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					  John Mellor's                             Australia’s Number One Automotive Industry Journal

  April 25, 2007
                                  GoAuto news
                                   50,000 READERS WEEKLY!                                            No. 382

                                                                                                                                                          DIGITAL IMAGE: Chris Harris
                                                                                                                       World debuts: (from left) the
                                                                                                                   Audi Cross Coupe Quattro, BMW
                                                                                                                  Concept CS and the Buick Riviera

The auto world turns to Shanghai as BMW, Audi and GM unveil hot new concepts
CHINA’S biggest motor show has again                                                                      most of the attention, the rapidly emerging
underlined the emergence of that nation as an                                                             Chinese manufacturers did not go unnoticed
important global automotive power, with Auto                                                              – and, mostly, for all the right reasons.
Shanghai 2007 playing host to no fewer than                                                                  Whereas past shows have unearthed some
three world debuts on Friday.                                                                             blatant rip-offs, caused a stir with their off-the-
   Apart from presenting its Holden Statesman-                                                            wall designs and made us laugh out loud with
based Park Avenue, the world’s biggest car-                                                               free-spirited model names, Auto Shanghai
maker General Motors – which is now the                                                                   2007 was seen more as a venue brimming with
                                                    Chery A6cc
top-selling automaker in China, with around                                                               fresh new ideas, increased sophistication, and
100,000 sales a month – also revealed a wild        potential. It is our goal to increase retail volume   vehicles with serious production – and export
new hybrid coupe concept heralding a new            in Asia to 150,000 vehicles by next year.             – potential.
global design direction for the Buick brand.           “Over the last five years, the BMW brand               Consider Chery’s Bertone-designed A6cc,
   Similarly, Audi revealed its Q3-previewing       alone has risen by more than 750 percent in           Shanghai Automotive’s Roewe W2 and
Cross Coupe quattro concept, while BMW              Chinese mainland. No other major premium              Changan’s CV8. And consider the prediction,
offered up its first Chinese world debut in the      brand has achieved such dynamic growth rates          made by the world’s automotive powerbrokers,
Concept CS, a preview of the 7 Series-based four-   in this market.                                       that China is expected to become the largest
door “coupe”, with which it hopes to emulate the       “This market is clearly headed towards             car market in the world by 2020. Read on...
success of the Mercedes-Benz CLS.                   becoming one of the world’s most
                                                                                                                                            NEW LEXUS
   Clearly indicating his company’s belief that     important automotive markets.”
China will soon be one of the world’s largest car      This was a sentiment echoed on the                                                     ARRIVES!
markets, BMW boss Dr Norbert Reithofer said:        stands throughout the motor show. And                                                         - page 7
“We continue to believe in this country’s huge      while the big international brands attracted

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                     GoAutonews                                                                                                A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 2

 BMW has pulled yet another surprise out of its corporate hat by using            While speculation that BMW would
 last week’s Shanghai motor show opening to reveal its widely anticipated       unveil a successor for its left-hand drive-
 answer to top-shelf four-door “coupes” like the Mercedes-Benz CLS              only Z8 roadster in the shape of an all-new
 and the forthcoming Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide.                  so-called Z9 at Shanghai has proved wide of the mark, the CS could
    The CS concept not only heralds a new design direction for BMW, but         morph into a belated replacement for the overweight, under-selling 8
 confirms the Munich maker intends to go even further upmarket than its          Series coupe. Others suggest the CS will become the next-generation
 7 Series sedan flagship via this low-slung grand tourer that will further       6 Series, which will be made available in both two-door coupe and
 close the gap between BMW’s own models and the million-dollar Rolls-           convertible – and four-door sedan – bodystyles.
 Royce models it also produces.                                                   Either way, the CS provides the first public glimpse of the high-
    Though the CS has not been confirmed for production, BMW does                end luxury sedan project that has been known internally as the Sports
 not build concept cars for fun. But exactly what nameplate the CS will         Luxury Concept (SLC). As well as previewing a new BMW corporate
 carry when it hits the road around the end of this decade is the subject of    design direction, the CS also gives a sneak-peek at the redesigned 7
 great debate.                                                                  Series sedan, due on sale in 2009.
                                                                                  The X5-based X6, a high-riding four-door crossover “coupe” due to
                                                                                appear at the Frankfurt motor show ahead of its 2008 release, may also
                                                                                    incorporate elements of the CS look. The 8 Series (if that’s what it
                                                                                               will be called) will be built on a modified version of the all-
                                                                                                 new 7 Series, and should offer V8 and V10 firepower.
                                                                                                      Also widely speculated is a new high-revving
                                                                                                    6.0-litre V12 to power the flagship M8. The new
                                                                                                    12-cylinder engine is odds-on to be yet another
                                                                                                    development of the M5/M6’s 5.0-litre V10, the first
                                                                                                   in a family of high-revving Vee engines that also
                                                                                                  spawned the upcoming M3’s 4.0-litre V8. MP
                                                                                                                            FULL STORY: CLICK HERE

 A SMALLER sibling for Audi’s new Q7 luxury off-roader, the A5                  injectors. Also featuring a diesel particulate filter and Bluetec system, it
 coupe-based Q5 SUV, is yet to officially break cover in any guise, but          is claimed to be an all-new design. Official outputs are about 150kW
 that failed to stop the German maker revealing an even more compact            and 400Nm of torque, while returning 5.9L/100km. A Haldex coupling
 future SUV model in the shape of the Audi Cross Coupe Quattro.                 channels power to all four wheels via an S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox.
    Revealed at last week’s Shanghai motor show opening, the compact               Underneath the Cross Coupe lie a MacPherson-strut front axle and
 SUV concept is an unexpected sneak-peek at the Q3, which is expected           a four-link rear axle, plus ceramic brake discs. A three-mode “drive
 to follow next year’s Q5 to market by 2010. As the name suggests,              select system” alters engine, gearbox, steering and shock absorber
 the all-new Q3 will be similar in size to the same brand’s five-door            characteristics, while a touch-screen MMI control panel is also claimed
 A3 Sportback and parent company Volkswagen Group’s Golf. Next-                 to set a new infotainment standard. The latter employs a “dual-view”
 generation versions of both mainstream models are likely to share              monitor that can produce different images for the driver and front-seat
 the same underpinnings, which are also shared with Volkswagen’s                passenger, for example by allowing the driver to read data from the on-
 forthcoming Tiguan compact SUV.                                                board computer while the front passenger watches TV. MP
    For now, however, the Audi Cross Coupe Quattro is claimed to
 combine “the design and dynamism of a compact premium sportscar
 with the spaciousness and versatility of a four-seat sport utility vehicle”.
 In doing so, Audi says its newest concept car “defines a new segment
 in the field of crossover vehicles” by presenting new technical solutions
 for “achieving efficiency, driving pleasure and comfort in a manner that
 is typical of Audi”.
    Painted in “Liquid Silver”, the Cross Coupe rides on 20-inch wheels,
 features a power-operated folding fabric roof and is claimed to shout its
 off-road ability from the rooftops. It is powered by a transverse-mounted
 four-cylinder inline TDI engine with common-rail fuel injection and piezo

