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John Mellor's Australia’s Number One Automotive Industry Journal GoAuto News July 23, 2008 50,000 READERS WEEKLY No. 443 DIGITAL IMAGE: Chris Harris Tough luck Ford Australia boss strives to rebuild the brand’s image as large-car slump bites FG Falcon sales By DAVID HASSALL “The long-term plan for Focus is to drive recently by global product development FORD Australia wants to change the way better consumer consideration through a chief Derrick Kuzak – who was quoted as it is perceived by Australian car buyers as branding campaign and to make ourselves saying that Ford was rethinking its plans to it comes to terms with a declining large-car more competitive with government ﬂeets by develop a new global rear-wheel drive large- market, despite the recent launch of the new bringing production here to Australia.” car platform – have been misinterpreted. FG Falcon range. In the shorter term, the Ford chief promised Mr Osborne said that the important Company president Bill Osborne said last “a more aggressive retail program in the thing Mr Kuzak said was that development Friday that, while he was pleased with the second half of this year” on both Focus and is continuing with the new platform, in sales performance of the FG Falcon in its Fiesta, which he said had not kept pace in the which Australia is “a participant from an ﬁrst two months on the market, he wanted growing small- and light-car segments. engineering standpoint” and a candidate to Ford to be known for more than just “large Mr Osborne, who took the helm less than be the project leader. cars and trucks”. six months ago, also said that Ford Australia “Derrick said that that work continues A new global branding campaign is could still make money with the Falcon even on the rear-wheel drive platform,” said Mr under development that will be adopted in though the large-car segment had dropped to Osborne. “I think his comments may have Australia, where a more concerted push only 10.6 per cent – less than half of what it been slightly misinterpreted. He may have is about to start on its admittedly under- was just ﬁve years ago and two percentage been discussing the speciﬁc alternatives performing small and medium cars. points lower than what his predecessor said that are under review, but I think that his This has already been evidenced in the was unproﬁtable for local production. ultimate statement is that work continues recent decision to cut back Ford’s commitment Although a huge drop-off in ﬂeet sales, on a global rear-wheel drive platform, even to the V8 Supercar race category to free up especially by governments, has hurt total though segmentation has shifted away from some funds, resulting in the controversial Falcon volumes, the upside is that the model large cars in Australia and to some degree in decision to drop long-time Ford hero Dick mix now favours more up-spec model the United States. Johnson’s team as well as the very successful variants that carry a higher proﬁt margin for page Continued next p 888 operation of Craig Lowndes. the embattled car-maker. “People think of the Ford brand as a large-car Mr Osborne said that Ford is pressing ahead GOAUTO DRIVES and a truck producer,” said Mr Osborne. “They globally with large cars and that the Falcon HSV’S $150,000 don’t think of us as a small-car producer. has a long future in Australia, but stopped SUPERCAR “It’s my job to launch what I think is a short of assuring there would be an all-new - page 13 campaign to make the brand more relevant to platform for the next-generation model. those buyers. That is what we’re working on. Nevertheless, he said that comments made SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net ADVERTISE: Steve Butcher Ph: 0419 562 110 firstname.lastname@example.org John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto News July 23, 2008 Page 2 Tough luck Continued from previous page “There’s still a great deal of growth in large cars in China and Russia, and I think the company continues to believe there is sufﬁcient global volume in rear-wheel drive to warrant a platform study. “I expect that there will be a new- generation Falcon, yes. I can’t tell you the form or structure of that program, but I do expect the Falcon nameplate to continue.” Asked if a continued escalation in fuel prices could ultimately cause Ford to abandon the new rear-drive platform and force Australia to continue using the existing platform, Mr Bill Osborne Osborne said “that’s an alternative that I’m cent share of the large-car segment in June), “We actually think the underlying market not prepared to speculate on”. which has been the subject of a big value- for large cars is even weaker than what “That’s a bit far out into the future. I’m not added retail offer by Holden. was displayed in June, and that is cause prepared to speculate on what might happen While Mr Osborne does not want to start for concern,” he said. “We’ve had no issue seven or eight years in the future … because price discounting the FG Falcon just yet, he meeting our segment share objective, but the that’s beyond our business plan period,” he admitted that Ford is considering a retail segmentation, particularly with the recent said. “The near-term plans with Falcon are response to Holden. rise of fuel prices, has deteriorated even solid through our business planning period “We have been able to gain signiﬁcant further, so we expect a weaker segment in (which is) over the course of the next three market share on the Commodore without July than we’ve seen in June. to four years.” responding to those discounts, so the real “The big drop-off this year has been in The FG Falcon has not exactly set the question for us is, ‘Do we need to respond?’ government ﬂeets. Only recently have we market on ﬁre since being launched in mid- The fact that a competitor moves doesn’t seen a larger deterioration in private buyers, May, with sales in June of 2416 (plus 1067 necessarily generate an automatic response so we think that’s been fuel price-related. superseded BF II models) – about the same from us. “If fuel prices remain stable, we’d be as it managed in May. These are short of the “Our goal will be to defend our share. projecting the large-car market to remain pre-launch target of 3000-plus per month We will certainly not allow any competitor around the 11 per cent level. If fuel prices and still a long way behind the two year-old to have a huge price advantage on us in the continue to rise, our (forecasting) model VE Commodore (4274 sales for a 36.8 per market if we feel we are not competitive.” would suggest further deterioration, but Mr Osborne defended FG Falcon sales, I don’t think any of us knows where fuel John Mellor's saying that Commodore was well down on prices are headed. GoAuto News the same period last year while Falcon sales were at about the same level, and that its “We’ve been affected commensurate with the rest of the industry by petrol prices in the PUBLISHER: John Mellor share of the segment was at an acceptable large-car segment. It’s simply an industry EDITOR: Terry Martin level (around 30 per cent). phenomenon, not just an FG phenomenon. MANAGING EDITOR: Marton Pettendy He said he expected that share to “I wouldn’t say that it’s unproﬁtable for us JOURNALISTS: David Hassall, Byron Mathioudakis, Philip Lord, James Stanford improve signiﬁcantly with the rollout of … but let’s just say that it does become quite PRODUCTION AND GRAPHICS: Chris Harris, Luc Britten the turbocharged models, which only began difﬁcult for us once segmentation drops into SUB-EDITOR: Katrina Webb shipping in the last week of June. the 11 per cent range. At that point now you’re NEW MODEL DIARY: Lou Paolino Nevertheless, Mr Osborne did not shrink depending on mix to gain your proﬁts. Produced by GoAutoMedia: Ph: (03) 9598 6477 away from the reality of a depressed large- “Even though the segment itself is down, email@example.com car market, saying that June’s ﬁgures were we have not been hit as hard as some of our ADVERTISE: Steve Butcher boosted by “an unusually large” number competitors and we attribute that to the fact Ph: 0419 562 110 firstname.lastname@example.org of registrations of company cars and that we have a superior product.” demonstrator vehicles by two of Ford’s SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net FULL STORY: CLICK HERE rivals whom he would not name. Powerful software to grow your dealership. Dealer Management Systems email@example.com | www.auto-it.com.au | +61 3 9349 3062 John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto News July 23, 2008 Page 3 Camaro hopes alive General Motors to decide soon if it will build a RHD Chevrolet Camaro By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS GENERAL Motors will make a decision about whether to commence right-hand drive production for the new Chevrolet Camaro within the next three