Ford And Volkswagen Partnership, Love Or Hate The Chrysler 200 and Scotty Vs Doug? [Ask Nathan]

FordWagen VolksFord… who doesn’t like “FordWagen?” 

Nathan and The Fast Lane Car team are here to answer your (reasonable) questions. Interesting and/or entertaining emails will be posted to this column. If it’s relevant in the automotive universe, there’s a chance we may know something about it. The author’s email address and full name will be omitted – leaving your first name, initials or nickname, your preference. 

[Photo: TFLcar]

In this week’s Ask Nathan:

  • What’s going on with Ford and Volkswagen?
  • You love and hate the Chrysler 200 (AND Fiat 500L)?
  • Scotty vs Doug?

What’s going on with Ford and Volkswagen’s relationship?
[Photo: TFLcar]

It what’s becoming a consistent topic (luxury pickup trucks), we received an email from a fan about a possible BMW X7 Pickup Truck. 

Q: Via Twitter (NathanAdlen@Twitter) Let’s call them FordWagen VolksFord or VWMoCO… Ford and Volkswagen look like they are about to merge.

Is there a chance that Volkswagen is going to buy up Ford?

What’s going on?


Is the Volkswagen Golf GTI Faster than a Ford Fiesta ST? Game show
[Photo: TFLcar]

A: It’s just a partnership – for now. This is an expansion on what they already agreed on. Per the company’s joint statement:

  • Volkswagen to join Ford in investing in Argo AI, the autonomous vehicle platform company, at a valuation of more than $7 billion. Tie-up allows both automakers to independently integrate Argo AI’s self-driving system into their own vehicles, delivering unmatched global scale
  • Ford will use Volkswagen’s electric vehicle architecture and Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) to design and build at least one high-volume fully electric vehicle in Europe for European customers starting in 2023, more efficiently advancing its promise to deliver expressive passenger cars while taking advantage of Volkswagen’s scale
  • Ford and VW on track to develop commercial vans and medium pickups for each brand in select global markets starting in 2022; sharing development costs to generate significant synergies
  • The Volkswagen-Ford global alliance – which does not involve cross-ownership between the companies – is expected to create annual efficiencies for each company

Say what you will about the current partnership, I see some good and (possibly) bad aspects of both. The technology and platform sharing can speed new product to our showrooms faster. We could see some nifty new products too. Unfortunately, this could be the harbinger for deeper partnerships which have the potential to kill jobs.

We’ll see.


2015 Chrysler 200
We reviewed the 2015 Chrysler 200. It had great power, nice interior, cramped back seat, mediocre quality, an unloved 9-speed and all-whee drive. [Photo: TFLcar]

The next question is actually a series of comments from a viewer. I answered a few – because I’m cool like that. These were taken from a recent TFLnow video.

Q:  Pentastar Nate​: Y’all loved the Chrysler 200 in your review now it’s on every bad list you all have.

A: That’s because the more time we spent with it, the worse it seems to have become. The issues with the nine-speed were pretty bad.

Pentastar Nate​: YOU SAID YOU LOVE THE FIAT 500L in your review of the damn Fiat 500L O. M. G. FAKE !

(Photo: TFLcar)

A: O.M.G! NEVER said I loved it. YOUR words pal! Dear god!

I did say that, when it came out, it was unique and I liked the turbo power. The interior is comfortable and there’s good cargo room too. It was pretty good in traffic and it was a cinch to park.

It’s terrible to look at. It’s horribly unreliable. MPG is mediocre. 0 to 60 is blah. Look, they misread what Americans are looking for. It should have been completely replaced by the much better 500X.

2015 Chrysler 200 Limited
2015 Chrysler 200 Limited – usually, they give us the best examples of their cars. The base models are not very good. (Photo: TFLcar)

(In response to Andre trying to be nice about the Chrysler 200)

Pentastar Nate​: Thanks for the kind words of the Chrysler 200 Andre. But DOESN’T every Mercedes loose its resale value? And doesn’t HONDA use the same 9 speed. It’s not TRYING to cover up. Forum reviews don’t lie.

A: Yes they do – but that’s not the point.

Ten companies can use the same component, but the PROGRAMMING of said component can be and is different. EVERYONE did a recall to fix it.

According to Forbes, “Recall notices will be sent to around a half million owners of 2014-2015 Jeep Cherokee and 2015 Chrysler 200, Jeep Renegade and RAM ProMaster vehicles equipped with the affected gearbox. The nine-speed is also used in the 2016 Fiat 500X; 2014–2017 Range Rover Evoque and 2015–2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport, 2015–2016 Honda Pilot, and 2015–2017 Acura TLX, though those models are not – at least not yet – involved in the campaign.”

It wasn’t until FCA updated the software that their nine-speed improved. It’s not just our words, it’s theirs. I tried telling you and emailing you before – so maybe these answers will help.


Scotty Kilmer [Image: YouTube via screencap]

The last question comes from someone who is not a fan of Scotty Kilmer or Doug DeMuro.

Q: Nathan, who do you like or hate more? Scotty Kilmer or Doug DeMuro?

Honestly. Scotty is a Toyota shill and Doug is in AutoTrader’s pocket. Do you like or respect either? Are they competition for you and Roman?


A: They both have positive points. I don’t see them as direct competitors as Doug does good work with exotics and older cars. Scotty is a seasoned mechanic and cuts to the chase based on his experience.

We do car reviews, news and automotive entertainment. It’s a different kind of baseball from those guys. We follow different rules and we have different goals.

I admit, I occasionally watch both. I like Doug’s review of old sports cars. Scotty is great when you want to cut to the case with what may go wrong with various cars and components.

True, I may not always agree with their assessments, I often disagree. That’s the beauty of the net – you can disagree. They may have their favorites and they may dislike others, but they are not in anyone’s pocket. Promise.


Speaking of fun, exciting, sexy car reviews…

From day one, The Fast Lane Car has made it our policy to answer as many questions and comments as we can. We get thousands of emails and comments and feel that, as part of a tight-knit automotive community, having an open dialogue with you keeps things fresh and exciting.Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: