The Delta force by cuiliqing

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                              GoAuto News
  May 20, 2009                  60,000 READERS WEEKLY                                            No. 483




                                                                                                                                               DIGITAL IMAGE: Luc Britten
        The Delta force
GMH confirms twin small-car production from 2010: Cruze sedan, unique hatch
       By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS                   sheetmetal to the Cruze sedan, even though          last week, the Chevrolet Orlando seven-seat
GM HOLDEN has confirmed that its small-         they will share GM’s Delta II architecture.         people-mover and, eventually, the Phase
car production program due to commence in         Furthermore, GoAuto can reveal that              II version of GM’s groundbreaking Volt
the second half of 2010 will include the JG    Holden will cease importing the Cruze               plug-in hybrid.
Cruze four-door sedan launched this week       sedan from Korea towards the end of next               A wagon version of the Cruze is also
– which will be sourced from South Korea       year and instead build it alongside the hatch       expected, while potential exists for a two-
in the interim – and a five-door hatchback      at its assembly plant in Elizabeth, South           door coupe/convertible and a compact SUV.
version featuring different sheetmetal.        Australia.                                             Mr Reuss said this week that Holden was
  Holden is now concentrating on building         A Holden source confirmed the dual-               striving to achieve between 25 and 30 per
the Cruze brand, forgoing crucial hatch        model production plan this week.                    cent local content in the upcoming hatch,
sales volume in Australia’s biggest market        In late March, federal industry minister         making it the most Australian GM small car
segment with the lack of a C-segment           Kim Carr revealed to GoAuto that Holden             since the Family II-engined LD Astra (twin
(small) hatchback in its range until the new   planned to build a family of small vehicles         to the N13 Pulsar built by Nissan Australia
Australian production line starts rolling.     off GM’s first truly global compact-car              in Victoria) ceased production in 1989.
  Imports of the South Korean-sourced          platform, which he said was essential to the           However, while Mr Reuss admitted that the
JF Viva have ceased, while shipments of        Australian manufacturer’s survival.                 next-generation Astra will feature a different
the AH Astra out of Europe have been              “The new Delta opens up into about five           (and probably more costly and complex) rear
suspended and are under review at Holden.      different streams in its later phases,” senator     suspension system compared to the relatively
Astra imports are unlikely to recommence in    Carr said. “To get it up in a period like this,     simple and inexpensive torsion beam set-up
the face of a weak Australian dollar against   when General Motors internationally is              developed for the Cruze, he refused to divulge
the Euro, among other reasons.                 facing such acute questions, is remarkable          if the Australian hatchback will follow its
  “There will be a hatchback version of        … It made the difference between General            European Astra cousin.
our small car,” GM Holden chairman and         Motors (Holden) being viable and non-                           Continued next page
managing director Mark Reuss said this         viable.”                                                                    GOAUTO DRIVES THE
week in Melbourne.                                As well as building the hatch and sedan,                                     ALL-NEW POLO
  He also confirmed that the Australian-        GoAuto sources indicate that Holden could                                           - page 11
designed small car would have different        build the all-new Astra revealed in Europe




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                       GoAuto News                                                                                                   May 20, 2009 Page 2




                         The Delta force

 Cruze                                                                                                                                  Holden small car
           Continued from previous page                    business with our right-hand drive small car.”   Cruze after suspending imports of the AH
   While both the Cruze and the next-                         Holden is keeping the Australian-built        Astra for the time being.
generation Astra use the Delta II architecture,            small car’s name close to its corporate chest,      “We said, ‘Let’s put all our efforts in the
there are key differences to reflect their                  but the Lion brand is expected to extend         Cruze because that is where the market is,’ ”
different price positioning.                               the Cruze badge to the hatch as it seeks to      he said, adding that it did not make good
   Keeping a lid on costs may be one of                    streamline and simplify costs and minimise       business sense to have too many names in
the key drivers in Holden gaining export                   consumer confusion.                              the same market segment.
markets for its Australian-built baby.                        The new Cruze sedan effectively ends             “The more proliferation of nameplates you
   “I think there could be (export potential               almost 13 consecutive years of Astra             have, the more difficult it is … Consistency
for the small car) … yes, absolutely,” Mr                  nomenclature in Australia – or 25 years if       counts for a lot.”
Reuss said.                                                you add the Nissan N12 and N13-based                Asked if the Astra should be considered
   Asked if this could include supplying                   model built and sold in Australia for Holden     dead in Australia if the Australian dollar
British affiliate Vauxhall with a Cruze                     over a five-year period from 1984.                did not improve against the Euro, Mr Batey
derivative – as widely anticipated in light of                GM Holden executive director of sales,        was blunt: “If the (economic) environment
GM’s move to consider selling its European                 marketing and aftersales Alan Batey told         remains the same, then yes,” he said.
and British operations – the Holden chief                  GoAuto this week that the company was               “That car (the AH Astra) was going to
said: “I haven’t thought out that far … but                putting all available resources behind the       come in absolutely north of $25,000. And it
anything we do … there are right-hand                                                                       is a buyer’s market – very price sensitive,
markets (we could look at) … like South                                                                     and there are a lot of bargains out there. It
Africa, or Thailand.                                                                                        is economics.”
   “Those are the sort of natural places that                                                                  Mr Reuss put it more succinctly: “It’s
we could look at to have some sort of export                                                                pretty tough to make money on (the Astra)
                                                                                                            at the moment.”
 John Mellor's                                                                                                 However, there is still plenty of 2008-
                                                                                                            built AH Astra stock, with supplies expected
                   GoAuto News                                                                              to last into the second half of this year.
 PUBLISHER: John Mellor                                                                                        “At the moment, our dealers are not
 EDITOR: Terry Martin                                                                                       ordering any cars. We have availability
 MANAGING EDITOR: Marton Pettendy                                                                           across the board – you can still get wagons,
 JOURNALISTS: David Hassall, Philip Lord,
 Byron Mathioudakis, Ian Porter, James Stanford
                                                                                                            you can still get TwinTops, you can still get
 PRODUCTION AND GRAPHICS: Chris Harris, Luc Britten                                                         Coupes, you can still get hatchbacks,” Mr
 SUB-EDITOR: Ron Hammerton                                                                                  Batey said.
 NEW MODEL DIARY: Lou Paolino                                                                                  “That inventory will probably start to whittle
 Produced by GoAutoMedia: Ph: (03) 9598 6477                                                                away towards the end of next month, and by
                           newsroom@mellor.net             GoAutoNews, April 1, 2009
                                                                                                            that time we will have launched Cruze, and we
         ADVERTISE: Steve Butcher
                                                                          READ MORE:                        will keep an eye out on what is happening.”
         Ph: 0419 562 110 ads@mellor.net
                                                                        HOLDEN HATCHED
                                                                                                                      All turn to Astra – page 9
     SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net                               INSIDE HOLDEN’S DELTA FORCE
                                                                                                                   Cruze set at $20,990 – page 13


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                                              our people. Converting from our old system to Auto-I.T. was
                                               made easy through their very capable, experienced staff.”
                                                                                                Anna Kurz – IT Administrator, Coastline BMW




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                    GoAuto News                                                                                           May 20, 2009 Page 3




BlueMotion blues
VW’s eco sub-brand scales
new heights in Polo, but
Australia will miss out
   By MARTON PETTENDY in SARDINIA
VOLKSWAGEN has showcased one of
the world’s most fuel-efficient vehicles, but
do not expect the Polo BlueMotion or other
members of the German car manufacturer’s
green sub-brand to be offered in Australia
because there is no current timetable for the
eco technology to become available with an                                                                                   Polo BlueMotion
automatic transmission.                           average fuel consumption to a staggering        underbody and 10mm lower ride height.
   That is the unfortunate news to emerge         3.3L/100km and is expected to enter                Specific to the 1.2 TDI Polo BlueMotion,
from this week’s global launch of the all-new     production around the same time Australia       which weighs just 1080kg, will be a
Polo hatch, which goes on sale in Europe in       receives the new Polo in early 2010.            regenerative braking system which, together
June with the choice of six engines – three          However, neither example of BlueMotion       with an idle-stop system, is claimed to
of which will be available with the MkV           technology, which is Volkswagen’s answer to     reduce fuel consumption by 0.25L/100km.
Polo when it reaches Australia in early 2010      BMW’s EfficientDynamics and Mercedes-            Overall, VW claims the modifications yield
(see page 11).                                    Benz’s BlueEfficiency fuel-saving concepts,      fuel savings totalling 0.9L/100km compared
   A BlueMotion version of the new                will be made available in Australia until       to a conventional Polo TDI with the same
common-rail 1.6 TDI turbo-diesel variant          they are developed in conjunction with          power, plus a CO2 emissions reduction of
will come online in Europe later this year,       a twin-clutch DSG automated manual              up to 20 per cent.
using as little as 3.6 litres of fuel for every   transmission.                                      “I anticipate that we will be able to go
100km on the combined average EU cycle.              Both German luxury brands have               into production in February 2010,” said
That makes it more economical than this           committed to releasing economy-focused          development chief Ulrich Hackenberg.
month’s Mini Cooper D and July’s third-           model derivatives in Australia this             “Meeting this schedule will be an athletic
generation Toyota Prius hybrid, both of           year, representing a significant jump on         accomplishment. Yet the engine and other
which will set a new fuel consumption             Germany’s largest car-maker, whose first         systems of the Polo BlueMotion are already
benchmark of 3.9L/100km in Australia.             Polo BlueMotion appeared in the MkIV            performing with such promise that we are
   A second, even more environmentally            version in 2006 – the same year Mercedes’       on course to meet our goal.”
friendly BlueMotion variant of the Polo,          first ‘Blue’ model hit the US.                      While the new 55kW triple-cylinder
based on the 1.2 TDI BlueMotion concept              With consumption of 3.8L/100km, the          direct-injection 1.2-litre turbo-diesel engine
car that was displayed at the worldwide Polo      first Polo BlueMotion was billed as the          and its BlueMotion application are said
launch in Sardinia this week, further reduces     world’s most frugal five-seater – the same       to be nearly production-ready, GoAuto
                                                  mantle now assumed by the MkV Polo              understands development work on DSG
                                                  BlueMotion.                                     versions of any BlueMotion models is on
                                                     The Polo 1.6 TDI BlueMotion emits just       the backburner because of strong global
                                                  96 grams of CO2 per kilometre, while the        demand for VW’s DSG transmission.
                                                  Polo 1.2 TDI BlueMotion reduces that figure         That makes any Volkswagen Group
                                                  to an even cleaner-burning 87g/km.              Australia (VGA) dream of rivalling the Prius
                                                     There are 10 BlueMotion models currently     with a BlueMotion version of its new MkVI
                                                  available from VW in Europe – including the     Golf – or to offer a BlueMotion version of
                                                  Golf, Jetta, Caddy, Touran, Sharan and Passat   the Passat, which would deliver even greater
                                                  – all of which employ an automatic idle-        fuel consumption reductions – unlikely to
                                                  stop system, low rolling resistance tyres and   materialise in the short-term.
                                      1.2 TDI     specific aerodynamics, including an enclosed                 Continued next page
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                     GoAuto News                                                                                            May 20, 2009 Page 4