months. A green light will almost certainly pave the way for the reinterpretation of the 1969 ‘pony car’ to head to Australia sometime in “We engineered it for right-hand drive. We it could come within a matter of weeks. the new decade. just have to make a decision now whether “We’ll probably do that within the next At least 4000 sales per year would be the we should spend the additional funds that two to three months – something like that,” minimum requirement for GM to tool up the we have to buy – we have to buy a different he stated. Camaro production facility to right-hand IP (instrumentation) pack, we have to buy However, the senior engineer warned that drive production. some different string mechanisms, we have the case for right-hand drive would not ﬂoat GM has already conﬁrmed that left-hand to buy some different bits and pieces – and if GM could not see the possibility of selling drive versions of the coupe and upcoming that’s some amount of money. at least 4000 units per year globally. convertible will be marketed under the “So we have to decide now if we should “If we could put something together ﬂedgling Chevrolet brand in Europe from go out and spend those funds (to put it into that would be about 4000 pieces a year 2010, including Russia and the UK, after US production), given the size of the market and worldwide … if we could make that a goal, and Canadian sales start in the ﬁrst quarter the proﬁt we could make. I think. of 2009. “But there is nothing from an engineering “We’re looking at fuel prices and all that, Speaking at the Australian unveiling of the perspective that would prevent us from and we’re hoping that people – with fuel that production version of the Holden-engineered doing it. We’ve done that from all along to is a bit dearer – will still want this car, so we Camaro, GM’s global vehicle line executive go to right-hand drive if we need to.” can go out and do it. We certainly would like Gene Stefanyshyn conﬁrmed that right-hand Mr Stefanyshyn also revealed that GM to offer it,” he said. drive had not yet been ruled out. was on the brink of making a ﬁnal decision; Continued next page Government highlights big-car fuel bills with new green guide cost calculator By TERRY MARTIN emitting 3.8 tonnes of CO2 per annum, lifestyle,” said Mr Albanese. “More than THE federal government has highlighted with the Ford Falcon costing $2272 in fuel ever, it’s important to consider not only the high fuel costs and carbon emissions and releasing 3.6 tonnes of CO2. the car’s ticket price but also its ongoing of six-cylinder cars, with transport minister By contrast, Australia’s current top seller, running and environmental costs. Anthony Albanese this week emphasising the Toyota Corolla, was listed as costing “For example, if you were to trade-in the beneﬁts of trading-in a big six for a $1642 in petrol and emitting 2.6 tonnes, your six-cylinder car for a mid-size four- medium-sized four-cylinder. while the smaller Yaris was even cheaper cylinder you could cut your annual fuel In heralding the addition of a fuel cost and greener with a petrol bill of $1350 and bill by up to a third and reduce your carbon calculator to the government’s Green carbon emissions of 2.1 tonnes. emissions by up to a third as well.” Vehicle Guide (www.greenvehicleguide. The other top-ﬁve seller, the Mazda3, The cheapest car to run was listed as the gov.au), Mr Albanese released a list of the came in with $1845 in fuel and 2.9 tonnes Toyota Prius hybrid – classiﬁed as a medium biggest-selling cars and their respective of CO2. car by the federal government – with $990 in annual fuel cost and CO2 emissions. “Empowering consumers with this type fuel and 1.6 tonnes of CO2 for the year. This showed the Holden Commodore of information will also make it easier as racking up a petrol bill of $2430 and for them to choose and live a ‘greener’ FULL STORY, TABLES: CLICK HERE staff marke ion tin at v g John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto News July 23, 2008 Page 4 427... sold out! W427 now a $14 million windfall for HSV as ﬁrst batch becomes a sell-out By DAVID HASSALL AUSTRALIA’S most overt locally produced supercar since the Falcon GTHO – the Holden Special Vehicles W427 – ﬁnally went into production on Monday and this year’s production allocation of 90 cars has already sold-out. a Holden/HSV record price of $155,500 customers want us to invest in new product so However, even if there is still a waiting list (including the increased luxury car tax). we look at opportunities, but we have no plans after the limit of 427 cars is reached some time “Four hundred and twenty-seven is a lot of (for the LS7 engine) beyond this package.” in 2010, a successor to the 7.0-litre monster cars for us and that (the demand for more) is a Mr Grant conﬁrmed that HSV is looking at may not be built – despite the engine’s problem we’d like to have,” he said. “But we numerous powertrain options that GM could availability for at least the next ﬁve years. don’t see that in the future at the moment. provide in the future, including hybrids, HSV managing director Scott Grant stopped “This car really ﬁtted in with the 20th turbos and diesels, but ruled out being able to well short of saying “never” to another LS7- anniversary of HSV; we wanted to do a hero afford developing its own engines. engined model, but told GoAuto that he car program and we need to be true to that. wanted to protect the exclusivity and value “Of course, we’re in the car business and FULL STORY: CLICK HERE of the W427, for which customers are paying we have to keep creating new cars, and our Everyday hero – page 13 GM will decide within three months whether to create a right-hook Camaro Continued from previous page spiralling fuel prices, there is no diesel scrambling to try and get (more efﬁcient) That annual volume ﬁgure is based on planned for the Camaro for the time being. petrol engines out,” Mr Stefanyshyn said. calculations GM undertook during the “We haven’t thought of diesel for the car “Hybrid Camaro? We’ve been looking at Camaro’s early stages of planning. – it just doesn’t seem to make sense. talking about that. We’re asking ourselves “That was based on mathematics we “The diesel trend right now is going – as a corporation – that (Camaro) would did some time ago, which is working out a bit pear-shaped … in Europe diesel is not be the ﬁrst place that we would go (with volume on pricing and fuel prices. The thing more expensive than petrol ... it used to be hybrid) … unless we could do it on another we have to test is, given fuel prices (today), much cheaper, but now with the demand (related platform) car.” can we sell 4000?” he explained. for global diesel from trucking and all that, FULL STORY: CLICK HERE Despite consumer fears of ever-more we can see our European operations are GM cutbacks run deep – page 19 TECHLINE CONSULTANT • Brand New Role • Excellent Career Opportunity With plans for growth and a passionate focus on the customer, Nissan is a progressive organisation with signi cant opportunities. This is a great opening for an outstanding Automotive Technician to build their career and make a difference to Nissan dealerships nationwide. This key role is primarily responsible for providing technical support to Nissan dealerships via a dedicated communication system and in person. 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John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto News July 23, 2008 Page 6 ‘Complex, confusing, unjust’ FCAI presents industry case against proposed luxury car tax increase By MARTON PETTENDY THE ﬁrst of three Senate inquiry hearings into the federal government’s proposed luxury car tax (LCT) hike took place in Adelaide yesterday (July 22), when the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) Nissan Patrol became the ﬁrst lobby group to state its case against what it describes as a “complex, Andrew McKellar confusing and unjust” new tax burden. “The tax is now applied to many vehicles control (ESC) as standard, compared to just Two further Senate economics committee which are popular with families or vehicles 33 per cent of those below it. hearings, on July 31 in Sydney and August 6 which are predominantly relied upon by He added that according to Australia’s tax in Melbourne, will give car companies and people living in rural and regional areas of system no other goods and services were other affected stakeholders the opportunity Australia. It is of concern that the incidence deﬁned as luxury items. to submit their positions on the Rudd of the LCT is higher on four-wheel drives “Passenger cars underpin our way of government’s new LCT regime, which than any other type of vehicle. life. They are a vital mode of transport and proposes a tax increase from 25 to 33 per “If current trends continue all LandCruiser in many parts of Australia the only form cent for vehicles priced over $57,180, to