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January 8, 2021 50 min
In our road test segment, we heat up the winter with the red-hot Dodge Durango SRT and the Volvo V60 T5 Cross Country. Both vehicles make short work of bad winter weather. In the interview segment of the program, host Jack Nerad takes a look at yet another all-wheel-drive vehicle, the AWD version of the new Chrysler Pacifica minivan. After a recent drive in the top-level Pinnacle version of the vehicle. he had a chance to sit down for a lengthy interview with Chrysler product planning manager Mary Ann Capo. In the news segment. Jack Nerad and co-host Chris Teague look at the sales winners and losers from 2020. And they also discuss a possible new model from Toyota that is lighting up the rumor mill. The Volvo Cross Countrys put a modern spin on the prosaic station wagon. The following is a transcription of Episode 36 of America on the Road. It was created with the aid of AI, so please forgive the inevitable grammatical errors. Jack Nerad 0:04 This is America on the Road winner of the International Automotive Media Conference Gold Medal Award for Radio and now in its 24th year on the air. Thanks for being with us as we bring you the latest automotive information from around the world. Plus this week we're going to take a quick look back at 2020. Talk about sales, among other things vehicle sales. America on the Road is brought to you by drivingtoday.com and the Coalition for Vehicle Choice. I'm Jack Nerad with me his co host, Chris Teague. Chris is based in Maine. He writes about cars and trucks for Ford authority, Forbes and driving today, among others. And he's enduring a pretty good day in Maine today, aren't you Chris? Chris Teague 0:43 Yeah, I'll take it above freezing in mid-January cannot be outdone in northern New England. Jack Nerad 0:48 Yeah, like that a lot. It's so early as we're doing the recording today. I haven't even looked outside barely. I can't tell whether it's cloudy or sunny or what it was still dark as I was preparing for this. So I can't do a Southern California weather report. But I guess we can live without that. What we will like to live with is our special guest who is Maryanne Keiko. She is the senior manager of the Christ, Christ their brand product planning, and we're gonna get a close up look at what to expect from the new 2021 Chrysler Pacifica minivan. I talked to her about it at length at a recent event. And it now offers all-wheel-drive among other things. So we will get up close and personal with that really popular minivan from Chrysler. In the car you segment Chris will give us his opinion on what vehicle, Chris? Chris Teague 1:41 The 2021 Dodge Durango SRT. Jack Nerad 1:45 I tell you those SRT models are terrific as a little preface to what I might say in a moment. I just love those things. I had a very fun vehicle to drive, kind of on that order. In a way it is not precisely an SUV, kind of halfway between a station wagon and an SUV. It is the Volvo V60 T5 Cross Country. So those are our two road test vehicles. Before we do any of that, though, let's take a look at automotive news. And I think the big news was a year has ended and auto sales are in and we can report on that and particularly what it means to consumers — what it means to people like our listeners out there and not so much industry reporting. But reporting that is a valuable to you. One thing to know right off the top is the car sales dropped to their lowest level since the Great Recession, about 2009-2010. Sales were down 14.6%, which seems like a giant drop. But given what we've gone through the past year, I think that's kind of a positive, because sales were down more than twice that at the halfway mark. So we've been coming back. What's your take on that, Chris? Chris Teague 3:05 I agree. I think you know that when things started becoming apparent that they were going to get bad and probably bad for a long time — you and I talked about this last year — the automakers started issui...
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