BlueMotion blues
          Continued from previous page
   “We would like to offer a BlueMotion
model in Australia, but without a DSG
option it is not going to work,” said VGA
spokesman Karl Gehling.
   “This is not just specific to Polo BlueMotion.
It could be any BlueMotion product and it
would depend on the need to find the right
product to get the volumes to justify the
development costs. It will come down to what
the potential is for that sort of vehicle.”        Group a 1.0-litre car and we can build a          only a fuel-efficient vehicle but also a cost-
   Volkswagen says it is actively monitoring       1001-horsepower car. It is a question of what     efficient vehicle and DSG would be contrary
the US market with a view to introducing           the consumer wants because we want to earn        to this approach.
the Polo there, where automatics are also the      money and if we get the response from the            “Our goal is to spread out the BlueMotion
transmission of choice for most car buyers,        market we are there, we are there to sell it.     package to make it accessible to a wide
but until then it appears the Polo BlueMotion         “We will carefully watch the market            range of consumers in a wide range of
will remain on VGA’s wish list.                    and first see how the BlueMotion package           products. (But) so far BlueMotion and DSG
   Indeed, senior Volkswagen Group                 will be accepted by the market and second,        wouldn’t really be an accepted package from
executives this week downplayed the need           the super BlueMotion (concept) will be            a consumer perspective,” he said.
to match any BlueMotion models with a              accepted by the market and third, how the
                                                                                                              Oz on the Up! – next page
DSG transmission, which weighs 70kg                seven-speed (DSG) will be accepted.
in new seven-speed format and is torque-              “We need to take our time and watch the
limited to 250Nm.                                  consumer before we take it even further, for      AUDI IDLE-STOP IS GO
   “Adding a DSG gearbox doesn’t really fit         example the DSG, which will mean even more
the nature of BlueMotion technology,” said                                                           AUDI has confirmed that idle-stop fuel-
                                                   financial engagement with the consumer.”
Volkswagen AG product communications                                                                 saving technology – known as Start-Stop
                                                      He said Volkswagen’s BlueMotion models
manager Christian Haacke.                                                                            – will be introduced in select A4 and A5
                                                   were different in concept to the stand-alone
   “BlueMotion is all about being cost                                                               Coupe models in Australia from the final
                                                   Prius, which would sell in lower numbers and
effective. The gain in matching the engine                                                           quarter of this year.
                                                   command a higher pricetag than an equivalent
to a (DSG) gearbox would be negligible and                                                             For the time being, only the A4 sedan
                                                   model such as the Golf BlueMotion.
not worth the extra €1400 ($A2519).                                                                  and Avant and A5 Coupe models in 155kW
                                                      “Please correct me if I’m wrong but the
   “It needs to stay accessible. The philosophy                                                      2.0 TFSI quattro guise – fitted with a six-
                                                   Prius is a completely different product to
behind this is to have an economical product                                                         speed manual gearbox – will get the high-
                                                   BlueMotion, which is financially accessible
and a high volume and not have a real hi-                                                            economy, emissions-reducing technology
                                                   to a wider range of customers. At least that’s
tech car which shows technology to the max                                                           that forms part of Audi’s Modular
                                                   the way it is in Europe and therefore it is not
which only 100 people are going to buy.”                                                             Efficiency Program (MEP).
                                                   comparable to niche products like the Prius.
   Mr Haacke said matching BlueMotion                                                                  However, according to an Audi spokesman,
                                                      “Our experience so far is that in Europe
technology with a DSG transmission                                                                   every subsequent new-generation model will
                                                   BlueMotion needs to be financially
was technically possible, but stressed the                                                           have this feature available for consideration
                                                   attractive and of course we would start with
combination would only reach production if                                                           by Audi Australia’s product planners, in both
                                                   this experience if we would do so also with
enough customers demanded it.                                                                        manual and S-tronic dual-clutch manual
                                                   the Australian market.
   “It’s not a question of technology                                                                gearbox iterations.
                                                      “From our European experience we’ve
engineering. We can build in the VW                learned that what the customer wants is not                More reports – page 8, 15


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                      GoAuto News                                                                                          May 20, 2009 Page 5




Oz on the Up!
Volkswagen’s pint-sized
model family to be aimed
at a worldwide audience
   By MARTON PETTENDY in SARDINIA
VOLKSWAGEN’S forthcoming New
Small Family (NSF) of micro-cars, which
has been previewed by the series of Up!
concept vehicles, has joined the growing list
of sub-light-sized models that might be sold                                                                                           Space Up!
in Australia.                                   business case stacks up.                           years. “We are working on it, definitely,” he
   Suzuki will be the first brand to dip its        “We will consider any member of the             told GoAuto in Sardinia. “Of course, it will
corporate toe in the mini-car vehicle segment   New Small Family that could be positioned          broaden the Volkswagen family.”
for the first time in Australia, but a number    competitively in Australia,” said Volkswagen          Mr Haacke said that, contrary to recent
of major brands will be closely watching the    Group Australia media relations manager            speculation, the NSF model range would
sales performance of the Japanese’s brand’s     Karl Gehling this week.                            not be a sub-brand within the Volkswagen
Indian-built Alto, which goes on sale here         Appearing together for the first time at         Group (the honour of becoming VW’s
at a target starting price of around $13,000    the Bologna motor show in December 2007,           10th brand is now almost certain to go to
from August.                                    the Up! model family has so far publicly           Porsche), but an all-new model line-up to be
   They include Toyota, which is considering    comprised the four-seater Up! two-door “city       positioned below the bigger new Polo.
importing the four-seater iQ city car,          specialist” (which debuted at Frankfurt that          “It will not be a sub-brand but a sub-model
Holden, whose GM sister brand Chevrolet         year), the four-door Space Up! “microvan           … and since the Polo has turned into such a
has already launched the new Spark hatch        with maximum variability” (Tokyo) and the          grown-up product we will need something
overseas, Ford, which has its second-           Space Up! Blue, a zero-emissions fuel cell-        to extend the range at the bottom.”
generation Ka waiting in the wings, and         powered electric vehicle concept that made            He added the NSF program would produce
Hyundai, which could import the i10 if the      its debut at the Los Angeles show.                 vehicles for brands apart from Volkswagen
Alto proves popular.                               Speaking at this week’s global launch           – including Skoda and Seat – which would
   Now Volkswagen appears to be the latest      of the fifth-generation Polo, which reaches         be sold globally.
global automotive giant that is ready to rain   Australia in early 2010, VW Group product
on Suzuki’s pioneering sub-light parade,        communications manager Christian Haacke                     FULL STORY: CLICK HERE
with confirmation that it, too, could import a   confirmed the NSF is under intensive                     Australia’s ‘cheapest’ – next page
production version of the Up! concept if the    development ahead of a launch within two                 More VW news – page 11, 18, 19

       Downturn prompts Volkswagen to put its mid-engined sportscar program on hold
    By MARTON PETTENDY in SARDINIA                                                                    Volkswagen Group sales bucked the
VOLKSWAGEN’S mid-engined sportscar                                                                 trend last year to be just 4.8 per cent down
concept will not reach production in the                                                           worldwide in a global automotive market
current economic climate, according to                                                             that declined by 21 per cent year-on-year.
senior company officials.                                                                              The compact two-seater convertible,
                                                                                    BlueSport
   Revealed with great fanfare at the                                                              which was billed as the sportscar that
Detroit motor show in January, the Concept      niche car,” said Volkswagen AG product             offers the most driving fun with the least
BlueSport convertible would have been           communications          manager        Christian   fuel consumption, featured a mid-mounted,
a direct rival for Mazda’s iconic – and         Haacke.                                            common-rail 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine
affordable – MX-5 roadster.                        “It is a niche product and especially in        that delivered 132kW of power and 350Nm
   “The state we are at right now regarding     crisis times like this it will be a challenge to   of torque to its 19-inch rear wheels.
Concept BlueSport is we are carefully           come up with a volume we could require to
calculating how to earn money with a            earn money with it.”                                        FULL STORY: CLICK HERE



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                       GoAuto News                                                                                                 May 20, 2009 Page 6