be wagon, Mitsubishi Pajero ﬁve-door and of transport available to access essential charged retrospectively by the Australian Nissan Patrol wagon models will exceed the services such as hospitals, schools and Tax Ofﬁce (ATO) from July 1. LCT threshold within the next ﬁve years … workplaces. “I want to start with a warning to all Australia’s top-selling ‘luxury’ vehicle is a “Why are these goods considered a luxury motorists: In the year 2030, if current Toyota – the LandCruiser Wagon. Even its when a private jet, a yacht, designer clothes trends continue, half of all new cars sold Work Mate model incurs the LCT. It comes and jewellery are not considered luxuries in Australia will be taxed as luxury cars,” standard without carpet or air-conditioning,” by the Australian taxation system? So what FCAI chief executive Andrew McKellar he said. does a luxury car look like?” told the Senate inquiry, adding that the LCT Mr McKellar argued the LCT rise Mr McKellar said the application of the threshold covered just 2.5 per cent of all represented a 33 per cent tax on safety LCT has not been consistent and that it failed new vehicles when introduced in 1979 but features and low-emission technologies, to keep pace with the price of vehicles. last year affected more than 11 per cent or with 84 per cent of vehicles priced above the four times as many. LCT threshold featuring electronic stability FULL STORY: CLICK HERE Custom Fleet Part of GE Commercial Finance Want to be valued? 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The government’s so-called Green Paper on the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS), which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent by 2050, was after just one year for heavy vehicle users. many kilometres they wish to drive and how released in Canberra last week and outlines “Small business recognises it has a part well they maintain the vehicle, and those the ﬂoating measure to counter the retail cost to play in the climate change challenge, but are huge elements in the CO2 equation, so I of fuel at the bowser as a result of Labor’s solutions must be realistic if we are to win think for any government to make progress climate change plan. the support of small business in tackling on CO2 reduction the consumer has to be “Certainly, we believe the Government these important issues.” part of the equation, not just industry. has made the right move in relation to Ford Australia president Bill Osborne “We applaud the Rudd government for fuel by committing to offset the initial backed the inclusion of fuel in the ETS including transportation in the emissions price impact on fuel associated with the framework and welcomed the three- trading scheme – we think that’s important introduction of the CPRS by cutting fuel year petrol excise compensation plan, – and we believe the Rudd government excise on a cent-for-cent basis. This should but said end-users of fuel should be held is trying to make real progress, not just protect the motorist from petrol price rises accountable. headlines. for the three-year assessment period,” said “I think that’s going to be important as we “That’s been my criticism of some other VACC executive director David Purchase. transition to a low-carbon economy. I don’t jurisdictions that have speciﬁcally targeted “However, VACC believes the same three- think you can exclude consumers from the certain industries and excluded others, year assessment period should be applied contributions to CO2 reduction,” he said. and we think that is a recipe for political to heavy vehicle road users, who transport “No matter what you do technology-wise, posturing, not for making real progress.” goods across the country. As it stands now, at the end of the day the consumer makes the the government is to review this measure vehicle purchase, the consumer decides how FULL STORY: CLICK HERE Used Car & Skoda Sales Manager Ferntree Gully – Victoria Ferntree Gully Holden, Suzuki and Skoda are seeking an exceptional Sales Manager with the expertise and motivation to play a leading role as the dealership moves into an exciting new phase. Not only will the successful candidate be in charge of our very successful Used Car team, but as we have just been appointed Melbourne’s latest Skoda Dealer, this role will also take on the responsibility for this part of our business. Reporting directly to the Dealer Principal, this is an outstanding opportunity for a highly talented and experienced individual who has the determination to succeed in the Motor Industry. Combined with well developed people and customer skills, other criteria include: SKILLS & EXPERIENCE • Five years experience in a sales role and preferably some time with a Holden Dealer. • Thorough knowledge of inventory and cost control and a working knowledge of valuations. • Experience in vehicle sales with exposure as a valuer, wholesaler or buyer would be preferable. • Knowledge of the Reynolds & Reynolds and ERAnet systems would be highly regarded. 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Send applications by email to: HR@barloworldmotor.com.au John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto News July 23, 2008 Page 8 Record proﬁt Toyota posts a $242 million proﬁt, despite pressures By MARTON PETTENDY expect relief in the current ﬁnancial year from TOYOTA Australia has announced a record increasing global competition, exchange net after-tax proﬁt of $242.2 million for its rates and shifting customer demands. 2007/08 ﬁnancial year ending on March 31 “The short-term viability of car – up $57.8 million on the $184.4 million manufacturing is under considerable an $87.2 million operating loss. proﬁt it posted in 2006/07. pressure in Australia, as it is in many GM Holden is yet to announce its 2007/08 The news was announced in a July 21 press parts of the world as a result of rising fuel ﬁnancial year results, which are expected to be release titled “Challenging times continue costs, changes in customer preferences and healthier than the $146 million loss it recorded for Australian car makers”, which failed to currency issues,” he said. in 2006/07, due mainly as a result of its $1 mention the ﬁgure was a record return on “In our market, I expect the local car- billion investment in the VE Commodore. investment for Toyota’s Australian subsidiary. makers will continue to see increased Toyota sold a record 236,647 vehicles Toyota Australia’s corporate manager pressure on proﬁtability from manufacturing in Australia in 2007, representing a market of external affairs Peter Grifﬁn said the operations, in spite of strong revenues from share of 22.5 per cent. Including Lexus, company was “loathe to use those sorts of imported vehicles.” Toyota Australia’s domestic sales total was terms because of the pressure that’s on our The record Toyota proﬁt coincided with even greater for its April 2007 to March manufacturing operation”. an all-time Australian automotive industry 2008 ﬁnancial year, at 248,647. Instead it quoted president Max Yasuda, record of 1,049,982 new-vehicle sales in who said Australian car-makers cannot 2007, a year in which Ford Australia posted FULL STORY: CLICK HERE AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEER – Product Quality Assurance • Exciting New Position • Outstanding Career Progression Opportunities • South Eastern Melbourne Suburbs Nissan have a reputation for producing reliable vehicles with excellent engineering, and have now added an aggressive growth strategy to this. With this benchmark for success, they have now added a fantastic range of vehicles that will continue to take you to the edge of where you want to be. 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John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto News July 23, 2008 Page 9 Lotus 2+2 position Project Eagle emerges as a cracking mid-engine four-seater from Lotus By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS BRITISH sportscar marque Lotus has unveiled its ﬁrst all-new vehicle since the Elise of 1995 ahead of its global public debut at this week’s British International Motor Show in London. to accommodate passengers in the rear Lotus boasts that prototypes have lapped Known as Project Eagle but to wear a of the cabin, giving the car the external Germany’s Nurburgring circuit faster than name that will be revealed at the show today characteristics of a small, nimble sportscar the lighter, lither Elise, while stability is said (July 23), it will be the only four-seater mid- whilst belying its internal space”. to be greater than the track-focused Exige. engined vehicle on the market when sales Or, in other words, there will be more Yet the Project Eagle is described by Lotus commence in Australia sometime later next ‘real-world useability’ than the ultra-sharp as “a more holistic offering than the Elise year. but crude and cramped Europa. and Exige” with the company making much Speculation in the UK suggests the all- Like the Elise, the Eagle employs a super- of the interior space, luxury, reﬁnement and new Lotus 2+2 will be priced against the stiff, self-supporting bonded and riveted technology. Porsche Cayman S – which kicks off at aluminium structure with forged aluminium Seating is 2+2 in conﬁguration, suggesting $150,000 here. double coil-over shock absorber wishbone that the rear seats are for kids only, although Styled in-house by Lotus Design’s design suspension at either end. they do include Isoﬁx child-seat anchorage boss Russell Carr, and reminiscent of the Driving the rear wheels will be a 206kW points. There is also ample foot room ﬁrm’s M250 concept car of 2000, the Project variation of the 3.5-litre VVTi V6 petrol underneath the front seats. Eagle will be Lotus’ ﬂagship model until a engine found in various Toyotas (including Lotus says that a dedicated luggage area larger mid-engined supercar in the Porsche the Aurion, Kluger and RAV4), employing can be ordered instead of the twin seats. 