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 John Mellor's                                                                                                                                             

                       GoAutonews                                                                                                                 A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 3

THE global reach of General Motors’ engineering abilities was                                However, look beyond the 2+2
showcased in the Buick Park Avenue, a built-for-China version of                           showcar’s tightly sculpted carbon-fibre
Holden’s WM Statesman, but the Shanghai show also hosted the                               body panels and 21-inch forged aluminium
unveiling of a concept that is claimed to preview a totally new design                     wheels and it is clear that, if it reaches production, the striking two-door
direction for the Buick brand worldwide.                                                   may also have close ties with homegrown Holden products, such as the
   Said to be developed with design input by the Pan Asia Technical                        next-generation Monaro. MP                    FULL STORY: CLICK HERE
Automotive Center (PATAC) in China, the Riviera is a design and                                                                    Read more: Holden’s Chinese Buick
engineering joint-venture between GM and Shanghai Automotive
Industry Corporation (SAIC).
   The gullwinged coupe concept, which revives a Buick nameplate that
found more than 1.1 million homes between 1963 and 1999, was jointly
unveiled in Shanghai by GM chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner and
SAIC chairman Hu Maoyuan. “Developing and launching the Riviera in
China underscores the diversity, strength and depth of the GM global
design network,” said GM Global Design vice-president Ed Welburn.
“It also reflects PATAC’s growing role within the GM Design family
and China’s significance as the world’s largest Buick market.”
   Significantly, the Riviera is claimed to be engineered to
accommodate a new hybrid system that will go into production at
Shanghai GM, GM’s flagship joint-venture with SAIC, prior to the
Beijing Olympics in 2008.

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    PRODUCTION AND GRAPHICS: Chris Harris, Luc Britten SUB-EDITORS: Katrina Webb, Georgia O'Connell NEW MODEL DIARY: Lou Paolino
 John Mellor's                                                                                                                      

                     GoAutonews                                                                                              A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 4

‘Dangerous’ times

                                                                                                                                                          DIGITAL IMAGE: Chris Harris
Holden hits back after
US expert predicts bleak
future for Aussie sector
                 By DAVID HASSALL
HOLDEN has rejected suggestions from a
visiting international motor industry expert
that Australian car-makers should move away
from large cars and instead build small or
hybrid cars.
   Holden director of engineering Tony Hyde
told GoAuto that it was not economically
feasible to build small cars for Australia.
   Mr Hyde said that Holden was very happy
with its large-car program and would continue Jay Baron with the VE Commodore
trying to expand its volumes through exports.
   He was responding to comments made by can you influence that move, given that you                      The temptation is there to do, say, a 3 Series
the president of the Detroit-based Center for have GM, Ford, Toyota all with plants here?”               BMW equal or something like that, a la the
Automotive Research, Jay Baron, who was               However, Mr Hyde said that none of the             Torana show car, but there’s still a fair amount
a keynote speaker at last week’s ‘Change By Australian manufacturers could afford to build               of cost in those cars,” he said.
Design’ conference – an annual government- small cars to compete with imports, as had                       So Holden is happy to follow its present path,
backed event run this year by the Society of been proven in the past.                                    with large rear-wheel drive cars being exported
Automotive Engineers (Australasia)                    “We could go and design a small car, but           primarily to North America and the Middle East.
   Mr Baron told local industry representatives I don’t think there’s any way you could do it               “We still believe that there’s good life in
at the conference that Australian car-                      economically in Australia,” Mr Hyde          Commodore and global rear-wheel drive from
makers needed to change direction                           told GoAuto. “It may not cost a billion      an Elizabeth plant point of view,” Mr Hyde
because large rear-wheel drive cars                         dollars like with VE (Commodore),            told GoAuto. “In the future we might be told
were in decline.                                            but you still have to spend a swag of        to build something else, but it still wouldn’t be
   In an interview with GoAuto, he also                     money and you can only sell them in the      relying solely on this domestic market – you’d
warned about exporting more cars than                       $17,000 to $22,000 range, and you don’t      be exporting heaps of them.
we make for local consumption.                              make much out of a car in that range.           “Both Toyota and ourselves have very strong
   “I think that’s a dangerous business Tony Hyde              “And your volume would not be             export programs out of Australia and I think it
case to be riding on, given the downturn of guaranteed because there’s a lot more competition            helps both companies.
rear-wheel drive cars,” said Mr Baron. “It’s just down in that area of the market than there is in the      “I am very happy that we got the means of
a risk because the volumes of those markets are large-car market where we are now, so trying to          getting into the Middle East back in the mid-’90s;
going down. Who’s going to be buying those get your $600-$800 million (investment) back …                we made the decision to go and do left-hand drive
vehicles in five years? It’s a risk.                I just can’t see it being viable.                     and all the things that’s brought to us.”
   “There is obviously a demand for rear-wheel        “There’s no coincidence that all the other            Mr Hyde conceded that the only real volume
drive vehicles, but it is more of a niche area. (manufacturers) have stopped making that sort            rear-drive large car opportunities for Holden
You are dealing with a market that’s getting of car in Australia. They’ve gone out of that               were in North America and the Middle East,
smaller, not bigger.                               business. It is absolutely more business-friendly     despite recent moves into Korea (“It’s a good
   “Where you go from the current infrastructure to go out and import the damn things.”                  deal and should be ongoing, but not high
to where the car market is going to be in five         Mr Hyde also rejected the suggestion of            volume”).
years, whether it’s hybrids or small efficient cars building more highly-specified small cars with            “I floated Russia there for a while and I still
or a combination of that … even if you knew bigger profit margins.                                        personally believe there are opportunities there,
where it’s going to be in five years, how well         “The higher you go, the less volume you get.       but that’s not on the agenda at the moment.”

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 John Mellor's                                                                                                                 

                      GoAutonews                                                                                         A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 5

$1m rescue deal
                 By MARTON PETTENDY              accept a million-dollar offer by
A FULL-SCALE plant closure at Ford Australia     Ford and Delphi, the company’s
was averted this week when workers at troubled   two largest customers.
Victorian components supplier Coghlan &             “The Coughlin & Russell
Russell Engineering accepted $1 million a        workers accepted our offer to
rescue package and went back to work.            provide trading capital for the next                                       Geelong engine plant
    As reported last issue, Ford Australia’s     60 days,” said Ford spokeswoman
Broadmeadows assembly plant ceased V8            Sinead McAlary. “That will allow the                 committed to keeping it as a supplier.”
Falcon production on April 16 and both           administrator time to determine what needs to             Coghlan & Russell Engineering supplies
Territory and Falcon production was threatened   be done with the business, obviously with the        Ford with 37 different vehicle parts, including
from last Thursday, following the failure of a   ultimate goal of rehabilitating it and potentially   a V8 engine damper, but rising debts following
meeting to shore up the cash-strapped Geelong    offering it for sale if there are buyers.”           slower sales of Ford’s large Australian-built
auto parts company.                                 Asked if the same situation would emerge in       models saw the firm cease production and axe
   In the end, however, Ford stood down just     two months’ time, when funds made available          its 49-strong workforce last week.
400 workers at its Geelong engine plant on       by Ford and Delphi are exhausted, Ms                     It is understood workers still face the loss
Friday after rearranging production schedules.   McAlary said: “Hopefully not. Everyone’s on          of $521,000 in entitlements, including eight
They returned to work on Monday following        board to keep the business operating if we can.      months of unpaid superannuation.
the Coughlin & Russell workers’ decision to      If the company does remain viable, we have                     Read more: Ford threat