Australia’s ‘cheapest’
Proton promises to undercut
the Chinese, but refuses to
name Saga starting price
                 By JAMES STANFORD
PROTON Cars Australia is confident it will
undercut expected Chinese rivals with a new
small sedan due to go on sale early next year.
   The Malaysian brand last week                                                                                                                    Saga
proclaimed the new entrant, known overseas              preparing to bring Chinese cars to market             Mr Startari was not prepared to discuss
as the Saga, would be the most affordable               here, reportedly for as little as $10,000, but     the equipment level of the new sedan, but
sedan in Australia. However, the company                said he was convinced that recent currency         did confirm that it would not be a stripped-
has refused to disclose the proposed pricing            changes meant no Chinese models – be they          out special. “It will be comparable to cars
for the new car.                                        from Lifan, Chery, Great Wall Motor or             currently on the market,” he said.
   Proton’s Savvy hatchback is, along with              another brand – would go on sale here for             Proton Cars Australia is in the middle of a
the Hyundai Getz S 1.4, Australia’s least               less than the new Proton.                          dealer restructure, having shed some dealers
expensive new car at $13,990.                              As previously reported, Suzuki Australia        and taking on new ones that would be better
   Already on sale in Malaysia, the Saga                had targeted a starting price of $13,000 for       equipped to handle the kind of volume the
is a sedan version of the Savvy, but has a              its Japanese-designed, Indian-built five-           new sedan would generate.
1.6-litre Campro engine instead of the                  door Alto, but revealed in March that the             “Our plan is to recruit the best dealer
Savvy’s 1.2-litre unit.                                 weaker Australian dollar would make higher         network available. We are not going to
   Proton Cars Australia managing director              pricing likely for both the Alto and other         expand at all cost, it will be a matter of only
John Startari told GoAuto that his company              small vehicles, including sub-light models         signing dealers who are committed and
expected to sell around 2000 units of its               under consideration by Toyota (iQ), Holden         eager to be a part of growing the brand,” Mr
still-to-be-named budget model in Australia,            (Spark), Ford (Ka) and Hyundai (i10).              Startari said.
which would represent around 50 per cent of                “We are confident this (car’s price) will beat      Proton has had a difficult start to 2009,
the brand’s planned total annual volume.                any new entrants,” Mr Startari said. “This is      with year-to-date sales down 38.9 per cent
   “It is the right car that has arrived at the right   our chance to take Proton to the position it       on 2008.
time,” Mr Startari said. “We are really being           should have been for the last 10 years.”              The new sedan could not come at a
quite conservative with our figure of 2000 and              It is not yet clear whether Proton Australia    better time for the brand, which is currently
the sky is the limit in terms of supply.”               will adopt the Saga nameplate for the new          averaging only 100 sales a month. If it lives
   Mr Startari would not comment on the                 sedan or whether the company will take on a        up to expectations, the new sedan would add
business of Australian importers who were               more marketable title.                             around 166 sales to the monthly tally.

   Kia Motors Australia becomes first car marque to offer retrenchment insurance cover
                 By RON HAMMERTON                         KMA has become the first car company              months, instead only promising to allow
SOUTH Korean marque Kia Motors                          to introduce such a scheme in Australia,           owners who end up retrenched, transferred
Australia (KMA) has taken a leaf out                    launching Kia Assurance in a big post-             overseas or unable to drive because of a
of parent company Hyundai’s book by                     federal budget advertising splash that             physical disability or medical condition to
introducing Kia Assurance – retrenchment                included exclusive sponsorship of News             return the car and rip up the remainder of
insurance for people who buy a new car on               Limited newspaper budget special wraps.            the financial obligation.
a secured loan or lease.                                  At this stage, the offer is only temporary          Hyundai Motor Co Australia (HMCA) has
   The free scheme – similar to Hyundai                 and closes on June 30, but the company has         so far resisted copying the US scheme, saying
Assurance Plus in the US and New Zealand                not ruled out extending it, should it take off.    the Australian market was not feeling the same
– allows the buyer to hand back the keys and              Unlike the US and NZ Hyundai schemes,            levels of stress as the US or UK markets.
walk away should they become involuntarily              Kia Assurance does not guarantee to make
unemployed within 12 months of purchase.                car finance repayments for up to three                       FULL STORY: CLICK HERE



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                       GoAuto News                                                                                                                 May 20, 2009 Page 7



  No action on FBT                                                                                                         Car industry welcomes
                                                                                                                             extended tax break
                                                                                                                                    By DAVID HASSALL
                                                                                                                      LAST week’s federal budget contained a
                                                                                                                      surprise bonus for the car industry with the
                                                                                                                      government announcing it would increase
                                                                                                                      the investment tax break incentive for small
                                                                                                                      business and extend it by six months.
                                                                                                                         Treasurer Wayne Swan said small
                                                                                                                      businesses would now be able to claim a
                                                                                                                      bonus tax deduction of up to 50 per cent –
                                                                                                                      up from 30 per cent – on the cost of new
                                                                                                                      vehicles acquired after December 13, 2008.
 Federal government continues to monitor FBT rules                                                                    The Small Business and General Business
                 By IAN PORTER                              the results of the Henry tax system review                Tax Break was to have ended on June 30,
THE car industry “dodged a bullet” in                       by secretary of the treasury Dr Ken Henry.                but has been extended to December 31.
last week’s federal budget when rumoured                       The FBT on cars has fallen into disrepute                 The relevant legislation was still to travel
changes to the fringe benefits tax (FBT) did                 as stories spread about how drivers have been             through parliament when the treasurer made
not eventuate. The industry feared that the                 deliberately accumulating kilometres on little-           the announcement, but was enacted last
government would change the way tax was                     used or “briefcase” cars to qualify for a lower           Thursday after being passed unopposed.
calculated on cars for FBT.                                 tax rate by reaching the next threshold.                     The Federal Chamber of Automotive
   At present there are two ways of                            Mr Goodwin said the chamber did not                    Industries (FCAI) welcomed the government
establishing entitlement to a reduced tax                   believe there was such abuse on a widespread              initiative, saying it would provide a valuable
under FBT. One is the operating-cost                        basis, although it conceded there was a                   incentive for new-vehicle sales.
method, which involves keeping a record of                  possibility of such behaviour when it lodged                 “The tax break will help stimulate the
mileage, differentiating between private and                its submission to the Henry review.                       new-vehicle market and support jobs in
business distances to determine tax status.                    Part of the submission read: “A financial               the industry,” said FCAI chief executive
   The other is the statutory method, which                 incentive to increase vehicle usage can                   Andrew McKellar. “Every plumber, every
lays down specific distances that have to be                 occur where, in the normal course of                      painter, every electrician – in fact any
covered to qualify for lower tax rates.                     business, a vehicle’s annual kilometres                   small business owner – is urged to take
   Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries                 travelled remains just below one of the FBT               full advantage of this offer. “This measure
(FCAI) spokesman James Goodwin said:                        thresholds. In this instance, there can be an             offers an incentive of real value and will
“We dodged a bullet in the budget.”                         incentive to increase the vehicle’s usage to              encourage small business owners to bring
   He said the chamber had expected                         achieve a lower FBT threshold.”                           forward purchasing decisions.”
changes, although it was considered more
likely that the government would wait for                               FULL STORY: CLICK HERE                                    FULL STORY: CLICK HERE




                                    ZUPPS CAREER OPPORTUNITY
   Part of Australia’s largest motor retailer, AHG Ltd, Zupps have been a Queensland icon for 60 years. With ten vehicle dealerships and three truck centres,
   as well as a large parts distribution network, we employ approximately 800 staff throughout Queensland.
   FLEET MANAGER: Mt Gravatt Subaru
   Due to significant company growth, our Mt Gravatt Subaru dealership is looking for an enthusiastic Fleet Manager to join their dynamic team.
   Duties will include:
   • Acquiring new clients within your nominated industry segment (Subaru, Kia, Mitsubishi).
   • Achieving new business writings and profit targets.
   • Building and developing your own client portfolio.
   • Managing relationships and service delivery within your client portfolio.
   The successful candidate will bring with them experience from a similar role/environment, be a highly organised person with great interpersonal skills
   and good computer literacy. ERA knowledge would be an advantage but not essential. An excellent remuneration package is on offer.
   Zupps offers industry leading retainer and commission structure, a friendly team-based work environment, ongoing training
   and development; and a 5-day working week.
   If you enjoy working in a positive team environment and are prepared to ‘go the extra mile’ for the customer, then we want to hear from you!
   Please forward your application to:
   James Malone, Dealer Principal, 1300 Logan Road, Mt Gravatt QLD 4122. Phone: (07) 3404 8800. Email: jmalone@zupps.com.au
   All applications and enquiries will be treated in strict confidence. Zupps is an equal opportunity employer.
   This is an excellent opportunity to further your career in the automotive industry with Australia’s largest automotive retailer.

                                                 Z U P P S – D R I V E YO U R C A R E E R
 John Mellor's                                                                                                                             SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net
                      GoAuto News                                                                                                                         May 20, 2009 Page 8




         Bonus to end                                                                                                               Audi argues case for
                                                                                                                                     scrappage scheme
                                                                                                                                       By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS
                                                                                                                              AUDI has called for early implementation
                                                                                                                              of a scrappage scheme in Australia, arguing
                                                                                                                              that such a program would stimulate new-
                                                                                                                              vehicle sales in Australia – especially in
                                                                                                                              the sub-$20,000 category.
                                                                                                                                 Audi Australia managing director
                                                                                                                              Joerg Hofmann pointed to the situation in
                                                                                                                              Germany where, since the beginning of this
                                                                                                                              year, more than one million additional new
                                                                                                                              vehicles had been sold as a direct result of
    Government to phase out LPG conversion grants                                                                             the scrappage incentive, for a 20 per cent
                 By RON HAMMERTON                             LPG Australia’s outgoing industry                               rise in year-to-date volume.
THE LPG autogas industry has reacted                        development manager Phil Westlake said                               Mr Hofmann contrasted this to the 20 per
cautiously to a federal government decision                 LPG installers had invested substantially to                      cent fall in new-vehicle sales in Australia
announced in last week’s budget to phase out                meet demand for conversions, thanks to the                        over the same period, while arguing that a
subsidies for aftermarket LPG conversions                   subsidy scheme which had already injected                         government-funded incentive would help
for privately owned vehicles.                               $430 million into the industry.                                   cull some of the 2.47 million vehicles more
   Under the revised scheme, the current                      He said almost 100,000 motorists took                           than 15 years old. This equates to about
grant of $2000 a vehicle will be incrementally              advantage of the federal scheme last                              21 per cent of the total ‘car park’ while the
reduced by $250 annually over the next                      year, each making an average saving of                            average vehicle age in Australia is among the
four years, to $1000, before being scrapped                 $994 per car in fuel savings. But he urged                        highest in the western world at 9.9 years.
altogether in June 2014. The $2000 grant                    the government to monitor the planned                                He added that replacing old vehicles
for factory fitted LPG systems for private                   incremental phasing out of the subsidies.                         with new would bring improvements
buyers will remain unchanged “for the life                    “We will be watching and assessing                              in safety, and potentially contribute to
of the scheme”, meaning it may also be                      carefully the full impact of changes on                           reduced emissions and fuel consumption,
killed off in mid-2014.                                     our installer networks and equipment                              since most new vehicles are generally
   While welcoming the certainty of the                     suppliers,” said Mr Westlake, adding that                         more efficient than old ones.
revised LPG Vehicle Scheme and extension                    cutting subsidies could deny access to a                             Mr Hofmann also revealed that his
of the subsidy program – albeit reduced –                   cheaper alternative fuel for the motorists                        company had prepared a report known as
for some years, the industry’s peak body,                   who needed it most.                                               the ‘Audi Australia Environmental Bonus’.
LPG Australia, is concerned that the move
could negatively impact installers and LPG                                    FULL STORY: CLICK HERE                                     FULL STORY: CLICK HERE
conversion equipment suppliers, costing jobs.                              Up Close on Personnel – page 18                                Four into A5 – page 15