911 Turbo mould arrives after the turn of extensive Lotus-devised modiﬁcations, as A sweeping, sculptured dashboard the decade, as part of Lotus CEO Mike well as specially developed components for featuring modern touches such as blue LED Kimberley’s ﬁve-year strategic business the six-speed manual gearbox. lighting, stylised instrumentation, a ﬂat- plan for the Proton-owned company. As Lotus is still ﬁnalising the production bottomed steering wheel and ﬂush-mounted With its 1970s Lancia Stratos-like version, precise performance ﬁgures are not edge-lit switchgear are also part of a cabin wraparound windscreen and cab-forward yet available, but do not bet against sub ﬁve- aiming to be very upmarket. proportions, Lotus intentionally designed second sprint times to 100km/h, while top the car to “brilliantly disguise its ability speed has been revealed to be 256km/h. FULL STORY: CLICK HERE INTELLIGENT MOLECULES FOR ACTIVE AND CONTINUOUS PROTECTION John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto News July 23, 2008 Page 10 Owners accept 6 cuts Mazda claims owners are okay with service offer, despite missing price cuts By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS MAZDA Australia claims to have had “an overwhelming” reaction from existing customers to the dramatic price reduction Mazda6 of its Mazda6 announced last week, which slashes as much as $3920 from the recently Mazda has carved out between $1750 (for the introduced GH-series medium-sized car. base model) and $3920 (top-line version) off Mondeo price alert However, Mazda Australia has conceded the price of the entire range. There has been no EXPECT Ford Australia to react to Mazda’s that some customers have wanted the change in speciﬁcation or equipment levels. shock move of slashing prices up to almost difference in price refunded rather than take The move sees the Mazda6 Limited sedan $4000 on its new Mazda6 mid-sizer by up the offer of free servicing and, on selected opening at $27,990 for the six-speed manual cutting prices on its acclaimed Mondeo. models, an increase in warranty. model. Ford Australia president Bill Osborne “We’ve had plenty of feedback from The three years of free scheduled servicing said last week that Mazda’s move would customers, and there have been one or two that applies to the Limited and Classic models. likely stimulate sales in the segment have not been impressed by the move,” Mazda The more expensive Luxury’s free service and admitted that Ford could change Australia Glenn Butler told GoAuto. “But the regime extends to four years and 80,000km, its pricing soon. “We are always alert to vast majority have been very supportive of the while the Luxury Sport adds an extra two any competitors’ moves on pricing,” he fact that we haven’t just ignored them, that we years to its warranty (to ﬁve). said. “With the Mazda6, we’ve seen a have offered this package. The “goodwill” offer effects around 3700 realignment down (and) it’s our standard “And it’s not just an offer. It’s basically second-generation Mazda6 cars sold since policy to review and react to any relevant every car that’s been sold since the car’s launch. competitors’ price action.” launch this year … now has three years’ free Mr Butler rejected criticism that the resale scheduled servicing. value of these cars will be adversely affected, “They see that as, ‘Well, we weren’t stating that the goodwill package will probably expecting it and now you’ve done this offset any price drop-related slide because of for us. That’s brilliant.’ (So it’s been) its transferability to the next owner. overwhelmingly positive.” After a slower-than-expected sales uptake FULL STORY: CLICK HERE for the latest Mazda6 launched in February, Kazamai comes out – next page Mondeo can you afford not to be in this exclusive club? 247ads has combined a unique mix of display and classiﬁeds advertising into one exciting new package, ‘showroom synergy’. Exclusive and strictly limited to ﬁve dealers per make and state, this package will deliver your business highly targeted results. Strictly limited availability. Don’t miss out! click here to see the benefits for enquiries & bookings carads.com.au please call 1300 247 444 all things car... John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto News July 23, 2008 Page 11 Kazamai comes out We saw the sketch, now Mazda uncovers its new compact SUV concept By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS MAZDA has chosen to reveal its latest show car – the Kazamai – at the Moscow International Automobile Salon on August 26, and speculation is mounting that it presents the ﬂavour of the compact SUV that will ultimately replace the Tribute. Described as “a sporty, compact crossover concept vehicle”, the Kazamai Concept’s However, the styling will be completely drive system that will help keep emissions name refers to “swirling crosswinds”. To different inside and out to the German-built and fuel usage competitively low. that end, it is a further concept evolution of Ford, just as the current Mazda2 shares The Tribute was Mazda’s ﬁrst car-based the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show’s Nagare no panels or interior bits with the next- compact SUV and was available in several (which means ﬂow), as well as its Ryuga generation Fiesta due here in 2009. iterations in Australia from early 2001 until (gracious ﬂow) from the 2007 Detroit show Do not go looking for the Kazamai the beginning of this year. Its spot in the and Hakaze (ﬂying leaf) from last year’s concept car’s 22-inch wheels, exaggerated line-up was eventually replaced by the more Geneva show. windscreen rake, ultra-low rooﬂine or super- expensive CX-7, effectively leaving Mazda This time, Mazda has added what it refers thin pillars on the production car. Just as without a cost-competitive rival to cheaper to as “aerodynamic proportions” to the interesting as the Kazamai’s design theme is vehicles such as the segment-leading Toyota Nagare concept’s design, while retaining the the CX-5’s expected mechanical make-up. RAV4. ﬂowing lines that are meant to evoke nature Mazda is dropping a big hint that, in “We see signiﬁcant opportunity for an SUV and visual lightness. some models at least, the “newly developed below the CX-7,” said a Mazda spokesman. Expected to be dubbed the CX-5 when it transmission” mentioned in the Kazamai “And we would do everything we can to enters production sometime late next year press release may be a variation of the bring this sort of vehicle to Australia.” or in 2010, the kid brother to the CX-7 and double-clutch automated gearbox that Ford The Moscow show was chosen partly as CX-9 soft-roaders will be closely related recently debuted in various versions of the a nod to Russia’s taste for compact SUVs, under the skin to Ford’s Kuga – the recently Focus in Europe. which is the second-largest segment in that released European compact SUV that is It will also be mated to a new range of country’s booming market. built on the C1 platform that also underpins direct-injection engines in petrol and diesel Read more: Mazda sketch the Ford Focus and Mazda3 small cars. formats, as well as an on-demand all-wheel shows Kuga cousin Used Vehicle Performance Consulting Establish clear objectives and driving disciplines What separates benchmark Dealers from the rest? For further information please contact Benchmark used vehicle operators remain as proﬁtable today as they have ever been. The drivers of this performance remain unchanged, it’s not luck, it’s not gut feel, it’s discipline and process. Danny Rezek – Partner We help unravel the “art” of used car success and make it a “science”. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +61 (0) 2 9322 3889 We work with your used car department on the following: Craig Rowney –Director • establishing your used car vision e-mail: email@example.com • maximising internet effectiveness by assessing your website and processes against best practice Tel: +61 (0) 2 9322 3505 • provide tools to assist in stocking decisions • incorporate all departments in maximising used car performance • set up processes to monitor the effectiveness of marketing activities. Given the level of retail experience within our full time consulting team we are perfectly placed to deliver the ideas and critically support your staff in the implementation. AM_Syd_06/08_035050 John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto News July 23, 2008 Page 12 Challenger rises Mitsubishi will revive the Challenger nameplate with an all-new Triton-based SUV By JAMES STANFORD and TERRY MARTIN MITSUBISHI’S SUV ranks will swell in the fourth quarter when it resurrects the Challenger nameplate with an all-new medium-sized off-roader based on the Triton All-new Challenger 4x4 one-tonne utility. Picking up where the previous Challenger “I’m not underestimating the challenge The Challenger will be joined by a left off when it was discontinued at the end of separation; there is a risk of some micro SUV in 2010, which is based on of 2006, the new model – to be launched at cannibalisation there. Our trick will be the Concept-cX and will slot in below the the Moscow motor show next month – will, positioning them and hopefully learning Outlander. “There is deﬁnitely a market like the donor Triton, be an off-road-oriented some tricks from our big competitor for the light crossover utility vehicles – workhorse built using a separate chassis. It (Toyota). They’re very good at being able Outlander ﬁts into that category and the new will drop into the Mitsubishi line-up above to slot in another one like Kluger with no one ﬁts below that,” said Mr McEniry. “You the Outlander compact SUV and below the impact on the other (models in the range).” have two straddling that segment, which is Pajero. To be known as the Pajero Sport in Russia growing.” “It gives us an opportunity to start and other markets, as well as Montero Sport In other changes to the Mitsubishi SUV attacking groups like Kluger, Territory – in South America, Nativa in Latin America line-up, the company will introduce a diesel although Territory is getting pretty old – and Shogun in the UK, the new Challenger version of the Outlander and a facelifted and Captiva,” Mitsubishi Motors Australia will offer seating for up to seven people (via Pajero in September. With sales of most Limited president Robert McEniry told an optional third row) and a range of engines, other Mitsubishi models increasing, Mr GoAuto at this month’s Lancer Evolution including a 2.5-litre and 3.2-litre common- McEniry admitted the Pajero was one of launch, adding that he did not believe the rail direct-injection diesel, and a 3.5-litre V6 its vehicles that should be doing better. It vehicle would steal sales from the Pajero. petrol. These will drive through the Pajero’s is down 664 sales on last year in a segment “I think there is a good opportunity to Super Select 4WD system. Australian that has grown signiﬁcantly. separate them (Challenger and Pajero). The speciﬁcations are still to be announced. Mitsubishi is likely to give the revised engine conﬁguration of the vehicles will Mr McEniry said he expected the Pajero more of a marketing push, judging by help separate them, towing capacity will Challenger to make a valuable contribution Mr McEniry’s admission that “I don’t think separate them. So there are a few things that to Mitsubishi Australia’s sales volume, but we have given it a good enough whack on will keep them apart. is expecting less than 1000 sales a month. the backside”. Opportunity AND Lifestyle The Crick Group is based on the Sunshine Coast and after recent rapid expansion now employs in excess of 400 people across 9 dealerships. We are currently looking for new members to join the team at our premier site at Maroochydore. Experience the lifestyle beneﬁts of working on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. Subaru Sales Manager With an annual target of 500 units and the status as one of our premier brands, this highly sought after and critically important position requires a dynamic individual with a proven track record of results who is looking for an opportunity to further grow both their career and the Subaru Brand. You will demonstrate the necessary Sales and analytical skills that the role requires and should share our belief of a professional, customer focussed culture. GCA 10 Our preferred candidate will have some sales management experience and a desire to further progress their career. A very attractive remuneration package is on offer for the right individual. Sales Professionals Our Maroochydore dealership regularly delivers in excess of 200 units per month across 5 brands (Subaru, VW, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Renault) and a signiﬁcant pre owned division. An attractive salary package as well as the beneﬁts of a 5 day week and no Sunday trading are on offer for the right candidate (not to mention the fantastic Sunshine Coast lifestyle). GCA 1009 Please email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org where a conﬁdential appointment can then be organised. John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto News July 23, 2008 Page 13 Everyday hero HSV creates an awesome sedan with the heart of a lion and the temperament of a tabby cat By DAVID HASSALL that would be a waste of a great car – and Hand-built in the US and dropped into the THE seven-year gestation period of probably a dubious ﬁnancial choice as well. W427 in a dedicated area at HSV’s Clayton Australia’s ﬁrst 7.0-litre supercar has given What the 20-year-old HSV has done is plant, the locally calibrated LS7 engine has an it almost mythical status and GoAuto’s ﬁrst produce a car that ostensibly celebrates exact capacity of 7008cc and pumps out some experience of HSV’s ﬁnal production car the company’s original model, the race 375kW of power (500 horsepower in imperial this week proves that the driving experience homologation Group A special known to lands) at 6500rpm and 640Nm of torque at at least matches the hype. everyone as ‘the Walkinshaw’ – hence the 5000rpm running on 98 RON premium fuel. Putting the mighty HSV W427 through ‘W’ in W427 – but it’s the differences more There is simply too much power for an its paces both on the road and the race track than the similarities that distinguish the 21st- automatic transmission, so the W427 comes revealed a car with the heart of a lion and the century version. Whereas the Walkinshaw only with a six-speed Tremec TR6060 temperament of a pussycat. was a lumpy, overt, impractical and difﬁcult manual gearbox, which features two In the hands of Mark Skaife, even on a beast, the W427 is exactly what a modern- overdrive gears and slots through with little desperately slippery Calder Raceway, the day supercar ought to be, blending useability fuss once you get used to it. W427 feels and goes like a race car, yet it is with red-hot performance. More impressive is the lightness and can also be so docile and well mannered that HSV ﬁrst dabbled with a 7.0-litre engine feel of the clutch, thanks to HSV’s revised you would have no problem letting your mum early in the decade and built a few Monaro- actuator system that increases the leverage drive it down the shop for a litre of milk. based HRT 427 models, mainly for racing, for that very reason. We didn’t drive the This is an impressive achievement and but could not present a sufﬁciently good car around town, but reckon it would be a reﬂects the growing maturity of Holden business case to put it into production and breeze, even in stop-start trafﬁc. Special Vehicles – appropriate given that the the project was abandoned. Put your foot down and the W427 leaps company recently celebrated its 20th birthday. Legend now tells how the project was into life with an expected urgency, and the In another time, HSV may have gone revived a few years ago when Holden power delivery is very linear from the mid- hardcore and matched the mighty LS7 boss Denny Mooney met HSV owner Tom range, with no sudden peak in the torque engine with a suspension that sat ﬂat on the Walkinshaw in a bar and suggested he could curve, making it all feel very controllable, track but rattled the ﬁllings in your teeth, access supply of the Chevrolet LS7 7.0-litre without the risk of a sudden traction- along with brakes, steering and clutch to engine out of Detroit, and wouldn’t that breaking surge mid-corner. suit. It might have been a wild weapon with make for a really special model to celebrate It certainly makes light work of the car’s a menacing edge, but perhaps not something HSV’s 20th anniversary? considerable weight, which at 1874kg is you would want to drive every day. Now here we are, sitting behind the 45kg more than a ClubSport R8 and 30kg No doubt many