     Suzuki is a major player in the world automotive market. In 2006 global auto-
     mobile sales were 2,174,000 vehicles, an 8% increase on the previous year and
     motorcycle sales (including ATV’s) just over 2,000,000 units. This means Suzuki
     builds and sells more cars than brands such as Mazda, Subaru and Mitsubishi.
     In Australia in the past few years since the launch of an exciting range of new
     models, year upon year growth has been similarly impressive. The future model
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     National Training                                                      Supervisor Corporate
     Supervisor                                                             Communications
     Reporting to the General Manager – Automobiles, this                   Reporting to the General Manager – Automobiles
     is a hands on role which will have influence across both               this role will excite and challenge a communications
     the Dealer network and Suzuki Australia.                               specialist who wants to be a member of a team gathering
                                                                            momentum. The initial focus on acceptance of this role
     The initial challenges will be to identify performance
                                                                            will be to establish a communications strategy which
     improvement opportunities predominantly in product
                                                                            will ensure the brand is high on consumers shopping
     knowledge, competitor analysis and sales techniques.
                                                                            lists. Media communications will require excellent
     The ability to develop support materials and training
                                                                            writing skills together with the ability to manage the
     manuals is a pre-requisite. Where appropriate, there
                                                                            press fleet for maximum benefit and exposure.
     will be a need to manage external agencies.
                                                                            Proven strategic skills will be required in the appointee
     Of key importance in this appointment will be the
                                                                            together with recognised PR & Media training.
     following criteria – interpersonal skills, proven training
                                                                            Interpersonal skills will naturally need to be of the
     credentials, automotive industry (or a comparable
                                                                            highest order as will organisational and event support
     industry) experience and a desire to operate in a manner
                                                                            skills. While experience in the automotive industry will
     which makes a difference.
                                                                            be advantageous candidates with strong experience in
                                                                            a related industry should not be deterred from applying.

     Naturally salary packages for both roles will be in keeping with challenges and
     include the usual automotive industry benefits.
     To take either of these exciting opportunities further, forward your resume
     (Word format only) to quoting Ref: 721 – National
     Training Supervisor or Ref: 720 – Supervisor Corporate Communications.
     For any specific enquiries contact Susan Mould (03) 9682 9911 during business
     hours for a confidential discussion.                                                                           Recruitment and Selection
 John Mellor's                                                                                                                        

                      GoAutonews                                                                                                A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 6

Different strokes
SsangYong will continue
with polarising designs
                 By JAMES STANFORD
SSANGYONG will not back away from its
polarising vehicle designs.
   Following the Australian launch last week
of two more controversial-looking vehicles
in the Actyon SUV and Actyon Sports utility,
SsangYong Australia has revealed that future
models will continue to “challenge” consumers         Stavic
with unorthodox designs.
   “Their forward planning still has this idea        is an easy sale,” said Mr Timmins, who
that they want to stand out from the pack and         drives a Stavic as a company car. “We
not look like everyone else in the marketplace,”      have a very, very strong core of Stavic fans
said SsangYong Australia sales and marketing          who are current owners, (and) quite frankly                                                      Kyron
manager Brad Larkham. “On our last trip,              some of the letters that we get from them are          Kyron features mild changes to the front and rear
(managing director) Keith (Timmins) and               heart-warming. They really, really are good,           to remove what was seen as an excess of lines.
I saw clays (clay design models) of future            particularly when you go back outside and                 SsangYong had previously outsourced some
models and they are still challenging the way         think, ‘No, I don’t really like the look of that.’     of its design work, such as calling on ItalDesign
we look at cars.”                                        “You don’t see the mixed design of the rear         to shape the Rexton SUV, but developed the
   Some of the most outlandish modern                 quarters of the vehicle when you are sitting up the    Actyon in-house. SsangYong Australia claims
SsangYong designs – including the Korando             front, and all the seats are very comfortable.”        the styling of the Actyon SUV was deemed as
4WD and Stavic people-mover – were penned                Mr Timmins said SsangYong had no plan               “attractive and appealing” by a group of people
by Briton Ken Greenley, who is a former vehicle       to change the design of the Stavic until a             who were unaware of the car’s origins during
design head at London’s respected Royal College       scheduled freshening in 2010.                          market research.
of the Arts. Mr Greenley has now retired.                While SsangYong has resisted pressure to               As reported earlier this month, the company
   While Mr Timmins admitted the design of the        alter the look of the Stavic, which has been the       has followed a more conservative styling
Stavic might prevent some potential customers         subject of ridicule around the world, it has swiftly   course with the Wz concept shown at the recent
taking one for a test drive, he insisted that those   redesigned the Kyron SUV after criticism both in       Seoul Motor Show – a car which looks to be a
who drove the cars came to like them.                 South Korea and international markets.                 replacement for the Chairman prestige sedan.
   “If they can overcome that initial look, it           Arriving in Australia in June, the facelifted                More reports - page 11,12

                                                                                                On the track, on the road, and in your
                                                                                                 dealership, Mobil 1 is the name that
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 John Mellor's                                                                                                                   

                   GoAutonews                                                                                              A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 7