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                   GoAuto News                                                                                            May 20, 2009 Page 9




 All turn
 to Astra

 GM unveils its eagerly anticipated all-new
 Astra, but its future in Australia is under review
             By MARTON PETTENDY                Commodore, and it has been a very popular          class technology and immense driver appeal
             and RON HAMMERTON                 car in our range for a long time now,” she         will attract an even broader spectrum of
GENERAL Motors Europe has revealed             said. “But at this stage, it remains an Opel       buyers in this sector.”
one of the most hotly anticipated new          and Vauxhall model only.                              As the first official pictures reveal, the
models of 2009 in the redesigned Opel/            “No decision has been made, and                 all-new Astra borrows many styling cues
Vauxhall Astra.                                Astra remains on hold until this review is         from the larger Insignia mid-sizer launched
   But unlike previous generations of GM’s     completed.”                                        last year in Europe, including tear-drop
popular European-built small car, the new         The new Cruze small sedan was launched          headlights and tail-lights, sloping rear
Astra may not make it to Australia under       to the media yesterday and will go into dealer     roofline and extensive bodyside sculpting.
Holden badges.                                 showrooms in June. GM Holden is also                  In fact, the new car’s design team was led
   Import shipments of the current Astra       planning to build a Delta-based hatchback          by the British designer who also oversaw the
are already on hold as GM Holden reviews       from the third quarter of next year at its         development of the Insignia, vice-president
its small-car model line-up in the face of     Elizabeth plant in South Australia.                of GM Europe Design, Mark Adams.
unfavourable exchange rates, uncertainty          If Holden does decide to take the new-             “We’re continuing with the same premium
over the future ownership of GM Europe         generation Astra in 2010, it will almost           design cues as the Insignia, inside and out
and this week’s local launch of the Korean-    certainly be as a premium small car, sitting       of the car,” said Mr Adams. “However, the
built Cruze, which is made on the same         above the Cruze and its Australian-made            main design themes, like the wing-shaped
Delta II platform as Astra.                    sibling, in the same way as the current Astra      light signatures and the blade, needed an
   GM Holden spokesperson Kate Lonsdale        sits above the Korean-made Viva.                   individual execution to avoid ‘cloning’ the
said the company believed there was a place       As widely expected, the sixth-generation        model ranges. This is why, for instance,
for both Cruze and Astra in the Holden model   Astra in three decades will make its global        you see twin wings in the rear lights and a
line-up, but a business case needed to be      public premiere at the Frankfurt motor show        reversed blade on its flanks.”
made before the green light could be given     in September, in five-door hatchback form              The European-designed and built Astra
for the next-generation Astra to come here.    as seen here.                                      replacement is due for release in Europe late
   “Astra is our best-selling model after         Vauxhall marketing director Angy Gilson         this year. For now, Vauxhall and Opel have
                                                    said the only part of the Astra that was      confirmed the next-generation Astra is based
                                                    not new was its name.                         on an all-new chassis that features adaptive
                                                      “And that name currently accounts           suspension damping for the first time.
                                                    for around 30 per cent of all Vauxhall’s         Vauxhall claims the optional FlexRide
                                                    car sales, with the five-door hatch taking     system, which offers three unique damper
                                                    60 per cent of those sales alone – so it’s    settings (standard, sport and tour), will raise
                                                    important to lead with this body style,” he   the bar for handling and ride comfort in the
                                                    said. “Not only is the Astra a crucial new    small-car class.
                                                    model for Vauxhall, but we’re confident
                                                    that its blend of dynamic design, new-to-               FULL STORY: CLICK HERE
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                     GoAuto News                                                                                           May 20, 2009 Page 10




Ford sees profit in 2011
Blue Oval boss believes
global slump in vehicle
sales has bottomed out
                 By IAN PORTER
FORD Motor Company chief executive
Alan Mulally said he believes the world
slump in vehicle sales had bottomed and
that demand will start to rise in the third or
fourth quarter of 2009.                                                                                       Alan Mulally (left) with Bill Ford
   This, and the progress being made in            consolidating dealers across the US – a             The meeting attracted a modest turnout of
restructuring the group’s North American           policy GM and Chrysler have also adopted.        98 shareholders, although this was up from
operations, could see Ford back in the black          “We are confident that we will not only        the meagre crowd of 58 who fronted the 2008
by 2011, Mr Mulally revealed at the US auto        survive this downturn, but that we will emerge   meeting. This year’s meeting was enlivened
giant’s annual meeting of shareholders in          as a lean, globally integrated company poised    by the appearance of former presidential
Delaware last week.                                for long-term profitable growth,” said Mr         candidate the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who
   He praised governments around the world         Mulally, adding that the auto-maker was on       argued strongly for the company to make
for the stimulatory policies they had enacted,     track to be at or above break-even in 2011,      more cars inside the US, and not send more
saying he believed these had hastened the          excluding special items.                         assembly work over the border.
recovery from the global financial crisis.             Ford is the only US manufacturer not             Reverend Jackson, who has actively
   Speaking after the annual meeting, Mr           operating with the help of government loans,     lobbied on behalf of minority suppliers
Mulally said decisions to reduce interest          having started its own restructuring process     and dealers recently, said some company
rates and to counter the illiquidity of financial   in 2006 under its ‘Way Forward’ plan.            decisions to close factories had eliminated
markets with cash advances in various                 Capacity was to be cut 26 per cent, the       thousands of American jobs. He urged
countries were starting to have an effect.         workforce cut by up to 30,000 hourly             Ford to make renewed commitments to
   “We are very encouraged,” he said. “We’re       workers and operating costs reduced by           “reindustrialising” the US.
going to see the start of this turnaround in       $US5 billion ($A6.5 billion).                       “The Ford Fusion, made in Mexico, can be
the third and the fourth quarter.”                    During the meeting, several investors said    made in America,” he said. “The automotive
   He said Ford would continue to bring            they were encouraged by the company’s            industry is the heart of our manufacturing.
its production capacity down into line             response to the economic crisis and the          It’s the backbone of our financial markets.”
with demand around the world and would             restructuring moves it had taken to become
continue its long-established policy of            more competitive.                                         FULL STORY: CLICK HERE

 GM, Chrysler target almost 2000 dealers in US clean-out
                                                                                                    THE CHRYSLER CULL
                 By IAN PORTER                     would not be renewed after October 2010.
TERMINATED car dealers in the US are                  This was just the first tranche of intended    THE culling of American motor vehicle
not going down without a fight, with Chrysler       GM dealer terminations as the struggling car-    dealerships has started in earnest with
retailers mounting a court challenge against       maker has indicated to president Obama’s         Chrysler seeking bankruptcy court approval
plans to axe 789 dealerships by June 9.            automotive task force that it would cull a       to tear up dealer agreements with 789
   The Chrysler national dealer council has        total of 2294 dealers to reduce its network to   dealers – a quarter of its US retail force.
asked the US bankruptcy court to grant the         3600 as part of its restructuring plan.             Chrysler, which has filed for Chapter 11
dealers the same protection they would have           The Chrysler dealer council indicated in      bankruptcy in an effort to pave the way for an
received outside the court, so they could take     documents filed in the US bankruptcy court        alliance with Italy’s Fiat SpA, wants to hurry
advantage of state franchise protection laws.      that it would argue that dealers generated       the dealer terminations through by June 9
   General Motors also wrote to 1124 of its        revenues vital to Chrysler’s future success.     under protection of its bankruptcy status.
dealers telling them they were considered
poor performers and that their franchises                   FULL STORY: CLICK HERE                           FULL STORY: CLICK HERE




  FOR SALE                                    PREMIUM MOTOR FRANCHISE DEALERSHIPS
                                                                – Melbourne & Country Victoria –

   PLUS: TWO EQUITY PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FOR APPROVED APPLICANTS.
   Weron Automotive Group currently has ve (5) highly pro table premium franchised dealerships for sale,
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   on phone: (03) 5968 6811 or email: cj@weron.com.au
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                   GoAuto News                                                                                            May 20, 2009 Page 11




  Passion
  fruit

  Volkswagen turns the Polo into a more
  attractive, tastier and tenacious little hatch
   By MARTON PETTENDY in SARDINIA                transmission market and will therefore            and 77kW versions of the 1.6-litre diesel.
VOLKSWAGEN’S              diminutive     Polo    receive just three engines, led by a                 As a five-speed manual, the Polo 1.4
hatchback has always been a bit player in        63kW/132Nm version of the upgraded                returns claimed fuel economy of 5.9L/100km
a sea of price-focused light-sized cars in       1.4-litre inline petrol four-cylinder from        and CO2 emissions of 139g/km, and is
Australia, with the likes of even Honda’s        the new Golf, to replace the engine in the        claimed to accelerate to 100km/h in 12.1
$20,000-plus Jazz-based City sedan pushing       outgoing Polo 1.4 Edition three-door (priced      seconds and on to a top speed of 177km/h.
it further outside the list of top-10 sellers    from $16,990).                                       Mated to a six-speed manual, the perky
this year.                                          All-new engines for the MkV Polo include       1.2 TSI turbo engine is no less fuel efficient
   In Germany, however, Europe’s largest         the 77kW/175Nm direct petrol injection,           than the significantly less powerful naturally
car-maker expects the first all-new Polo since    turbocharged 1.2 TSI, which is expected to        aspirated versions – as well as more frugal
2001 to further extend its sales dominance       come on stream before Australian exports          than the 1.4 – at 5.5L/100km and 129g/km.
in the A0 or ‘supermini’ category, thanks        begin in 2010 to replace the 1.6-litre            It also offers the highest top speed of all new
to vastly improved safety, refinement,            petrol four currently available in                Polo variants, at 190km/h, plus 0-100km/h
efficiency, dynamics and performance.             the Polo 1.6 Pacific five-                                   acceleration in 9.7 seconds. VW
   Wrapped in an all-new, more youthful          door (from $19,990).                                                 claims the Polo’s petrol
bodyshell that is unmistakably an all-              Finally,      Australia                                              engines are between eight
new model yet instantly recognisable as          should also receive                                                     and 20 per cent more
a Volkswagen, the same attributes are            the            mid-range                                               efficient than before.
expected to lift Polo sales in Australia from    66kW/230Nm version                                                        All versions of ‘our’
a record of 2362 in 2008 – up 36.5 per cent      of Volkswagen’s new                                                     66kW 1.6 TDI, when
on 2007 numbers.                                 common-rail           1.6-litre                                           matched with a five-
   The fifth-generation Polo, first seen at the    turbo-diesel, which is also                                                speed manual, return
Geneva motor show in March, was launched         available in the Golf VI in                                                a claimed 4.2L/100km
in Europe last weekend and goes on sale          Europe, where it comes in                                                 and 109g/km, making
there in June, before arriving in Australia in   three states of tune.                                        1.2 TSI the diesel the most
early 2010 in both five-door and three-door          The 1.6 TDI will replace                                           efficient of the bunch while
guises. The latter will make its global debut    the MkIV Polo 1.9 TDI Pacific                                    still offering a 180km/h top
at the Frankfurt motor show in September.        five-door (from $22,990) and, while a GTI                  speed. VW claims it has reduced the
   Seven brand-new or new-to-Polo Euro           version of the new Polo should also surface       fuel consumption of the Polo’s diesel engine
V emissions-compliant engines will be            at Frankfurt to top the Australian range, do      range by between five and 15 per cent.
available in Europe from launch, many of         not expect fuel-sipping BlueMotion versions          The Polo is bigger in every dimension,
them mated only to manual transmissions.         of our smallest Volkswagen model to be sold       despite an average body mass reduction of
   Australia is predominantly an automatic       here any time soon.                               7.5 per cent and gross weights that are down
                                                                  All three engines will be        by 2.5 per cent on average.
                                                               available locally with the             Riding on a 4mm-longer (2470mm)
                                                               choice of both manual and           wheelbase and significantly wider 1463mm
                                                               (seven-speed)         twin-clutch   and 1456mm front and rear wheel tracks
                                                               DSG       automated       manual    (up 29mm and 30mm respectively), the new
                                                               transmissions – the latter          Polo is 54mm longer than before at 3970mm
                                                               making its debut in the Polo to     and 32mm wider at 1682mm, yet 14mm
                                                               be the first gearbox of its type     lower at 1453mm.
                                                               in the light-car class.                The result is an 8mm-longer cabin
                                                                  Also on offer in Europe will     (1674mm) that offers a similar improvement
                                                               be 44kW and 51kW naturally          in rear knee-room and 22mm more front
                                                               aspirated versions of the           shoulder-room (1372mm).
                                                               1.2-litre petrol four, plus 55kW                Continued next page
 John Mellor's                                                                                                                       SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net
                       GoAuto News                                                                                                             May 20, 2009 Page 12




 Passion
 fruit

          Continued from previous page                     front airbags, five adjustable head restraints               sunroof and bi-Xenon headlights will also
  Apart from best-in-class quality,                        and five three-point seatbelts will be                       become available.
Volkswagen says it expects the new Polo to                 standard in all new Polos, although it is yet                  Range-wide standard features include
be the first light car to meet the tougher new              to be decided whether Australian versions                   electro-hydraulic power steering, front
five-star Euro NCAP crash safety standard.                  will come standard with electronic stability                power windows, central locking, a
  It says a static torsional rigidity figure                control (ESC, or ESP in VW-speak), a                        headlights-on warning chime, driver’s seat
of 180,000Nm per degree makes it one of                    hill-hold function and twin front seatback-                 height adjustment, an illuminated cargo
the stiffest cars in its class and helps reduce            mounted head/thorax airbags, as the Polo                    area with tie-down points and illuminated
footwell intrusion in a frontal crash by a                 will in all major European markets.                         sun visor vanity mirrors, while entry-level
whole 50 per cent, while side intrusion in                    Likewise, it is not yet known what                       Trendline models feature ‘Titanium Black’
a side impact is said to have been reduced                 equipment levels will be offered in Australia,              trim and ‘Metric’ seat fabric. Wheel sizes
20 per cent.                                               which could receive a mixture of Europe’s                   range between 14-inch steel items to 17-
  Of course, VW also says the stiffer new                  three model grades: base Trendline, mid-                    inch alloys with 215/40-section tyres.
bodyshell brings major reductions in noise,                range Comfortline and the top-shelf                            Volkswagen has sold more than 10.6
vibration, harshness and overall refinement                 Highline.                                                   million Polos since Germany’s first small
levels, as well as ride comfort and handling                  The former does without a soft-touch                     car appeared 34 years ago in 1975. The MkI
dynamics. The previous 8.5-inch brake                      dashboard, 60/40-split folding rear seat,                   Polo was just 3512mm long, and was joined
booster is replaced by a higher-performance                power rear windows and power mirrors, but                   in 1977 by the notchbacked VW Derby
10-inch system.                                            the Polo will also be available with a host                 derivative.
  An anti-lock braking system (ABS), twin                  of high-end equipment in Europe, including                     The MkII Polo emerged in 1982 and
                                                           side curtain airbags, daytime running lights,               became available in three-door hatch, coupe
                                                           audio and navigation systems from the Golf                  and sedan body styles. The Polo’s first diesel
                                                            a Passat, cruise control, climate control,
                                                            and                                                        engine appeared from 1985, while a major
                                                                and static turning lights integrated into              facelift in 1990 extended the MkII Polo’s
                                                                 t front foglights.
                                                                 the                                                   lifecycle to 12 years, during which time
                                                                     Available Polo features also include              about 3.5 million were sold.
                                                                   a dual-level cargo floor, tyre-pressure                 Released in 1994, the larger Polo MkIII
                                                                   m
                                                                   monitoring, a multi-function three-                 spawned hatch, sedan, estate, (Caddy) van
                                                                    spoke leather steering wheel, folding              and 90kW 16-valve 1.4-litre GTI versions,
                                                                    centre armrest with storage, headlight             before being replaced by the quad-headlight
                                                                    washers, trip computer, rear parking               MkIV in 2001.
                                                                   sensors and an integrated hands-
                                                                  free telephone system. A panoramic                             DRIVE IMPRESSIONS: CLICK HERE




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                    GoAuto News                                                                                           May 20, 2009 Page 13




         Cruze set at $20,990



    Holden’s all-new Cruze sedan is high on equipment and competitive on price
           By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS                  cam 16-valve Family-1 ECOTEC four- steering system (allowing for a 10.9-metre
HOLDEN’S new-generation small car is              cylinder petrol unit.                            turning circle), and ventilated front disc
playing the value game against competitors           Now in ‘GEN III’ guise, it develops brakes with single 60mm piston steel
such as the hot-selling Toyota Corolla and        104kW of power and 176Nm of torque – callipers and, at the rear, solid discs with
Mazda3.                                           with 90 per cent the latter occurring from single 38mm piston steel callipers.
   Priced from $20,990 plus on-road costs for     2200-6200rpm, thanks to continuously                To quell noise, vibration and harshness
the base Cruze CD petrol manual, and $2000        variable valve timing that employs a compact (NVH) levels, GM engineers have employed
more for the automatic version, the Korean-       hydraulic vane type phaser “to flatten out the an isolated four-mount engine cradle and
built, Opel-engineered four-door sedan will       torque curve”, according to Holden.              made extensive use of damping material in
out-equip – rather than undercut – its key           More torque is available via GM/VM areas such as the front-of-dash panel, boot,
rivals when sales start in the middle of June.    Motori’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel deck-lid inner, doors, carpet and headlining
   The Cruze will replace the Belgian-            engine familiar to owners                                        (rare in a cheap small car,
built AH Astra hatch – which has fallen           of the Holden Captiva SUV
                                                                                            PRICING:               Holden says). There is also a
                                                                                    CD 1.8              $20,990
victim to an unfavourable exchange rate           and Epica sedan. Adding                                          triple-layer sealing system in
                                                                                    CD 1.8 (a)          $23,290
out of Europe – and the Daewoo Lacetti-           $3000 to the price, it uses                                      the doors.
                                                                                    CD 2.0 Diesel       $23,990
based JF Viva range, leaving Holden with          common-rail fuel injection                                          GM’s ‘GM LAN Serial
                                                                                    CD 2.0 Diesel (a) $25,990
no C-segment small hatchback until the            and       an      electronically                                 Data Electrical Architecture’
                                                                                    CDX 1.8             $23,990
Australian-designed and built Cruze hatch         controlled variable geometry                                     connects all modules in the
                                                                                    CDX 1.8 (a)         $25,990
appears in the latter part of 2010.               turbocharger with intercooler.                                   car like a telephone line,
   Six airbags, electronic stability control      Power and torque are rated at 110kW and handling critical control systems.
(ESC), ABS brakes, electronic brake-force         320Nm respectively, with 90 per cent of the         Dimensionally, the Cruze sedan is a large
distribution (EBD), traction control and          latter available from 1750-3500rpm.              small car for its class, measuring 4597mm
collapsible pedals help all models to achieve        A diesel particulate filter enables the long, 1788mm wide and 1477mm high,
an ANCAP five-star safety rating, while cruise     diesel achieve a Euro IV emissions rating, with a wheelbase of 2685mm, front track of
control and steering-wheel mounted audio          and Holden will leverage this model’s green 1544mm and rear track of 1558mm. This puts
controls are included on every vehicle.           credentials under its EcoLine sub-brand. The it about on par with the generation-before-last
   The automatic is a six-speed type, and is      diesel engine is only available in CD spec.      Holden JR/JS Vectra (1997-2002).
available in lieu of the standard five-speed          Fuel consumption ratings are 7.0L/100km          In contrast, one of Australia’s favourite
manual gearbox, making the Cruze the only         for the 1.8 petrol manual (1.8 petrol auto: small cars – the Mazda3 sedan – is smaller, at
sedan in its class to offer six forward ratios.   7.5L/100km), while the 2.0 diesel manual 4580mm long, 1755mm wide and 1470mm
Key competitors – namely the Corolla, Ford        returns 5.7L/100km (2.0 diesel auto: high, with a 2640mm wheelbase, 1535mm
Focus and Hyundai Elantra – only offer a          6.8L/100km).                                     front track and 1520mm rear track.
four-speed auto.                                     Using General Motors’ Delta II front-            Thus, the Cruze’s class-conventional
   Two engines choices are on offer from          wheel-drive small-car platform, the Cruze was transverse engine front-wheel drive layout
launch, with the volume seller expected to        developed globally over a 27-month period at a helps pays space dividends inside, with
be GM’s familiar but revised 1.8-litre twin-      cost of $US4 billion ($A5.3 billion). GM built shoulder room coming in at 1391mm up
                                                  221 prototypes during that time, with testing front and 1370mm out back, while rear
                                                  done in Australia, the US, Sweden, Canada, legroom is 917mm.
                                                  the UK, South Korea and China.                      Holden claims the Cruze was conceived
                                                     Suspension is by MacPherson-type struts to have contemporary and sophisticated
                                                  at the front and what GM Holden calls a styling, a refined cabin and high-quality
                                                  compound crank rear axle (a solid torsion interior fittings. The 400-litre boot is aided
                                                  beam item), which means that the Cruze avoids by a split-fold rear seat.
                                                  the costly multi-link designs found beneath the
                                                  Focus and Mazda3, among other rivals.                        FULL STORY: CLICK HERE
                                                     Also conventional is the employment of                  For drive impressions, go to
                                                  a hydraulically powered rack-and-pinion             www.GoAuto.com.au from this afternoon.
 John Mellor's                                                                                                   SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net
                      GoAuto News                                                                                             May 20, 2009 Page 14




                        It’s D-lightful


             At long last, Mini launches its lean-sipping diesel Cooper Down Under
                 By DAVID HASSALL                 with steering wheel paddles not only costs          eventually arrives in Australia – delayed
AUSTRALIA finally gets the diesel-                 an extra $2350 and adds 30kg of weight              until at least the first half of 2010 due to its
powered Mini Cooper this week, about 18           but also increases fuel consumption by an           runaway success in Japan, where it was the
months later than once expected but in a          unimpressive 1.1L/100km to 5.0L/100km/h             top-selling car last month.
timely fashion with its extraordinary fuel        (while the city figure rises an extraordinary           Mini’s Minimalism technology includes
consumption and emissions levels given            1.8L/100km to 6.5L/100km).                          not only the idle-stop function and
the current focus on green cars and running          “For the first time in Australia, buyers          regenerative braking – normally associated
costs.                                            will be able to buy an extremely fuel-              with hybrid-electric cars but previously
   Priced at $33,750, the Mini Cooper D costs     efficient car, with very low emissions,                      available in the M3 and 7 Series – but
$2650 more than the standard Mini, which          without having to sacrifice                                          also energy-sapping oil and
is identically equipped with the exception        excitement and performance,”                                          water pumps that turn off
of the eco-conscious new car’s fuel-saving        said Mr Hocevar. “Thanks                                                automatically when not
idle-stop function and regenerative braking       to Minimalism, buyers do                                                  required, electric power
system.                                           not have to forego typical                                               steering assistance and
   The new Mini Cooper D arrives in               Mini levels of driving fun,                                            a gearshift indicator to tell
showrooms claiming the title as the most          premium quality and safety                                          the driver the best time to
fuel-efficient car in the country with a hybrid-   and a host of personalisation                                     upshift.
beating official combined consumption              opportunities when they                                              An underbody panel is fitted
figure of just 3.9L/100km thanks to a number       decide to purchase an                                             to reduce aerodynamic drag, and
of technical developments the company             efficient car.”                                                   aluminium components are used
calls ‘Minimalism’.                                  Mr Hocevar claimed that the                                 in both the engine and chassis to
   And, as Mini Australia national manager        Mini Cooper D was the first overtly                       keep the weight down, but the Cooper D
Justin Hocevar was quick to point out, the        sporty diesel small car, and demonstrated           still comes in 25kg above the standard Mini.
new Mini diesel combines ultra-low fuel           the potential of modern diesel engines                 The      PSA      Peugeot-Citroen-sourced
use and emissions (emitting just 104g/km of       more impressively than ever. He estimated           1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine’s common-
CO2) with the sort of performance expected        that owners driving the national average            rail direct-injection operates at 1600 bar of
of a BMW-bred machine.                            15,000km a year would spend just $15 a              pressure, and the turbocharger – said to be
   The Mini Cooper D accelerates from             week on fuel. That would be only a little           designed specifically for the Mini – uses
0-100km/h in 9.9 seconds with the standard        higher for drivers in city conditions, thanks       variable-vane technology to ensure strong
six-speed manual (10.3 seconds for the            to the idle-stop function.                          performance across all engine speeds.
auto) and has a top speed of 195km/h (auto:          With only a 40-litre tank, the Mini D is still      It produces only 80kW of power (88kW
190km/h). That compares with 9.1 seconds          claimed to be able to get from Melbourne to         for the 1.6-litre petrol), but torque peaks
and 203km/h for the regular 1.6-litre petrol-     Sydney without refuelling.                          at 240Nm at just 1750rpm (versus 128Nm
engined Mini, but we have no comparative             Although the Mini diesel sneaks under the        at 5500rpm). Like the turbocharged petrol
figures yet for in-gear acceleration, which        guard of the current Toyota Prius – which           Cooper S, there is also an overboost function
could reveal the diesel’s strength.               tops the official government Green Vehicle           that adds another 20Nm of torque when you
   Unfortunately, the optional six-speed auto     Guide with consumption of 4.4L/100km                floor the throttle.
                                                      and CO2 emissions of 106g/km – the                 Larger induction plumbing needed for the
                                                      Japanese company’s third-generation             engine has required the Mini’s bonnet bulge
                                                      hybrid will soon arrive with a promise of       to be pumped up, but, apart from the D badge
                                                      a Mini-matching 3.9L/100km fuel figure           on the rear, the only significant external
                                                      and an outstanding emissions level of           identification of the newest Cooper variant
                                                      just 89g/km.                                    is a larger, split horizontal air intake below
                                                         Honda is likely to undercut both rivals      the bumper that feeds the heat exchanger.
                                                      on price with its new Insight, but will
                                                      not be able to match the environmental                 For drive impressions, go to
                                                      credentials of either car when it                 www.GoAuto.com.au from this afternoon.
 John Mellor's                                                                                                  SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net
                    GoAuto News                                                                                              May 20, 2009 Page 15




                             Four into A5


            Audi introduces four-cylinder and dual-clutch versions of its A5 Coupe
         By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS                     drive can be delivered to the nose end if         An ‘S-Line’ bodykit adds another $5850.
AUDI Australia is finally offering four- necessary, while the rear wheels are charged                    Audi is counting on the 2.0 TFSI quattro
cylinder power in its A5 Coupe, as well as the with handling up to 85 per cent.                      to account for around 30 per cent of all A5
dual-clutch manual gearbox formerly called            As with all A5s, the newcomer uses a           volume, with the 3.2 FSI V6 petrol and S5
DSG but more recently dubbed S-tronic.             five-link front, and trapezoidal-link rear         performance flagship each taking 25 per
   On sale now and opening the A5 Coupe suspension system, along with a hydraulically                cent, and the remaining 20 per cent going
range from $79,900, the 2.0 TFSI quattro powered rack-and-pinion steering system,                    to the 3.0 TDI diesel. Compared to the same
joins the Q5 mid-sized SUV and just-released and dual-circuit brakes with ventilated discs           time last year, A5 sales in the first four months
A4 2.0 TFSI quattro sedan and Avant in being up front and solid discs at the rear.                   of 2009 have risen from 174 to 260 units, while
the only Audis to ever combine S-tronic with          From standstill, the 1490kg A5 2.0 TFSI        the segment-leading 3 Series Coupe’s numbers
a longitudinal drivetrain application.             quattro manual can sprint to 100km/h in           have dropped 226 units to 387 vehicles.
   Although the A5 was first to market in 6.5 seconds, reach 246km/h, consume
2007, both it and the Q5 owe their existence 7.4L/100km and emit 173g/km of CO2. In                       DRIVE IMPRESSIONS: CLICK HERE
to the B8-series A4 launched last year, and contrast, the $3600 more expensive S-tronic
all three are the first to use Audi’s new MLB is just as rapid to 100km/h, 1km/h slower
architecture, which sees the front wheels overall, 0.1L/100km thirstier and 6g/km
pushed further forward than in previous higher up the CO2 scale.
longitudinally engined models from Audi,              Nevertheless, Audi is crowing loudly about
to create a more                                                             the 155kW/350Nm
favourable front-to-
                                            PRICING:                         A5 2.0 TFSI quattro
                           2.0 TFSI quattro                    $79,900
rear weight balance.                                                         S-tronic’s    virtues
                           2.0 TFSI quattro S-tronic (a)       $83,500
   Using               a                                                     when compared to        S-TRONIC FOR A4, TOO
                           3.0 TDI quattro Tiptronic (a)       $94,500
development of the                                                           its similarly priced
                           3.2 FSI Multitronic (a)             $95,300                               AUDI’S BMW 3 Series chaser has finally
turbocharged 1984cc                                                          160kW/250Nm
                           3.2 FSI quattro Tiptronic (a)       $98,500                               adopted a dual-clutch manual gearbox,
twin-cam 16-valve                                                            BMW 325i Coupe
                           S5 4.2 FSI quattro                  $138,600                              known as S-tronic, or DSG.
direct petrol injection                                                      auto and the soon-
                           S5 4.2 FSI quattro Tiptronic (a) $138,600                                    Available now, the A4 2.0 TFSI quattro
unit (2.0 TFSI) made                                                         to-be-replaced
famous in the Golf GTI from 2005, the new 135kW/250Nm Mercedes-Benz CLK 200K.                        opens proceedings from $73,990, or
Euro V emissions compliant ‘EA888’ engine             The A5 has 100Nm more torque than              $76,730 for the Avant wagon variant. No
adopts variable valve timing, chain drive for either, is more than one second faster in the          rival can match this model A4’s gearbox
the camshafts, a new intercooler design and 0-100km/h sprint than the second-placed                  for less than $100,000.
a bevy of friction reduction measures.             BMW, and uses almost 1L/100km less fuel              The A4 joins the A5 Coupe 2.0 TFSI
   Compared to the earlier iteration of this and emits at least 10 per cent less CO2 than            quattro and Q5 mid-sized SUV as the
engine as seen in the current Golf GTI, the the CLK.                                                 only Audis to combine S-tronic with a
outcome is a jump in power from 147kW to              It may only be an entry-level model, but the   longitudinal drivetrain application.
155kW between 4300rpm and 6000rpm, and A5 2.0 TFSI quattro comes equipped with the                      Previously, only transverse drivetrain
an 80Nm leap in torque, topping out now at usual armada of airbags and electronic driving            models from the Ingolstadt marque, such
350Nm between 1500rpm and 4200rpm.                 aids such as ABS brakes and stability and         as the Volkswagen Golf-derived A3 and TT,
   Drive is sent to all four wheels via Audi’s traction control. It also has leather trim, Xenon     offered DSG/S-tronic. All use a variation of
trademark Torsen differential quattro all- ‘Plus’ headlights with LED driving lights,                the 2.0-litre turbocharged direct-injection
wheel drive system in conjunction with three-zone climate-control air-conditioning,                  four-cylinder petrol engine introduced in
either a six-speed manual or seven-speed keyless entry/start, electric front seats,                  the B7-series A4 range in March 2005. In
S-tronic transmission.                             Bluetooth connectivity, and 17-inch alloy         the current B8 A4 it joins the $70,600 2.0
   In normal conditions, the rear axle has wheels shod with 245/45 R17 tyres.                        TFSI quattro sedan with a six-speed manual
60 per cent of available torque and the front         Key options include Audi’s Drive               gearbox, and is 20 per cent more economical
end drives 40 per cent, for a greater rear- Select adjustable dampers ($3600), MMI                   than in its B7 A4 application.
wheel drive ‘feel’ than in pre-B8 A4 and Navigation ($5900), adaptive cruise control
derivatives (B7 RS4 excepted). However, ($2945), a blind-spot warning system                                  FULL STORY: CLICK HERE
in some conditions, up to 65 per cent of ($1430) and a large glass sunroof ($2860).                       DRIVE IMPRESSIONS: CLICK HERE
John Mellor's                                                                                                                                                SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net

                       GoAuto Market Update                                                                                                                               May 20, 2009 Page 16


                                      GoAuto Market Update is brought
                                        to you by Dealer Solutions



Middle class welfare
                                                                                                            Medium SUV sales (May 2008 - Apr 2009)
                                                                                                                                y
Once the big chief, Ford’s                                                                                                                                                               8.1

Territory is now a battler                                                                 1650
                                                                                                                                                                                         7.9
among the medium SUVs
                                                                                           1450

                                                     Individual model sales (line graph)
                  By IAN PORTER                                                                                                                                                          7.7




                                                                                                                                                                                                                      graph)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 (bar g p )
WITH the benefit of hindsight, the Ford
                                                                                           1250
Territory’s time at the top of the heap in
the medium SUV sector was just a blip on                                                                                                                                                 7.5
Toyota’s time line.                                                                        1050




                                                                                                                                                                                               % of market share (
   Using the might-is-right method, Toyota
                                                                                                                                                                                         7.3
released a second model into the sector –                                                   850
the Kluger – only a few months before Ford
unveiled the Territory in May 2004.                                                                                                                                                      7.1
   It was a pre-emptive strike that did                                                     650
not work well at first, at least in terms of
                                                                                                                                                                                         6.9
suppressing the ‘Terry’.                                                                    450
   The Ford went to number one, but
subsequently was brought back to the pack by                                                250                                                                                          6.7
the combined might of Kluger and Prado.
   Toyota has almost all aspects covered with
those two – the Kluger covering the soft-                                                    50                                                                                          6.5
                                                                                                   May      Jun    Jul     Aug   Sep      Oct    Nov   Dec    Jan   Feb     Mar   Apr
roader market, with the Prado appealing to
4WD buyers who want to go rock-climbing.            LH axis/line graph: Individual model sales                                                  RH axis/bar graph: % of market share
   The Toyota range lacks only a high-                                                     Ford Territory                Holden Captiva             Mazda CX-9                 Mitsubishi Pajero
performance version to counter the highly                                                  Nissan Pathfinder              Toyota Kluger              Toyota Prado           Source: VFACTS
successful, but necessarily smaller-volume,
Ghia Turbo Territory.                                  Then, as the pain of fuel prices subsided                                                the Captiva had been a particular focus for
   It might have taken two of them to catch         towards the end of last year and manufacturers                                              Holden since December, especially with
the Territory, but the constant model cycles        stimulated the market to reduce inventories,                                                extra value deals and driveaway prices.
that can be maintained with an international        sales jumped back in December, from 6.7                                                        “It combines sporty good looks, fuel
market and volumes to match have accelerated        per cent to 7.6 per cent. This was just above                                               efficiency and a feature-packed, flexible
Toyota’s advantage. The Prado was given a           the 12-month average of 7.5 per cent.                                                       package,” Mr Elsworth said. He said private
better turbo-diesel engine in 2006 – something         Every model on the graph rose in                                                         buyers were attracted to the availability of
the Territory still cannot offer – while the        December except the Pathfinder, with                                                         seven seats across the range. The availability
Kluger was renewed in 2007.                         sales of the Territory, Holden Captiva and                                                  of a turbo-diesel variant also gave it the
   The Territory had to wait until this month       Mitsubishi Pajero all jumping more than 35                                                  edge over some of its rivals.
for a minor facelift and upgrade.                   per cent in a month. The Kluger was up 29                                                      The minor placings on the graph are
   As might be expected, sales of medium            per cent and the Prado “only” 15 per cent.                                                  being squabbled over by Pajero, Nissan’s
SUVs declined during the period of high                While the big three slug it out at the                                                   Pathfinder and the Mazda CX-9, with the
fuel prices and the global financial crisis.         top, the Captiva has been making steady                                                     Pajero appearing to have lost some of its
   Sales fell off a small cliff in June last year   progress in its bid to close the gap. It is                                                 advantage in the last 12 months.
– down from 7.9 per cent to 7.1 per cent of         still fourth in the rankings, but was a much                                                   However, release of the upgraded NT
the overall market – and continued to ease          closer fourth in April.                                                                     model in February looks to have already
for the next five months.                               GM marketing chief John Elsworth said                                                    started to improve the car’s fortunes.




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                      GoAuto Green                                    Green issues in the auto world                          May 20, 2009 Page 17


                                    Custom Fleet
                                    Part of GE Commercial Finance
                                                                      GoAuto Green is brought
                                                                      to you by Custom Fleet

 Nissan locks in EV                                                                                      Toyota ramps up plug-in
                                                                                                           Prius test program
                                                                                                                     By TERRY MARTIN
                                                                                                       TOYOTA has announced that it will lease
                                                                                                       more than 150 units of its Prius plug-in
                                                                                                       development car to fleet customers in
                                                                                                       Europe as part of a three-year program.
                                                                                                          Based on the third-generation Prius
                                                                                                       petrol-electric hybrid car, which is due on
                                                                                                       sale in Australia in July, the Prius Plug-in
                                                                                                       Hybrid Vehicle (PHV) will begin testing
                                                                                                       in France in the final quarter of this year,
                                                                                               Mixim
                                                                                               Mix
                                                                                                ixim
                                                                                               Mi m    with other markets expected to follow early
                                                                                                       in 2010. Toyota Motor Europe (TME) is
 Production green light for small ‘family’ electric car                                                negotiating with the UK, Germany and the
                By MARTON PETTENDY                   will be produced at its Yokohama plant,           Netherlands to join the European program.
AS IT posted a $A3.46 billion loss last              with inverters to be supplied by another             “In the future, the PHV will be the perfect
week for the fiscal year ending March 31,             Kanagawa Prefecture plant, Nissan’s               complement to Prius,” said TME president
Nissan Motor Co confirmed production of               Zama Operations Center. Zama-based                Tadashi Arashima. “It offers a low-carbon
the small electric family car that is likely to      Nissan affiliate Automotive Energy Supply          transport solution for customers wanting
be among Australia’s first EVs come 2012.             Corporation (AESC) will manufacture the           to drive longer distances using electricity,
   Nissan revealed that it would begin               EVs’ laminated-type compact lithium-ion           while still experiencing the traditional
manufacturing electric vehicles at its               battery packs.                                    benefits of a full hybrid.
Oppama plant in Japan’s Kanagawa                        Nissan has committed to releasing a small         “There is no better time to put our new
Prefecture from about October 2010, with             EV in Australia in 2012, and plans to sell        PHV through its paces. We have to assess
initial annual capacity of 50,000 vehicles           what is expected to be a sub-$30,000 Corolla-     its performance in a variety of markets with
“rising gradually in preparation for the             sized hatchback employing electric drive          different infrastructure constraints, driving
launch of EV mass-marketing in 2012”.                technology seen in its Mixim EV concept.          conditions and customer expectations.”
   The Oppama plant currently builds the                Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV city car was the first         The new-generation Prius PHV uses
March (Micra), Cube, Tiida, Bluebird                 EV to receive official Australian Design           a lithium-ion battery pack which can be
Sylphy and Note models, but, along with              Rule approval (although at least two local        recharged via a standard electrical outlet or,
restating its ambition to become a global            aftermarket outfits offer converted Mazda2         like a regular hybrid, through regenerative
leader in zero-emission vehicles, Nissan             and Hyundai Getz EVs), and is currently           braking while driving.
said it “will continuously seek overseas             undergoing fleet and government trials here           Toyota has been testing plug-in
production opportunities for EVs and                 ahead of a possible launch in 2010.               prototypes of its second-generation Prius
sourcing of components”.                                The all-electric i-MiEV four-seater is         – equipped with a nickel-metal hydride
   As part of its FY2008 earning                     expected to cost at least $30,000, as is the      battery – since 2007. The latest European
announcement, Nissan also committed                  plug-in Volt hybrid Holden has committed          testing is part of a 500-strong development
to launching eight all-new models in its             to importing from 2012. While it is not           fleet of new-generation plug-in Prius cars
2009 financial year. They include the next-           an all-electric vehicle because it employs        that will be deployed in Europe, Japan and
generation Patrol SUV in the Middle East,            a petrol-powered engine to regenerate             the US by 2010.
the Pixo city car in Europe, the NV200 van,          battery power, GM’s “extended-range” EV                       FULL STORY: CLICK HERE
Fuga luxury sedan, a new mini-car in Japan           technology is arguably better suited to the
(which could be a production version of the          long distances outside Australia’s capital
wild Qazana concept), a new global “entry            cities than many pure-electric vehicles.
car” in Asia, and the G37 convertible and
370Z convertible replacements in the US.                            FULL STORY: CLICK HERE
   Nissan said electric motors for the EVs                          Think wins big – page 19
                                                                                                       Prius III