buyers will simply park wheel of the fastest and most powerful local more than both the GTS and Senator – all their W427s and hope that in a couple supercar ever launched onto Australian roads, of which use the 6.2-litre LS3 engine that of decades they will have an investment one of only 90 that will be built this year, with develops 317kW and 550Nm. to match the Falcon GTHO Phase 3, but production never to exceed 427 units. Continued next page SELL MORE by Improving Your Prospect Management Process Manage ALL of your sales opportunities in one, easy-to-use system. Bulk email function: more sales opportunities are just a click away. Create and save your own email Online Walk-in Phone-in templates or build on our collection. Simple reports that: • Identify key lead sources • Identify the vehicles that generate most enquiry Call 1300 308 690 | email email@example.com | visit datamotive.com.au John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto News July 23, 2008 Page 14 Everyday hero Continued from previous page HSV does not produce ofﬁcial performance ﬁgures, but chief engineer Joel Stoddart said that a 0-100km/h time of about 4.7 seconds has been recorded, making it at least three- quarters of a second faster than its manual- equipped siblings, if not quite into European supercar territory. The standing 400-metre time is said to be just under 13 seconds. From the outside, the car sounds great when revved hard thanks to active bi-modal rear mufﬂers (which are needed to meet idle and drive-by noise requirements), while inside it is still pleasing but more mufﬂed than many hardcore HSV enthusiasts would prefer, and is accompanied by a notable level of induction sound. European cars with half the performance the price of the GTS that previously topped Fourteen months of stability control capability and underscored the W427’s the HSV range. Even with limited supply, calibration work has resulted in an ESC unexpected daily drive credentials. pushing the price envelope that far could be system that is well-matched to the car and The steering was also an admirable blend a challenge. non-interventional, allowing a healthy of feel and lightness, although the wheel It might be easier to justify if there was amount of throttle oversteer without itself is rather on the thick and hard side, a real ‘wow factor’ with the interior and being over-nannied while still providing a lacking the quality feel you might expect at exterior treatments, but the W427 really comforting backstop. this price level. looks like a regular HSV model with a few There is enormous grip available from And that brings us to the elephant sitting new enhancements. the big tyres and the wet roads revealed in the room – price. The big style statements are the wheels a progressive breakaway that is easy to This is by far the most expensive car (with a ‘castellated’ design graphic that control, while the massive new front brakes to ever wear an HSV badge, let alone a extends to the exhaust tips and the W427 – featuring six-pot callipers for the ﬁrst time Holden badge, and $155,500 can buy a lot badge), the low-key carbon ﬁbre-look in an HSV car – provide the sort of stopping of car elsewhere. Just for starters, there’s the rear spoiler and a red interior (which has power required, but with a commendable incredible BMW M3, which is just as quick polarised opinion, with our view leaning to level of feel. and comes with a frankly incomparable level the negative). HSV talks of a “unique face” What really surprised was the ride quality, of mechanical sophistication and interior for the W427, but only its aﬁcionados will which we were not expecting from a car reﬁnement. spot the subtle differences. like this running on 20-inch wheels (8-inch Can any Commodore-based car really Inside, you get well-bolstered but quite wide at the front and some 9.5-inch at the be worth that sort of money? Of course wide bucket seats and some nice glossy rear) with low-proﬁle performance tyres not, but we suspect that does not matter a ‘technical cubic’ detail ﬁnishes on both (35-series front and 30-series rear), let alone jot to potential buyers who simply want the dash and steering wheel, but there one that rides 20mm lower than a GTS and the meanest, fastest Holden ever built and remain many familiar HSV components with 30 per cent stiffer springs and shock probably hope that the original purchase and Commodore giveaways that prevent the absorbers all round. price will ultimately represent a good W427 from feeling as special as it deserves. Revised calibration of HSV’s familiar investment. Real estate or even a term There is no question that the W427 is a magnetic ride control (MRC) suspension has deposit would probably be more effective, high-water mark in HSV’s history – the endeared the W427 with remarkably good but where’s the fun in that? car they always wanted to build, they tell manners over all but the sharpest of bumps, HSV buyers have become increasingly us – and also a performance, driving and even when the dash-mounted ‘Track’ button afﬂuent over the past 20 years and perhaps engineering benchmark. But it massively has been selected for ultimate handling still may not want to be seen driving an M3, breaks a Holden/HSV price barrier and, if performance. but it will be interesting to see how they it succeeds on that front, will go down as a Frankly, it felt more compliant than some will respond to a car that is almost double marketing benchmark as well. The pricing authority THE 2008 RED BOOK IDENTIFICATION MANUAL for over Speciﬁcations, identifying features, accurate line drawings of all models back ten years and more Authoritative. Convenient pocket size Engine sizes and specs. Transmission and induction details. duction Chassis, engine and VIN numbers (and their locations) Rim dimensions Equipment levels. Body styles and variations. Limited editions documented Just $192.50 (incl GST). Phone Michaela Donovan (02) 9310 7622 to subscribe. John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto News July 23, 2008 Page 15 Black magic Super-exclusive SL65 AMG Black to become the most expensive Benz ever By DAVID HASSALL THE most expensive Mercedes-Benz ever offered for sale in Australia will arrive here in about June 2009 – priced at close to $600,000. But you had better move quickly if you want to buy the exclusive SL65 AMG model certainly stretches the envelope. bigger than the regular SL65 AMG but also Black Series because only 10 are coming Considering that AMG told GoAuto work more efﬁciently and ultimately result to Australia and four of those are already recently that it no longer wants to chase in an extra 43kW of power. spoken for. power outputs, the numbers for the SL65 Benz also claims that modiﬁed inlet Although this is the fourth Black Series AMG Black Series are nothing short of air ducting improves the power delivery model offered by the German car-maker, the amazing. throughout the rev range while a new hard-top SL will be only the second to come The twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 exhaust system not only boosts power but here, following the recent CLK63 version, engine pumps out 493kW of power and adds to the already awesome sound made by of which 40 came here (including eight for some 1000Nm of torque – and the torque the AMG V12. New Zealand) priced at ‘just’ $299,000. ﬁgure is kept down because the engine It is not just the engine that makes the Being so far away from local release, is electronically limited to save the Black three-tenths of a second faster to Mercedes-Benz Australia is not giving a transmission. Without the nanny electronics, 100km/h than the ‘regular’ SL65 AMG – it ﬁrm price at this stage but a spokesman told AMG reckons the bi-turbo would peak at has also shed some 250kg of weight. GoAuto that it would start with a ‘5’ and about 1200Nm. Carbon-ﬁbre reinforced plastic is used would almost certainly be at the upper end Do you need to know any more? Oh, extensively – for the ﬂared guards, the of that scale. Not that it will matter one iota acceleration? Well, it is a little quick, roaring front air dam and rear spoiler, the bonnet to anyone contemplating buying one of these to 100km/h in just 3.9 seconds and onwards and bootlid – as well as the redesigned utterly outrageous and awesome devices. to 320km/h before the electronic nannies roof that replaces the regular SL ‘vario’ The AMG Black Series has quickly strike again. roof. Eliminating all the electric retraction established an intimidating reputation as the AMG’s bofﬁns assemble the engines systems obviously saves quite a bit of ultimate expression of Mercedes performance by hand – one man, one engine – and weight as well. – some kind of status symbol when you are for the Black Series V12 they ﬁt special talking German marques – and the latest turbochargers that are not only 12 per cent FULL STORY: CLICK HERE DEALER PRINCIPAL–ELECT