Emotional rescue
Brilliant LS460 combines
emotion with comfort,
technology and value
LEXUS’ flagship LS series has been reborn
for a fourth time with pricing, performance,
styling and refinement to unsettle the upper-
luxury segment status quo.
   On sale from May 1, the ground-up redesign
of the LS also represents a rethink of Lexus’
flagship positioning, with the traditional single-
specification V8 model – now christened LS460
– to be joined by a long-wheelbase version.
   Dubbed the LS600Lh, the latter is a petrol/         Lexus says that equivalently equipped and        – Lexus says a stethoscope is used to test each
electric hybrid devised to recharge the moribund    powered BMW 750i and Mercedes S500                  engine so buyers can enjoy the silence.
image of the LS to that of a technological and      models cost between $19,600 and $69,000 more           Aiding the numbers above is a leading drag
environmental innovator. It arrives in October,     respectively, while – for LS460 money – you         co-efficient figure of 0.26Cd, with reduced
priced from around $250,000.                        can only get the 200kW/350Nm 3.5-litre V6-          lift front and rear compared to its LS430
   For now, the focus falls on the LS460, and       powered Mercedes S350 and 225kW/390Nm               predecessor, narrower panel gaps, minimal
its keen, no-options $184,900 pricing that          4.0-litre V8 BMW 740i.                              protrusions and a flush underbody for quieter,
continues the LS tradition (since 1990) of             With a new 4.6-litre quad-cam V8 delivering      smoother airflow.
offering specification matching the German           280kW of power at 6500rpm and 493Nm                    The LS is the latest Lexus with the ‘L-
competitions’ upper-level models but at their       of torque at 4100rpm to the rear wheels, the        finesse’ styling language also seen on the
entry-level prices.                                 LS460 also has the upper hand on engine             GS and IS, which, according to design chief
   These days, this includes Lexus’ ‘Pre-           output for the outlay.                              Simon Humphries, needed to encompass more
Collision’ advanced safety system, air                 It is married to the world’s first eight-speed    boldness “with a degree of good taste” as well
suspension, radar cruise control, reclinable        automatic gearbox, a compact transmission           as aerodynamic efficiency.
‘premium leather’ seating with cooling and          designed to maximise fuel economy at higher            Air suspension also makes its debut in an
heating for all outboard seats, top-end audio,      speeds and launch feel at lower ones. Gearshifts    Australian-bound Lexus, incorporating new
four-zone climate-control air-conditioning,         are said to be virtually imperceptible, and up to   shock absorbers and an improved Adaptive
and keyless entry and start.                        41 per cent quicker than the previous six-speed     Variable Suspension (AVS) system that
                                                                       automatic set-up.                automatically adjusts suspension forces at all
                                                                          Speed is an unexpected        four wheels.
                                                                       LS460 upshot – it can sprint        It forms part of a new platform featuring a
                                                                       from 0-100km/h in 5.7            longer wheelbase and wider tracks – with the
                                                                       seconds, hit the standing-       rears being the fattest among the LS’ immediate
                                                                       400m mark in 13.8 seconds        fat-cat competition.
                                                                       and reach a speed-restricted        The Lexus’ multi-link front and five-link
                                                                       250km/h. Apparently, 280km/      rear arrangement includes forged aluminium
                                                                       h has been recorded.             components and ‘Vehicle Posture Control’
                                                                          Conversely, the ADR 81/01     damper force control logic that uses sensors
                                                                       fuel economy average is          to minimise the phase difference between
                                                                       11.1L/100km, while its CO2       bodyroll and pitch angles during cornering via
                                                                       emissions result is 261g/km.     the shock absorbers.
                                                                       It is also extremely quiet                   Continued next page

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                   GoAutonews                                                                                                   A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 8

Emotional rescue
          Continued from previous page
   Among many other things, AVS also helps
reduce bodyroll by 30 per cent compared to the
previous LS, along with reducing diving under
brakes, squatting under acceleration, and the
transmission of noise, vibration and harshness
into the passenger compartment.
   A Normal, Sport and Comfort switch next
to the gearlever alters the damping force for
flat, firmer (by 20 per cent) or softer respective
responses from the suspension.
   The LS460’s steering is an electronically
powered set-up that, along with the front
suspension’s geometry, has been redesigned for       and steering wheel positioning settings.              VDiM can integrate each item as needed.
better feel, ride and handling characteristics.         The aforementioned Pre-Collision safety               Ten airbags – including new rear-seat
   Mounted forward of the front axle centres,        System (PCS), cribbed from the GS and some            side airbags – also offer improved impact
Lexus claims the steering has a more natural         IS models, recognises potential dangers in            protection, while the body’s 30 per cent
feel, is more adept on rough roads, less likely to   advance according to deceleration and sudden          increase in torsional stiffness has prompted
vibrate, and is more prompt in response to input.    driver inputs by “preparing” the brakes,              Lexus to claim another “best in class”.
   A variable steering gear ratio is also            seatbelts and dampers.                                   Lexus says that it has redoubled its efforts as far
incorporated, which quickens the direction              PCS joins another Lexus safety acronym:            as cabin quality and craftsmanship is concerned,
of change at low-speed steering inputs, and          VDiM, or Vehicle Dynamics integrated                  with the aim being to combine highly automated
decreases it as vehicle speeds rise, for a less      Management. The latter works with the LS460’s         assembly with a custom-made effect.
nervous and less fidgety steering feel. Turns         anti-lock brakes, brake assist function, electronic      “Function with emotion” is how the LS’
vary from 2.4 to 3.5 revolutions.                    brake-force distribution, traction control and        chief engineer, Moritaka Yoshida, put it. He
   The driver is ensconced in a cabin that offers    VSC stability control – as well as the AVS            went through every process of the production
independent temperature adjustment as part of        suspension, electric power steering and variable      process to achieve this.
the four-zone climate control operation for          steering system – to simultaneously help keep            Expect a long-wheelbase LS460L before
all outboard occupants. It uses 13 sensors for       the LS under control and on the right trajectory,     too long, as well as a short-wheelbase LS600h
optimal conditioning, and includes a permanent       instead of relying on individual components like      hybrid further along the line, to bring the LS
pollen and dust-removal mode.                        the VSC to work independently.                        line-up to at least four.
   Entry is via a sub-credit card-sized ‘Smart          The aim is to also reduce response times, or            For drive impressions, go to
Card’ that boasts several driver-specific seat        to keep progress as smooth as possible, since  from this Friday.

  Deloitte Motor Industry Services
  Same team . . . new name . . . exceptional service
  Your Deloitte motor industry contacts are:
  Victoria                 John Flynn, Grant Cameron & Murray Peck                                     Ph: +61 (0) 3 9208 7015
  Queensland               David Cowper, Terry Giffin & Michael Richter                                Ph: +61 (0) 7 3308 7217
  SA/NT/TAS                Henry Veronese                                                              Ph: +61 (0) 8 8407 7236
  WA                       Wayne Pearson                                                               Ph: +61 (0) 8 9365 7015
  NZ                       Gavin Sebire                                                                Ph: +64 (0) 4 721 677
  Asia                     Wayne Pearson & Danny Rezek                                                 Ph: +61 (0) 2 9322 3889
  NSW                      Stavroula Papadatos, John Flynn, David Cowper &                             Ph: +61 (0) 2 9322 3577
                           Peter Axiom
 John Mellor's                                                                                                                 

                     GoAutonews                                                                                          A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 9

 super XK

                                                                                                   Demand is high for the hot
                                                                                                     new supercharged XKR
                                                                                                      coupe and convertible
                 By DAVID HASSALL                    supercharged V8 engine and was upgraded to            Mr White said that the target cars were
JAGUAR Australia has officially launched the          the current 4.2-litre unit in October 2002.        performance GTs like the BMW M6 and
supercharged version of its second-generation            Supercharging was chosen not only for its Mercedes-Benz SL55 through to hard-edged
XK grand tourer introduced 10 months ago,            smoother and lower-revs power delivery, but sports machines like the Aston Martin V8
giving it a real performance edge to go with its     also because of Jaguar’s long history with Vantage and even the Porsche Carrera S.
famous sleek looks.                                  the device, dating back to its glory days at Le However, in keeping with Jaguar tradition,
   The Jaguar XKR comes in both coupe and            Mans.                                              they wanted a more refined delivery of its
convertible form, but buyers will have to be             Power is now 306kW at                                           performance and a balance
                                                     6250rpm (compared with                   PRICING:                   between comfort and sports
patient as waiting lists already extend to the
end of the year.                                     224kW for the ‘atmo’ 4.2- XK coupe (a)                 $199,900 performance.
                                                                                      XK convertible (a) $221,900
   Prices start from $227,900 for the coupe          litre XK and 298kW for                                                 The XKR has a huge price
                                                                                      XKR coupe (a)         $227,900
while the convertible is priced from $249,900.       the previous XKR) while                                             advantage over some of these
                                                                                      XKR convertible (a) $249,900
This represents a $28,000 premium over the           maximum torque is 560Nm                                             target rivals, undercutting
regular XK coupe and convertible models              at 4000rpm (7Nm more than the previous model both the BMW M6 and Mercedes-Benz SL500
and a step up of $12,000-$18,000 from the            and up from 420Nm at 4100rpm in the XK).           by more than $45,000. However, it gives away
previous XKR.                                            The result is a healthy 0-100km/h time of plenty of performance to the V10-engined M6.
   Jaguar has an allocation of 120 XKRs for          5.2 seconds and greatly enhanced mid-range            In terms of price, performance and looks,
2007 (65 per cent of them coupes) and, thanks        acceleration, with an 80-110km/h overtaking it lines up closely with the Aston Martin V8
to appearances at the Brisbane and Melbourne         time of just 2.5 seconds.                          Vantage.
motor shows, most of them have already been              The six-speed ZF automatic gearbox with           Jaguar design chief Ian Callum (who also
ordered by eager customers who start taking          sequential changing function is retained, but penned the Aston) apparently does not like the
delivery from May.                                   electronic mapping changes have resulted in current trend towards folding hard-tops – and
   Interestingly, Jaguar says that XK buyers are     sharper changes and even more aggressive nor did the engineers trying to make a hard-
Jaguar’s youngest, averaging 53 years of age         down-shifting, especially in Sport mode.           edged coupe – so the XKR coupe again follows
compared with 57 for the X-Type (surprisingly,           Jaguar Cars Limited’s chief body engineer its XK sibling in having a regular material soft-
the oldest buyers).                                  Mark White said that the overall design brief top that folds away between the (tiny) rear seat
   The first-generation XKR was originally sold       for the XKR was that “everything was to be 30 and the boot.
here from 1998 with a 4.0-litre 276kW/525Nm          per cent-plus better than the XK”.                             Continued next page

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 John Mellor's                                                                                                                     

                    GoAutonews                                                                                              A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 10

Jaguar’s super XK
          Continued from previous page
   Holes are provided for a wind deflector,
which is a dealer-fitted extra.
   At 1715kg, the convertible weighs in 50kg
above the coupe. They are 70-80kg more than
equivalent regular XK models, but some 70kg
and 100kg less respectively than the previous
steel-chassis XKRs.
   Suspension settings are identical between
the coupe and convertible models in the XKR
range, so soft-top drivers enjoy similar levels of
dynamic performance. The front spring rate was
increased by 38 per cent while the rears are up
by 24 per cent (though they are effectively stiffer   rivals. The coupe is 30 per cent stiffer than the    in Australia with the more modern-looking
due to the addition of a rear suspension brace).      previous steel-chassis XKR while the convertible     aluminium interior, which was first seen in the
   Brakes are 26 per cent bigger than on the          is more than 40 per cent stiffer.                    Advanced Lightweight Coupe design concept
XK (355mm x 32mm ventilated discs at the                 The XKR is easily identified from the regular      at the 2005 Detroit motor show.
front), and design changes have resulted in           XK by its bold aluminium mesh on the grille and         The XKR also features a unique sports seat
them running 37 per cent cooler overall to            also the deeper front air dam, twin bonnet louvres   design with additional lateral support for both
ensure strong, consistent stopping power.             that exhaust hot air from the engine compartment,    the driver and front seat passenger.
   The XKR’s aluminium monocoque chassis is           bold alloy side vents just ahead of the doors, and      XKR customers can also specify the Luxury
claimed to have superior torsional rigidity to its    R badging – not to mention four big exhaust          Sports interior option which features softgrain
                                                         outlets at the back.                              leather on the 16-way adjustable seats,
                                                            It sits on massive 20-inch Senta 10-spoke      instrument panel, door trim and centre console.
                                                         alloy wheels (which are available as options         Standard features include adaptive damping,
                                                         on the XK) fitted with 255/35 tyres at the         switchable stability control and traction
                                                         front and 285/30 at the rear.                     control, pedestrian impact system (airbags
                                                            Inside, there is more R branding (seat         under the bonnet), active headlights, front and
                                                         headrests, tachometer, steering wheel and         rear parking sensors, electronic handbrake,
                                                         gearknob) and a move to aluminium-weave           rain-sensing wipers, leather upholstery, auto
                                                         design trim panels instead of the more            climate control, auto-dipping mirror, heated
                                                         traditional but old-fashioned woodgrain.          front seats, keyless entry and start, a trip
                                                            Jaguar executives seem pleased to report       computer and satellite navigation.
                                                         that two-thirds of XKRs are being ordered            DRIVE IMPRESSIONS: CLICK HERE

                                                                                               WE’RE BACK!
                                                                                                                 IT’S MORE THAN
                                                                                                                    JUST RACING.
                                                                                                               IT’S CONTINUOUS
 John Mellor's                                                                                                                                 

                      GoAutonews                                                                                                      A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 11

Bush administration
SsangYong’s hardcore
Actyon SUV takes aim
at the soft-roaders

                 By JAMES STANFORD
WITH the launch of its all-new Actyon 4WD
wagon last week, SsangYong has introduced
a compact SUV that is more at home in the
country than the city.
   The South Korean car-maker claims the
vehicle, which starts from $29,990, is pitched
against soft-core 4WDs such as the Honda CR-
V, Nissan X-Trail, Toyota RAV4 and the Ford
Escape and Mazda Tribute twins.
   But although it has a similar price to these
models, the Actyon is more of an off-road
   Whereas its rivals use a car-like monocoque     limited slip differential.                             There are very few rival SUVs that offer a
chassis construction, the Actyon runs a rugged        The five-door Actyon is available with diesel option, apart from the bigger and more
ladder-frame as seen on harder-core 4WDs such      petrol or diesel engine power, and with either expensive Hyundai Santa Fe diesel ($36,990)
as the Nissan Patrol and Toyota LandCruiser.       a standard manual or optional automatic and super-competitive Holden Captiva diesel
It also has a solid rear axle (rather than fully   transmission. The petrol manual starts off the ($34,990).
independent suspension) and comes standard         range at $29,990, while a Limited petrol version       The petrol Actyon is much thirstier, using
with a lockable 4WD system equipped with           is priced from $36,990.                                                 11.3L/100km with the
low-range gearing.                                 The diesel manual starts                    PRICING:                    manual and 11.9L/100km
   Using a locking centre differential, the 4WD    from $33,990. Choosing an 2.3 petrol Standard               $29,990 with         the    automatic
                                                                                     2.3 petrol Standard (a) $31,990
system is suitable only for off-road work, with    automatic for any of these                                              when tested to the same
                                                                                     2.0 t/d Standard          $33,990
SsangYong warning that running the Actyon in       requires another $2000, but                                             Australian Standard.
                                                                                     2.0 t/d Standard (a)      $35,990
4WD on tarmac will lead to component damage.       also adds cruise control.                                                 To put that into
                                                                                     2.3 petrol Limited        $36,990
   The Actyon can be switched from 2WD                Both the petrol and diesel                                           perspective, the much
                                                                                     2.3 petrol Limited (a)    $38,990
(rear-wheel drive) to 4WD at speeds up to          four-cylinder engine blocks                                             bigger      and      more
75km/h. Those who like to travel further into      are produced by Mercedes in South Africa. powerful Ford Territory automatic – often
the bush will appreciate the Actyon’s rear         Dating back to Mercedes passenger cars in the criticised for its thirst – uses 12.2L/100km.
                                                   mid-1990s, the 2.3-litre petrol develops a modest The (123kW/230Nm) X-Trail automatic uses
                                                     110kW at 5500rpm and 214Nm at 3500rpm. 9.8L/100km, while the (125kW/218Nm) CR-
                                                        The common-rail diesel is a more modern V automatic uses 10.0L/100km.
                                                             design, which SsangYong has re-              The five-speed manual is a believed to be a
                                                                  engineered as a 2.0-litre unit that revised BorgWarner gearbox, while the four-
                                                                    produces 104kW at 4000rpm and speed automatic is produced by Victorian-
                                                                    310Nm at 1800rpm.                   based Drivetrain Systems International
                                                                       Fuel misers will prefer (formerly BorgWarner, then Ion Limited).
                                                                    the diesel option which uses          A DSI six-speed automatic is also expected
                                                                   7.8L/100km with a manual or in early 2008.
                                                                   8.5L/100km as an automatic,                 FULL STORY: CLICK HERE
                                                                 according to the ADR 81/01                DRIVE IMPRESSIONS: CLICK HERE
                                                                standard.                                         Tough nut - next page

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                        GoAutonews                                                                                                        A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 12

Tough nut
Rugged Actyon ute steps
in to replace the Musso
                 By JAMES STANFORD
SSANGYONG has launched its new Actyon
Sports dual-cab ute in Australia, offering
improved performance, greater load-carrying
capacity and more standard equipment than the
previous Musso Sports ute.
   Sharing major components with the Actyon
SUV, the Sports ute comes in crew-cab                          The 4WD system is also the same as the passenger airbag. ABS is still not a standard
configuration only with a mid-sized tray. It runs a          SUV, which means it has a centre-locking item on the base model, but can be added for
lengthened version of the Actyon SUV’s ladder-              differential, low-range gearing and a rear $1500. The base model uses disc brakes for the
frame chassis and uses the same suspension                  limited-slip differential.                        front and drum brakes for the rear, while the
system made up of coil springs all round with a                The Actyon Sports features a load tray which Limited is fitted with discs all round.
double wishbone front and solid rear axle.                  is 1275mm long, 1600mm wide and 525mm                Equipment across the range includes a
   The working-class ute uses the same                      wide – adding up to 20 per cent                                       full-size spare wheel and
Mercedes-based 104kW/310Nm 2.0-litre                        more space than the Musso
                                                                                                       PRICING:                   durable plastic tray liner.
common-rail turbo diesel as its SUV sibling                 Sports. SsangYong Australia is                                        The “Standard” model
                                                                                              2.0 t/d Standard        $29,990
– and represents a marked improvement over                  offering an optional 1900mm-                                          comes with 16-inch steel
                                                                                              2.0 t/d Standard (a) $31,990
the Musso Sports, with an extra 16kW of                     long aluminium tray for an                                            wheels, front and rear
                                                                                              2.0 t/d Limited         $36,990
power and 56Nm of torque. Fuel economy has                  extra $1650.                      2.0 t/d Limited (a) $38,990 foglights, electric windows
also improved with the combined consumption                    The load capacity for                                              and mirrors, a CD sound
figure dropping by 0.8L/100km to 8.0L/100km                  the Actyon Sports has also 4x4                                        system and climate-control
(ADR 81/01) for the base 4x2 manual.                        increased by more than 200kg 2.0 t/d Standard             $32,990 air-conditioning.            The
   The Sports is priced from $29,990 for the 4x2            compared to the Musso, to 2.0 t/d Standard (a) $34,990 Limited runs 18-inch alloy
manual, while the better-equipped Limited starts                                              2.0 t/d Limited         $39,990
                                                            a total of 830kg, while the                                           wheels and adds electrically
                                                                                              2.0 t/d Limited (a) $41,990
from $36,990. The entry 4x4 model starts from               braked towing capacity has                                            adjustable (and heated) front
$32,990, while the 4x4 Limited is priced from               increased to 2300kg.                              seats, rear parking sensors, automatic headlights
$39,990. As with the Actyon SUV, the ute is fitted              The previous Musso ute came with just and rain-sensing windscreen wipers.
standard with a five-speed manual. A four-speed              one airbag (for the driver), while the Actyon              For drive impressions, go to
automatic is available for an extra $2000.                  Sport is equipped standard with a driver and from this Thursday.

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                    GoAutonews                                                                                              A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 13

                                                     Astra pumps up

A rare and highly sought-after position, with
responsibility for both F+I and aftermarket, has
become available at one of Australia’s largest and
most successful automotive dealership groups.

Preston Motors Group requires the services of an
experienced Finance & Insurance Manager with a
proven track record in the automotive finance,
insurance or allied industries to move into this
senior level position.                                    More grunt, wider range for Holden welterweight
The position entails leading and motivating our                By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS                    on their last legs in Australia.
team of F+I and aftermarket operators to ensure      HOLDEN has introduced new engine and                 On the torque front, the figures rise to
we maximise profitability in these key areas.        model choices, a gutsier 1.8-litre unit and a 175Nm at 3800rpm on five-speed manual XER
You will need to be able to liaise with our Dealer   new convertible known as the TwinTop with models, and 170Nm at 3800rpm on four-speed
Principals to ensure their complete and utmost       its facelifted AH Astra MY7.5 (Series II) range automatic XER models. The latter is the same
cooperation.                                         launched last week.                                figure as the old 1.8 on PULP, but Holden
                                                        Cosmetic changes are limited to a redesigned claims that more torque is available through a
You will be a hands on operator with the required    front bumper and air intake, a new grille, chrome wider rev range, for improved driveability – in
leadership skills to manage and coach your team                                                                                 fact, 90 per cent from
                                                     headlight surrounds and
to industry best practice levels.
                                                     new-style alloy wheels on                    PRICING:                      2200-6200rpm.

Additionally, you will also be required to manage
                                                     the CDX and CDTi turbo- CD 5-dr hatch                         $21,990         That said, Holden
the relationships with our finance, insurance and    diesel, while higher-grade CD 5-dr hatch (a)                  $23,990 was unable to provide
aftermarket partners.                                trim materials are now CD 3-dr coupe                          $23,490 us with the XER
                                                     used inside.                   CD 3-dr coupe (a)              $25,490 engines’             standard-
                                                                                    CD 5-dr wagon                  $23,490 unleaded power and
Obviously an extremely competitive remuneration         Addressing lacklustre
                                                                                    CD 5-dr wagon (a)              $25,490 torque outputs.
package will be offered to attract the right         performance criticisms,
                                                                                    CDX 5-dr hatch                 $24,490         For the record, barring
candidate.                                           the volume-selling CD
                                                                                    CDX 5-dr hatch (a)             $26,490 the Corolla, all of the
                                                     and CDX three- and five-
                                                                                    CDX 3-dr coupe                 $25,990 aforementioned rivals
Interested? Then please send your resume in          door hatchback and wagon
                                                                                    CDX 3-dr coupe (a)             $27,990 have higher maximum
complete confidence to:                              models gain an upgraded CDX 5-dr wagon                        $27,990 torque figures (the
John Bradley,                                        1.8-litre ECOTEC twin- CDX 5-dr wagon (a)                     $29,990 Civic’s 174Nm is on 91
Managing Director-Automotive                         cam four-cylinder engine CDTi 5-dr hatch                      $29,990 RON fuel).                     dubbed XER.                    CDTi 5-dr hatch (a)            $31,490
                                                        Using       95      RON SRi 2.2 5-dr hatch                                 The Astra 1.8’s fuel
PRESTON MOTORS GROUP                                 premium-unleaded petrol, SRi 2.2 5-dr hatch (a)               $31,990
                                                                                                                                consumption and CO2
                                                                the 1.8 now SRi 2.2 3-dr coupe                                  emissions have fallen
                                                                produces 103kW SRi 3-dr coupe (a)                               by 0.4L/100km and 9-
                                                                at     6300rpm, SRi 2.2 Turbo 3-dr coupe                        10g/km respectively.
                                                                compared        to TwinTop 2.2                                     All manual XER cars
                                                                the     outgoing TwinTop 2.2 (a)                   $47,490      return an ADR 81/01
                                                                Astra        1.8’s                                              combined average fuel
                                                                92kW (90kW on standard 91 RON consumption figure of 7.4L/100km, rising
                                                                unleaded) at 5600rpm.                   to 7.8L/100km on the automatic vehicles
                                                                   This now puts the Astra’s 1.8 in and 7.9L/100km for the auto wagon. The
                                                                sight of the 2.0-litre units found in Hungarian-built XER’s increased efficiency
                                                                the Mazda3 (108kW), Ford Focus over the old 1.8 is partly due to the adoption
                                                                (107kW) and Hyundai Elantra of two continuously adjustable camshafts that
                                                                (105kW), and makes it lineball with are designed to optimise the cylinder’s charge
                                                                the Civic 1.8 sedan and better than the cycle. It is also lighter and yet structurally
                                                                94kW Nissan Tiida 1.8, 93kW Corolla stronger.
                                                              1.8 and 92kW Subaru Impreza 2.0i                   FULL STORY: CLICK HERE
CDX                                                           – although the Toyota and Subaru are           DRIVE IMPRESSIONS: CLICK HERE
John Mellor's                                                                                                                                  

                            GoAutonews                                                                                                A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 14

                                                        Up Close on Personnel
                                                        Up Close on Personnel                                                              motor staff
                                                         Brought to you by Motor Staff - The Motor Industry’s No1 Recruitment Specialist   sales•service•parts•admin

                            9 10 11 12
                        8          13                   TOYOTA’S GRANT HIGHTAILS TO HSV
                    7                14
                6                      15               AFTER a three-month                                    appointment,” said HSV chairman John
           5                            16              search, Holden Special                                 Crennan. “The HSV board established a
           4                            17              Vehicles (HSV) has                                     number of key priorities and attributes for
           3                            18              appointed Scott Grant                                  the successful candidate. This included
                2           BRANDS     19               as its new managing                                       ensive expe
                                                                                                               extens     experi
                                                                                                               extensive exper
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                                                                                                                     sive ex
                    1                20                 director, and also the MD                                       marketing
                                                                                                               vehicle market ng and distribution. We
                                                        of the HSVi and Ho nHolden                                             someone
                                                                                                               also wanted someon with a thorough
                                                        by Design businesses.
                                                                ign businesse                                  understanding of the d
                                                                                                               understan             the dealer netnetwork, in
                                                           Taking up the Vic ian-
                                                                                 an                                                 ney market.”
                                                                                                               particular the Sydney m
                                                                                                                          t Sydney ma            ”
                                                                                          cott G
                                                        based position on May 21 Scott Grant
                                                                            May 2                                            repl s Phil Harding, who has
                                                                                                                  Mr Grant replaces Phil H d
                                                                         k mili risation progr ),
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                                                                              m iar
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                                                        Mr Grant is well known throughout the                                       n the UK (T
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 SERIOUS                                                Australian automotive se
                                                        executive with T ta Au

                                                                         m iv sector as a senior
                                                                               ve ector
                                                                                a Australia, where
                                                                         Toyota Australia, wher he
                                                                                  p divisional ge ral
                                                                                 up divisional general
                                                        was most recently group div
                                                        manager for the Lexus brand, l
                                                                                  us bra
                                                                                     brand, logistics,
                                                                                                se r
                                                                                                               P il u

                                                                                                                                    e n the United Kingdom
                                                                                                               Phil to use his base in the U ed K
                                                                                                                              markets for the
                                                                                                               to seek new marke s for t HSV brand,”
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                                                                                                               Mr Crennan said. “He w now be focused
                                                                                                                                    “He will
                                                                                                               on developing new expo opportunities.”
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                                                                                                                                 ew exp

 PERFORMANCE                                             xp                        ces
                                                        export and vehicle services. s
                                                                              outstanding au
                                                                                      ding a
                                                                                     nding automotive
                                                           “Scott Grant is an outstand ng auto
                                                        leader and his experience in being a part of
                                                                                        being pa
                                                                                         eing p
                                                                                                                               ustra ia
                                                                                                                  A Toyota Aus ralia spokesman said this
                                                                                                               week that Mr Gran left the company at
                                                                                                                   k th t Mr Gran
                                                                                                                            last year
                                                                                                               the end of last ye and that his areas of
                                                                                                                        of las y

                                                        the success of the luxury Lexus bran i   nd
                                                                                            s brand in         responsibility were absorbed into other
                                                                                                               respon ibility
                                                        the Australian and American markets was                divisions. Lexus is also now a standalone
                                                                                                               di i i
                                                        one of the major contributing factors to his           division, with John Roca at the helm.