                                    Drive Lightly with
                                    Custom Fleet.
                                    To find out how to reduce your
                                    fleet’s carbon footprint, call
                                    Custom Fleet on 1800 812 681.
 John Mellor's                                                                                                           SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net
                     GoAuto News                                                                                                    May 20, 2009 Page 18

NISSAN, MAZDA SLIP INTO THE RED
                 By IAN PORTER                     hard, with revenues plunging 27 per cent to                as the company had forecast in January that
NISSAN and Mazda have completed a poor             $A37.6 billion while vehicle sales dropped                 directors were expecting a loss of $A3.93
profit-reporting season for the Japanese car        only eight per cent to 1.26 million units.                 billion. The better-than-expected result
industry, revealing losses of $A3.46 billion          The results completed the Japanese car                  reflected quick work to eliminate shifts,
and $A1.06 billion respectively for the year       industry’s reporting duties and left only                  schedule non-production days and work
to March 31.                                       two companies in the black. Honda made                     shorter hours in assembly and engine plants.
   Nissan’s revenue shrank 22 per cent to          $A2.03 billion, but is forecasting a loss of                  However, there is a difficult year ahead,
¥8.44 trillion ($A125 billion), even though        $A593 million in the current year, while                   as reflected in the forecast loss of $A2.52
vehicle sales were down only 9.5 per cent to       Suzuki made $A406 million and expects to                   billion. Vehicle sales are expected to fall a
3.41 million units.                                stay in the black this year, too, if only by               further nine per cent to 3.08 million.
   Mazda, the fifth largest of the top-six          $A76 million.
Japanese manufacturers, was hit particularly          The Nissan result surprised on the upside                        FULL STORY: CLICK HERE

                           UP CLOSE ON PERSONNEL
                           Brought to you by Motor Staff – the Motor Industry’s No.1 Recruitment Specialist


LPG GURU WESTLAKE HEADS TO ORBITAL
LPG Australia’s industry development manager Phil Westlake has been named business development manager for Orbital Gas
Products (OGP). He commences the new position, based at Arndell Park in western Sydney, at the beginning of next month.
  OGP was formed in June 2008 when Orbital Corporation purchased Boral Alternative Fuel Systems and its supply
contract to Ford Australia (for the E-Gas Falcon). The company is now preparing to launch a range of liquid-injection
LPG systems to the Australian aftermarket. “Phil is a well known and highly respected member of the LPG industry
who brings 23 years’ worth of Autogas experience to Orbital,” said OGP managing director Tony Fitzgerald. “Phil’s
considerable knowledge and skills will be invaluable to us as we seek to build our LPG Autogas aftermarket business
whilst also developing our OEM supply business.”
  Mr Westlake has worked for LPG Australia since 1998 in a variety of roles including technical manager (automotive) Phil Westlake
and communications manager. No successor for Mr Westlake has been named at this stage. GoAuto understands that LPG Australia has
delayed the appointment until it completes a strategy review, which is due to be finalised at the end of this month.

TOP HONDA SERVICE TECHNICIANS
HONDA Australia has named Scott Duncan from Peter Roberts Honda in Toowoomba, Queensland, as its 2008
Technician of the Year, while Christopher White from Col Crawford Motors in Sydney was named Honda’s
Apprentice of the Year.
   Announced this week after a presentation dinner in Melbourne, Honda’s annual awards winners are
determined after a comprehensive testing regime. Service technicians and apprentices are required to complete
three separate questionnaires using information from workshop manuals, training materials, diagnostic
equipment and the like, which narrows the field down to 10 in each category. The finalists then compete in five Christopher                        Scott
exam modules – four practical skills and one theory exam – at Honda’s national training centre in Melbourne.   White                           Duncan

DE MEO SET TO REVAMP VOLKSWAGEN MARKETING
AS FIAT continues its global domination campaign, the Italian marque’s former marketing chief Luca de Meo is preparing
to take Volkswagen into a new era as the incoming head of marketing for VW passenger cars worldwide.
   Mr de Meo’s decision to move to VW has been known for some months, but now the German brand has announced
that he will take up the new role on August 1 and, according to the board member responsible for sales, marketing and
aftersales (and to whom Mr de Meo will report), Christian Klingler, he will “contribute significantly to advancing the
international orientation of our marketing and our brand”.
   Mr de Meo worked for Renault and, later, Toyota Motor Europe during the 1990s, climbing the corporate ladder as
high as general manager of product planning for Lexus in 2000. He joined Fiat in 2002, rising from vice-president of
                                                                                                                             Luca de Meo
the Lancia brand to chairman of the board of management of Fiat Automobiles in 2004. He became the board member
for marketing at the Fiat Group in September 2007 and, three months later, was also appointed     If you have any car industry personnel
CEO for Alfa Romeo. He also controlled the Abarth brand at Fiat, but left it all behind early in  announcements, please email them to
                                                                                                     Terry Martin at tmartin@mellor.net
2009. At VW, he replaces Jochen Sengpiehl, who is leaving “at his own request”.
 John Mellor's                                                                                                                SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net
                    GoAuto News                                                                                                           May 20, 2009 Page 19


 GoAuto’s latest car review                                                                                                     www.GoAuto.com.au

                                                                 Alfa Romeo 159 Ti 2.4 JTDm
                                            CAN cars change, even when they are outwardly identical to their predecessors? The 159 Ti is a
                                               compelling example of small but meaningful improvements to a model that has disappointed
                                                 us time and again since its 2006 launch in Australia. And while the raucous 2.4 JTDm
                                                  turbo-diesel auto sedan under scrutiny here is certainly not without its problems and
                                                  annoyances, the Italians have finally brought us a capable and likeable alternative to the
                                                   many and varied $65,000 premium and luxury contenders out there.
                                                                                                              CAR REVIEW: CLICK HERE

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                                                    Audi A4 2.0 TFSI quattro
                                                    Audi A5 2.0 TFSI quattro
$16.2 MILLION FERRARI                               BMW Z4 roadster
                                                                                                            Z4     SPANISH FLIER
A RARE Ferrari has set a world record for           Ford Ranger utility facelift                                   SPAIN has joined the supercar race with this
the most expensive car sold at auction, with        Ford Territory SUV facelift                                    stylish and potent contender – a supercharged
                                                                                                        Cruze
an anonymous buyer ignoring the global              Holden Cruze sedan                                             V10-engined monster capable of racing from
downturn by paying €9.02 million ($A16.2            Mini Cooper D hatch                                            0-100km/h in just 2.9 seconds and reaching
million) for a 1957 250 Testa Rossa.                Nissan 370Z coupe                                    370Z      a top speed of 350km/h.
   This beats the previous world record – set at      New model diary: CLICK HERE                                     Built by local racing team GTA Motor as
the same event at Ferrari’s Maranello factory                                                                      an alternative to Italian marques like Ferrari
a year ago – of €7.04m ($A12.4m) for a 1961        NEW KIT FOR BIG BENZ                                            and Lamborghini, the mid-engined Spano
California paid by celebrity DJ Chris Evans.       MERCEDES-BENZ has revealed facelifted                           will be built in small numbers and will
   Another famous Prancing Horse that was          versions of its full-size GL-class luxury                       sell for more than $1 million. The first of a
expected to challenge the record failed to sell    SUV in Germany, which are just four months                      maximum 99 examples – to be built to order,
after reaching €7.25m ($A12.8m). The 330 P4        away from Australian showrooms.                                 of course – is reportedly set to be delivered
is one of only three built, finished second at Le     Due on sale here in late September – around                   to a customer in China.
Mans in 1967 and raced in Australia at Surfers     the same time as the redesigned E-class                                   FULL STORY: CLICK HERE
Paradise a year later, but which is currently in   sedan, all-new E-class Coupe and facelifted
its last racing form with modified bodywork         S-class limousine – the upgraded GL range                       VW TOUGH ON PORSCHE
for the United States Can-Am series.               will continue to comprise 3.0-litre turbo-                      VOLKSWAGEN               chairman      Martin
            FULL STORY: CLICK HERE                 diesel V6 and 5.5-litre petrol V8 variants.                     Winterkorn is playing hard to get with
                                                             FULL STORY: CLICK HERE                                Porsche – the company’s main shareholder –
THINK WINS BIG                                                                                                     as doubts grow about how, or even whether,
THE Norwegian car company Think has                HOT FIAT DEALS                                                  Porsche can service its €9 billion ($A15.9
been granted the first ever pan-European            FIAT has further cut its pricing in Australia                   billion) debt.
homologation certificate for an electric            while at the same time adopting standard                           Porsche has had to scramble to reassure
vehicle (EV), which allows its City micro-         driveaway prices across the country                             investors that it can handle the debt, after
EV to be registered in all EU member               to comply with the government’s new                             stalling in its bid to acquire a 75 per cent
states without additional national design          advertising requirements from May 24.                           stake of VW. Porsche is now considering a
rule tests or approvals. The company used             Included in the price cuts is $1000 off the                  share issue to raise new funds.
an EV symposium in Norway last week to             previous driveaway price for a Punto 1.4                           Porsche directors claim its healthy
announce both the homologation and the             Dynamic (now $18,990) and a saving of                           sportscar business still earns enough to make
signing of a memorandum of understanding           $4000 as well as on-road costs for the Ritmo                    interest payments on the debt, but according
with the Spanish government that will see it       1.9 JTD Dynamic (now $25,990 driveaway),                        to Der Spiegel magazine, Porsche is talking
deliver 550 City EVs. The first of these will       while the popular Fiat 500 range still starts                   with German state bank KfW about a €1
be delivered in the final quarter of this year.     at $22,990 but now includes on-roads.                           billion loan.
          FULL STORY: CLICK HERE                             FULL STORY: CLICK HERE                                          FULL STORY: CLICK HERE




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                                  Alan Porter, Dealer Principal - Conquest Cars, Wangara WA




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