By on November 2, 2009

Into the belly of the beast... (

As we wait for October sales to come rolling in, I’d like to take advantage of the calm before the storm to update our faithful readers on the wild week to come. Tomorrow I’ll be flying to Detroit to cover Chrysler’s five-year product and business plan. Luckily though, the trip will not be limited to a six hour presentation on “Fiat’s fuel-efficient engine technology” and sundry Pentastarred optimism. We’re also getting the opportunity to interview a certain Mr Ian Callum, chief designer for Jaguar. Do you have any burning questions about the new XJ, the XF or Jaguar’s new styling direction? Let us know and we’ll be sure to ask for you. We will also be covering the roast of Bob Lutz, so be sure to tune in for a report on the best jokes of the evening (although really, nobody expects them to improve on Farago’s effort). Though we’re thrilled to be able to offer a week of fresh reporting, interviews and jokes about GM’s Vice-Chairman, making it happen might require a slightly slower pace of content this week. Luckily Robert Farago, Bertel Schmitt, Paul Niedermeyer, Sajeev Mehta and other TTAC faves will be stepping up to keep the flow of news, commentary and analysis steady. So get ready for a big week, and take a moment to tell us what you most want to hear from Mr Callum, and the New New Chrysler. And thanks, as always, for your tips, comments and support.

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12 Comments on “Housekeeping: The Busy Week Ahead...”

  • avatar

    I think in the case of Chrysler, any indication that they understand what it takes to remain viable in the North American market would be welcome.

    Have a great week!

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    Are you going on Chrysler’s dime, Ed?

    If so, eat up. Car companies really know how to blow money on press junkets.

  • avatar

    RE: Questions for Ian Callum… Please oh PLEASE tell us why the c-pillars on the new XJ are black on all of the cars? It looks silly and ruins the lines. If they wanted it to look like a wrap around, why not just wrap the glass? What were they thinking?

  • avatar

    The GAO report out today says the government has ordered specific production requirements at GM and Chrysler.
    Chrysler has been ordered to maintain 90% of it’s 2008 production. With sales down 45%, what do they intend to do with all the cars that nobody buys?

  • avatar

    Justin: Hahahahaha… no. I think they’re providing lunch, but it is a six hour meeting. Also, I am getting the “Chrysler Group” rate at their hosting hotel. I’ll update on all necessary disclosures as and when pieces are published.

  • avatar

    Ask Callum about how Jag is going to address the reported reliability problems with the XF, and how they plan on avoiding such issues going forward. Both TrueDelta and CR have reported many initial problems with the XF. At some point Jag has to be aware that their fantastic vehicles are continually behind undermined by a lack of attention to details. Do they feel the rolled out the XF too quickly?

  • avatar
    Joshua Johnson

    RE: Questions for Ian Callum
    Any word on an updated C-Type and D-Type limited run production? Word on the Jag forums is that these two cars will be brought back in limited production runs with classic body style and modern safety and mechanical features. Please tell us this is true!

  • avatar


    Many years ago, Road & Track did a comparison test between an XJ6, a Mercedes, a Bimmer a Lexus and – I think – an Audi.

    I forget who wrote up the piece but, when he got to the summary of the Jag, he referred to her as exactly that: “her.” And he noted the special – almost mystical – quality of the Jaguar which caused one to refer to her as a person whereas the others were always “its.”

    So, having had four Jaguar experiences (2 x E, 2 x XJ) I can tell you that they do feel more organic – more like beings – than those other brands.

    I think that is perhaps the most important quality of Jaguar. I wonder if Mr. Callum empathizes with that and if he feels his new designs re-ignite that quality of those lovely cars of my past – and Goolsby’s present.

  • avatar

    re: New New Chrysler:

    -Any plans to add direct injection to the V8s?
    -Any plans to use the Fiat “dualogic” transmission in the NA market?
    -Any plans to use a dual-clutch transmission in the NA market?

  • avatar

    If there is anyone of consequence there from Fiat, and there probably will be, the question is simple.


  • avatar

    Does Chrysler’s hosting hotel have crappy interiors? How about mouse-fur covered chairs and hard plastic?

  • avatar

    Since Dodge cars and trucks are going to be separated I would like you to ask some pointed questions about what is going to happen to Dodge. Are there new cars planned? What is the branding direction? Ask them to be specific. This will help put to rest or confirm rumors that Dodge is going away.

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