Autocar confidential: Jeep's FCA future, Schwarzenegger on G-Class and Ford's driverless thoughts
The all-new 2018 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Our reporters empty their notebooks to round up this week’s gossip from across the automotive industry
This week’s snippets of automotive news include Jeep’s FCA future, Arnold Schwarzenegger on the new G-Class and Ford’s feelings towards driverless cars.
Jeep’s future with FCA:
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles boss Sergio Marchionne put to bed speculation that the Jeep brand could be offloaded to raise money, or that the whole FCA group could be sold to a Chinese auto maker such as GAC.
“We have no intention of breaking up the company or giving it to the Chinese,” the Italian confirmed in Detroit.
Arnold Schwarzenegger on G-Class:
The terminator was out in force at the Detroit motor show. Arnold Schwarzenegger, himself a Mercedes G-Class owner, told the crowd at the new car’s unveiling that as he’d “got more muscular, so had the car”.
Schwarzenegger then presented Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche with a cowboy hat. The Austrian-born actor was later spotted inspecting the interior of a Mercedes-Maybach S650.
Welcoming the new G-Class:
In introducing the G-Class, Zetsche told the crowd how it was a model close to his heart. It was the first vehicle project he was responsible for in the 1980s. Showing a black-and-white photo of him and the car from that time, he joked: “Only one of us still looks like we did back then.”
Ford on driverless cars:
Ford boss Jim Hackett doubts that cars, even driverless ones, should lose their pedals and steering wheels in the short term. It could “scare” people and make them feel “locked in there on their own”, he said.
Hackett believes we should view early driverless cars as robotic servants that can co-ordinate our lives. “We’ve had a recent cooperation with Domino’s Pizza,” he said. “People loved the ease of taking their food from a machine, not a human.”
Source: Autocar Online