lot of vw vehicles around at all even though there is a small dealership nearby.

  38. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I see about an equal number of Transit Connects and Golfs here in Florida, not many of either. I’m occasionally in south Florida, where I see more Golfs than here.