           0-19                                        MALLIOS MAKES HIS MARK                                   NEW TOYOTA AUST CHIEF

          BRANDS                                       THE regional controller
                                                       of automotive components
                                                                                                                TOYOTA          Australia’s
                                                                                                                president and CEO Ted
                                                       supplier Tyco Electronics in                             Okada will return to
            IN                                         Australia, New Zealand and
                                                       South Asia, Chris Mallios,
                                                                                                                Japan at the end of May to
                                                                                                                commence his next, as yet
                                                       is now responsible for the                               unspecified, assignment

                    14                                 entire Asia-Pacific region.
                                                          “Mr Mallios is a
                                                       key member of Tyco Chris Mallios
                                                                                                                with the Japanese auto
                                                                                                                giant. He will be replaced
                                                                                                                by Masahide Yasuda, who

         MONTHS                                        Electronics’ Global Automotive Division
                                                       for Asia Pacific,” the company said in a
                                                                                                                most recently served as the   Ted Okada
                                                                                                                chairman and CEO of Toyota France.
                                                       statement last week. “With revenues of $US1                 Mr Yasuda is a former general manager for
                                                       billion per annum, (he) is helping drive this            overseas parts and customer service planning
                                                       high-growth business in the region in the                at Toyota Motor Corporation. He has also
                                                       areas of finance, strategic planning, sales and           spent three years working as group vice-
                                                       marketing, business development, research                president for Toyota Motor Sales in the US.
                                                       and development, production and full                        According to Toyota Australia, the
                                                       bottom-line management responsibility with               reshuffle is part of TMC’s “senior executive
                                                       significant focus on major footprints within              management       program    where      senior                               Asia-Pacific such as in Japan, South Korea                executives periodically rotate to different
                                                       and the People’s Republic of China.”                     positions within the company”.

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                   GoAutonews                                                                                               A P R I L 2 5 , 2 0 0 7 Page 15

 GoAuto’s latest car review                                                                                    

Mitsubishi Pajero Exceed five-door wagon
SEVEN years after Mitsubishi radically changed direction with its NM Pajero, we have a wide-
reaching update that addresses some of the styling challenges presented to some potential
buyers, while introducing new engine technology claimed to improve both performance
and fuel economy. The restyle certainly brings the Pajero back closer to the
mainstream but, for some, it looks a bit overdone. Inside, the NP Pajero Exceed
is consistent with its $70,000 price tag and includes the most powerful sound
system this side of an Audi S8. At the same time the Pajero continues with its
balanced mix of on- and off-road ability, as well as seven-seat capacity and a
big, easily-accessed load area.                      ROAD TEST: CLICK HERE

MERCEDES-BENZ has reintroduced the                      Launch Pad
“Super Sport Edition” special on its C-class             brought to you by                                HYUNDAI BACK-UP
range, this time offering the package – which is                                                          HYUNDAI Motor Co Australia is now
                                                      APRIL:                                              offering dealer-fit reverse-parking sensors for
worth a claimed $10,000 in added value for an         BMW 3 Series Convertible
extra $1500 over the RRP – to its C180K Sports                                                            its Getz, Accent, Elantra, Sonata SLX, Tucson
                                                      Holden Astra range
Coupe and C200K Estate model variants.                                                                    and Santa Fe models. Prices start from $389
                                                      Holden Epica sedan range BMW 3 Series convertible
   Priced from $56,890, the limited-issue Sports                                                          for the Getz to $520 for the Santa Fe, but do
                                                      Jaguar XKR range
Coupe adds 17-inch light-alloy wheels, bi-                                                                not include fitment. The sensors are standard
                                                      Lexus LS460 sedan
Xenon headlights, lowered sports suspension,                                                              items on Sonata Elite and Grandeur.
                                                      SsangYong Actyon SUV
an AMG bodykit, panoramic glass sunroof,                                                                     The South Korean marque is also now
                                                      SsangYong Actyon Sports utility
metallic paint, a stainless steel oval tailpipe,                                          Holden Epica    offering a $990 factory-fit “Protectz Pack” on
                                                      SsangYong Rexton SUV
“Sport Edition” decals, and a silver grille                                                               2.4-litre four-cylinder variants of its Sonata,
with chrome finish. Inside, there is a leather-
                                                        New model diary: CLICK HERE                       which comprises stability and traction control
trimmed gearlever and black velour floor mats                                                              and active front head restraints.
with “Sport Edition” badges.                         MEGANE PRICE SLASH
   The wagon starts from $70,390 and gets            RENAULT Australia has taken an axe to the            CHRYSLER INVESTMENT
the same additional equipment, plus larger           price of its Megane sedan range in response to       AS NEGOTIATIONS over the sale of the
perforated front disc brakes (with silver brake      slow sales.                                          Chrysler Group continued behind closed doors
callipers), front sports seats and steering wheel-      Now priced from $24,990 (down from                last week, president Tom LaSorda kick-started
mounted gearshift paddles.                           $28,490), the base-variant six-speed manual          a “powertrain offensive” that will see $US3
                                                     Megane Expression sedan is $3500 cheaper             billion invested to produce “more fuel-efficient
FIVE-STAR SUPERMINIS                                 than before, allegedly making it Australia’s         engines, transmissions and axles and provide
BMW’S all-new Mini Cooper and Peugeot’s              best-equipped European sedan under $25,000.          Chrysler Group with a more competitive
207CC achieved an excellent five-star (out of         The four-speed auto Expression sedan is              powertrain portfolio”.
five) adult occupant protection rating in the         now also $3500 less expensive at $27,490                $US1.78 billion will be invested in Michigan,
latest round of Euro NCAP crash tests handed         (previously $30,990), while the flagship auto-        US, which will be the production source for a
down last week.                                      only Megane Privilege sedan is priced $1800          new “Phoenix” family of V6 engines (from
   The verdicts for pedestrian protection for        lower at $33,190 (previously $35,990). Renault       2009). Phoenix will become the sole V6 engine
the two vehicles were less impressive – both         claims the price cuts will “substantially”           architecture for the company, paring back from
achieved a poor two-star score (out of four)         increase sales of its booted Megane.                 the four currently used.
– while the protection afforded to children             Like its hatch siblings, the Megane sedan
was rated at three stars (out of five) for the        is powered by a 98kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder         GRANGE STILL CORKED
Mini. The 207CC was not assessed for child           engine and comes with electronic stability           HOLDEN Special Vehicles has postponed next
protection because it was deemed too small           control, six airbags, ABS brakes, electronic         week’s launch of its Grange luxury sedan until
to fit the recommended child restraints on the        brake-force distribution and emergency brake         later in the month, due to “production delays”.
rear seats, with the front seats in the normal       assist as standard.                                  The company has pencilled in May 22 as its
position for “average-sized occupants”.                               FULL STORY: CLICK HERE              revised launch date.

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