Chrysler announcement ignites Ford and GM to join youth movement
The Fiat Chrysler Automobile company has revealed it will launch a new vehicle for model year 2020 specifically designed to appeal not only to the Millennial generation but to Centennials even if many are still too young to drive, or may not want to drive. The car will be priced as an entry-level vehicle but will be web-connected, self-driving and electric-powered, company officials will announce.
The car will be called the Valiant, in part because FCA already owns that nameplate, but primarily because Valiant sounds like the name of a superhero.
In fact, the formal announcement is to take place Sunday in a Hollywood setting and in conjunction with Marvel Comics, which will launch a new series featuring Valiant, an asexual character with superpowers used to combat evil.
Upon learned of FCA’s move, Ford responded by saying it also plans a new vehicle line to appeal to the same audience. Drawing inspiration from the renewed interest in travel into space, the vehicles will wear the Comet nameplate as Ford resurrects that badging.
General Motors executives followed suit, issuing a statement promising their company’s entry the race for this younger audience, and they reportedly already are in negotiations to purchase the rights to the Trihawk brand.
The car is being designed for those who prefer to experience the world by looking into their mobile phones rather than looking out through the windshield.”
In the mid-to-late 1980s, Trihawk produced three-wheel vehicles. GM insiders revealed they are pursuing rights to that name and let slip that the company will leverage its long-standing relationship with Disney in expectation that the entertainment company will support the marketing effort with a trio of new superheroes united under the Trihawk banner.
FCA said the new Valiant will have a number of notable features geared especially for the younger generation. In particular, drivers will no longer need to look out of the windshield but will be able to drive without taking their eyes from their cell phones, which is what they strongly prefer, according to market research.
In consideration of the Gamers among them, all vehicle controls, including throttle and brakes, will be accessed on the steering wheel using thumb controls. One idea for future models is to eliminate the steering wheel altogether in favor a joystick.
When vehicles can be fully self-driving, the windshield will service as a giant video game screen.
“Generation Z, some call them the Centennials, already are as old as 22,” an FCA spokesperson said told the ClassicCars.com Journal. “We are creating our new Valiant to meet this group’s needs today, and well into the future.
“The car is being designed for those who prefer to experience the world by looking into their mobile phones rather than looking out through the windshield.”2 comments