Smith Motor Company – Pt Adelaide The name to remember! If feel you have ability, experience and a positive ‘can-do’ attitude but thought an equity opportunity would never come your way – you need to talk to us today! Smith Motor Company Pty Ltd, ‘Smith’s’, is a South Australian Holden icon in the motor industry with 86 years of history and is part of the Smith Motor Group of Companies, a highly successful Australian owned group of companies with significant interests in the motor and related industries with it’s head office in Port Adelaide. Due to significant current and planned Group growth, the position of Dealer Principal, Elect, has become available with Smith’s – Port Adelaide. While the initial appointment will be at General Manager level, equity participation together with full financial assistance*, subject to performance and franchisor approvals, will be offered to the successful candidate, based on our standard fully documented terms and conditions. We envisage that the equity position will be available within twelve months of initial appointment. (*Conditions apply). This is a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for an equity position in an iconic South Australian Dealership, and as such you will need to have a proven track record in Senior General Management or in the Management of a large successful Dealership. Strengths in staff management, negotiating, team building, maintenance of franchisor relationships, preparation and achievement of agreed profit and business goals together with an ethical commercial acumen are essential, as is a commitment to customer satisfaction. Holden experience is preferred, but not essential. This is a rare strategic opportunity to join a dynamic and progressive motor group with Equity participation in an iconic South Australian Holden Dealership. Applications including a detailed CV should be sent to: Heather Jones, Group Human Resources Manager, Smith Motor Group, PO Box 272, Port Adelaide, SA 5015. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Fax: (08) 8400 7166 • Telephone: (08) 8400 7114 John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto News July 23, 2008 Page 16 Epica’s new ‘oilskin’ Holden strives to revive its Epica mid-sizer with a facelift and a diesel By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS HOLDEN has been quick to give its slow- selling Epica a comprehensive makeover in a bid for the mid-sized sedan to live up to its lofty name. Out goes the oddball manual-only 2.0-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol engine and in comes a variation of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel found in the It produces 110kW of power at 4000rpm parking radar on the better-equipped CDXi strong-selling Captiva SUV. and 320Nm of torque at 2000rpm – the same models and the introduction of heated front Already in Holden showrooms, the as the 1.9-litre CDTi unit found in the Opel- seats as part of the $2000 Leather Pack Epica now comes with a standard six- sourced Holden Astra small car. option complete the MY09 Epica upgrade. speed automatic gearbox with Holden’s The diesel’s combined fuel consumption Although launched here in March 2007, Tiptronic-style Active Select shift pattern, ﬁgure is 7.6L/100km whereas the 2.5-litre the Epica is not a new car as the front- six airbags and electronic petrol engine in its new six- wheel drive platform dates back to the 1997 stability control – with no PRICING: speed auto guise manages Daewoo Leganza. The petrol engine has CDX 2.5 (a) $27,990 increase to the prices of the 9.3L/100km (the same as stayed largely the same, but the chassis has CDX 2.0 diesel (a) $29,990 corresponding outgoing EP the old ﬁve-speed auto). been modiﬁed signiﬁcantly along the way, CDXi 2.5 (a) $30,990 models. Power and torque outputs while the exterior styling has also been CDXi 2.0 diesel (a) $32,990 Costing $2000 more than (115kW at 5800 revs and overhauled. the petrol equivalent, the diesel is a Euro 237Nm at 2600rpm) also remain the same. As with the Captiva, Holden’s engineers IV-compliant 2.0-litre SOHC 16-valve four- You will spot the Epica by its smoother have further revised the Epica’s steering and cylinder unit featuring a Bosch common-rail appearance, thanks to a new grille and rear suspension tune for Australian conditions system with direct injection. valance, while the alloy wheels have also and tastes. This included developing Like the Epica, the engine is made come in for a restyle. different spring and damper rates, as well by General Motors Daewoo Auto and Drivers are more likely to appreciate a as working with tyre manufacturers to select Technology (GM DAT) in South Korea, but steering column that is now adjustable for the right rubber. was devised and developed in collaboration reach as well as height. A redesigned ﬂip- with Italy’s VM Motori engineering group. out key fob, the inclusion of a standard rear FULL STORY: CLICK HERE NORTHPOINT Fleet Account Manager • Number One Vehicle Franchise • Signi cant Sales Growth • Existing Customer Base This is an exceptional opportunity to join an extremely professional team within Australia’s number one vehicle franchise network. The position will be based at our Prospect site, and has responsibility for vehicle sales and account management of existing eet customers within the Northpoint Group. The successful candidate will join our current team of successful, experienced eet professionals. Exceptional customer relationship skills, effective time management and an uncompromising desire to achieve is required. The environment is positive, successful, fast paced and rewarding. We are looking for a highly driven individual, who is enthusiastic and able to demonstrate a proven history utilising the following skills and attributes: – Business to Business Sales experience. – Exceptional Negotiation expertise. – Business Administration. – Superior Customer Relationship focus. A track record of exceeding targets and a love of people and customer service will put you ahead of the rest. Additionally, you will have exceptional communication skills, attention to detail, ambition to succeed and enjoy the challenge of juggling many con icting demands simultaneously. Ideally candidates will have previous sales experience in the automotive industry, however, we welcome all candidates with a strong sales background to apply. Bene ts include use of a company car, generous commission structure, and a 5 day working week. For a con dential discussion please call Jacqui Lang, Human Resources Manager, on 0430 351 431. Applications should be sent via email to: HR@northpoint.com.au www.northpoint.com.au John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto News July 23, 2008 Page 17 Martec Safety pins Service Adviser 2-day Training Course 16 & 17 September – Melbourne – The Martec Service Adviser Training Course forms a valuable part of any Service Adviser’s skills set, and can help them turn VW Golf 2004 more of your service Survey ﬁnds some used cars are safe, but others... centre customers into By JAMES STANFORD Dr Newstead said there was a dramatic REPEAT clients. REAL-WORLD car crash data has revealed difference in the safety levels of the used cars. vehicles costing as little as $5000 can “The worst-rating vehicle (Daihatsu Rocky ‘Research shows that provide a high level of occupant protection. 1985-98) presented more than eight times the Service Advisers can The 2008 Used Car Safety Ratings risk of death or serious injury to people in a deter customers from (UCSR) compiled by the internationally crash than best-rated vehicles such as the VW renowned Monash University Accident Golf/Jetta (2004-2006),” he said. coming back, due to poor Research Centre (MUARC), with support Perhaps predictably, older vehicles were handling techniques.’ from motoring groups such as the RACV, not deemed as safe as more modern vehicles, TAC and VicRoads, reveal that safety does but there were some exceptions. Martec’s 2-day program not have to cost a fortune. “Pre-1995 models again dominated the provides in-depth training The ﬁndings also indicate that some other worst performers in each class, although to your Service Adviser to models, especially commercial vehicles, have some relatively new vehicles such as ensure your customers keep alarmingly low levels of occupant protection. Hyundai Getz models from 2002 to 2006 To come up with the results, the MUARC also performed poorly,” said Dr Newstead. coming back – willingly! team analysed 3.2 million crashes in Of the models on the Best Performing Australia and New Zealand involving 349 Vehicles list, the oldest were the 1986-1994 Registrations Essential different cars between 1986 and 2006. Citroen BX, the 1986-1997 Saab 9000 and Among the cars deemed the safest by the 1994-2001 Peugeot 306. Contact Tom Cullen on MUARC is the 1994-2001 Peugeot 306 The newest vehicles on the Worst Performing 0412 165 101 or email which can be bought for as little as $5000, Vehicles list include the 2002-2006 Getz, the email@example.com and the 1997-2003 Holden Vectra which 1989-1995 Holden Rodeo, 1990-1995 Toyota for more information. starts off for around the same amount. HiAce, 1982-2000 Suzuki Carry, 1991-1996 Also earning recognition for high levels Nissan NX, 1990-1996 Daihatsu Mira and the of safety are the 1997-2002 Subaru Forester, 1985-2000 Suzuki Alto. which has a starting price of around $7000, Dr Newstead said MUARC had changed and the 1997-2001 Honda CR-V, which costs the way it tabled the data for this year’s study. as little as $8000. Another used car under While last year’s ratings evaluated how a $10,000 that was singled out for its safety vehicle protected its occupants and other martec training was the 1999-2003 Mitsubishi Nimbus, road users involved in the crash separately, which starts at about $9000. this time it combined both of these aspects MUARC senior researcher Dr Stuart into a single rating. Newstead said that of the 349 vehicles rated, “We’ve introduced the new ratings system 89 of them scored “better” than average, to express the relative performance of each while 26 of them scored “much better” vehicle in preventing death or serious injury than average. to everyone involved in a crash – not just the He said it was positive to see some of occupants of the rated vehicle, but cyclists, the most affordable models recording pedestrians and occupants of other vehicles,” strong results, but disappointing to see how said Dr Newstead. He said the used-car crash Peugeot 306 2001 poorly some other vehicles performed. test ratings were especially relevant because “As we’ve seen with previous years’ they were calculated with real-world data results, very few commercial vehicles, rather than simulated crash tests. either large 4WDs or light vehicles, scored RACV chief engineer Michael Case said well, which remains a big concern given motorists can cite the used-car crash test these vehicles’ continued popularity,” he results to help them make safer buying said. “In fact, only one of the commercial decisions. vans, the Ford Transit from 2001 to 2006, Hyundai Getz 2002 rated above average.” BEST & WORST PERFORMERS: CLICK HERE John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto Green Green issues in the auto world July 23, 2008 Page 18 Custom Fleet Part of GE Commercial Finance GoAuto Green is brought to you by Custom Fleet Nice one Nice Car Company set for electric sales as Fisker signs Valmet for Karma By TERRY MARTIN AMONG the green machines making their mark at this week’s British Karma International Motor Show is the Nice Car Company’s former commercial head Automotive’s annual production for Karma Ze-O electric car. of Lotus Engineering is projected to reach 15,000 cars, although it Details were thin on the Evert Geurtsen. has not speciﬁed a timeframe. ground as GoAuto closed Meanwhile, This latest move could also mark the for publication last night, over at the beginning of a number of green models but on the eve of the motor Californian- emanating from Valmet, including show representatives based Fisker forthcoming hybrids from Porsche. from the niche British Automotive, the “The strategic partnership with Fisker manufacturer vowed to bring company headed Automotive will open a new window for the Ze-O to market in Europe and the Ze-O by former Aston Valmet,” said Valmet Automotive president UK later this year for £14,000 ($A28,600) Martin and BMW designer Henrik Ilpo Korhonen. “Our production process can – and took a swipe at manufacturers of less Fisker announced last week that Finnish be easily adapted to the production of electric practical electric sportscars, such as Tesla contract manufacturer Valmet Automotive and hybrid cars and new body designs. In Motors and Fisker Automotive. – which currently builds the Boxster and line with our renewed strategy, engineering “All-electric sportscar prototypes are Cayman for Porsche AG – would produce will have a strong role in the co-operation.” eye-catching and interesting,” said Nice the forthcoming Fisker Karma plug-in co-founder and former Rolls-Royce electric hybrid sports sedan. Electric i-car hope engineer Julian Wilford. “However, we Proclaimed by Fisker as “the world’s ﬁrst all know customers want practical electric true luxury plug-in hybrid sportscar”, the MITSUBISHI is looking to bypass the cars and they want them sooner rather than Karma is due to begin rolling off the Valmet hybrid car phenomenon in Australia and later. The Ze-O is a genuinely spacious and assembly line in the fourth quarter of 2009. become the ﬁrst car-maker to launch a mass- affordable car – it’s coming to the UK this It will offer an 80km electric range, around produced all-electric vehicle, beginning with Autumn (Australian Spring) and to the rest 600km in total range, a 200km/h top speed the production version of the i-MiEV Sport of Europe during 2009.” and 0-100km/h acceleration of about six unveiled at the Tokyo motor show last year. The zero-emissions Ze-O was designed seconds. The four-door four-seater micro car uses in Europe and will be built in China. It has “Valmet offers us the quality and speed lithium-ion batteries (recharged over about a range of around 100km and a maximum necessary to meet our production goals, seven hours from a standard mains power speed of about 90km/h. Optional longer- and given that more than half of Fisker outlet) and has a range of about 160km. range lithium-ion battery options will be Automotive’s sales are expected to be outside Production is set to commence next year, available “soon” after its launch. of North America, Valmet represents an ideal although the ﬁrst wave of orders will come The Nice Car Company is described international foothold,” said Henrik Fisker from Japanese government ﬂeets. Private as a “venture dedicated to bringing the last week, adding that the company also domestic sales are expected to start in best in environmentally clean vehicles to had a strategic plan to utilise an American 2010, with exports beginning around the market”. The other company founder is manufacturing site for future models. Fisker same time. 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 July 23, 2008 Page 19 Up Close on Personnel Up Close on Personnel motor staff Brought to you by Motor Staff - The Motor Industry’s No1 Recruitment Specialist sales•service•parts•admin GM CUTBACKS RUN DEEP AS WAGONER DELIVERS ‘NECESSARY STEPS’ By TERRY MARTIN GENERAL Motors last week announced massive cost cuts, including an unspeciﬁed number of salaried job terminations, and several other measures designed to increase its liquidity by $US15 billion through 2009. As Holden executives yesterday celebrated the ofﬁcial launch of the Australian-engineered Chevrolet Camaro sportscar, the shocking GM news that came last week – with the warning of more tough times and decisions in the months ahead – GM’s Arlington, Texas, SUV plant remained close to the surface. In these latest cutbacks, GM will slash While the company believes this is enough are still to be released, GM management more than 20 per cent in payroll for salaried to meet its 2008 funding requirements, the said last week that the actions outlined in the workers in the US and Canada, eliminate additional measures announced last week plan took into account its poor performance health care for US white-collar retirees, and are designed to “bolster liquidity to protect during this period – and also divulged that suspend the annual share dividend of $US1 against a prolonged US downturn”. it will report “a signiﬁcant second-quarter per GM share. Through a number of internal operating loss” driven by industrial action in North “We are responding aggressively changes and other actions, GM America as well the continued weakness to the challenges of today’s US expects to generate $US10 billion in the US auto market and the “adverse auto market,” said GM chairman of cumulative cash improvements vehicle segment mix” with its over-reliance and CEO Rick Wagoner. “We will by the end of 2009. Of these, on sales from pick-up trucks and SUVs. continue to take the steps necessary “headcount reductions” and beneﬁt “The actions announced today are to align our business structure with changes will result in estimated difﬁcult decisions, but necessary to respond the lower vehicle sales volumes cash savings of $US1.5 billion to the current auto market conditions,” Mr and shifts in sales mix. We remain next year. Wagoner said. “Even under conservative committed to bringing to market Rick Wagoner The company also anticipates planning scenarios, GM is well-positioned great products that target changing rasing between $US4 and $US7 to withstand the US market downturn consumer preferences for more fuel-efﬁcient billion through asset sales and ﬁnancing and emerge a stronger company. We have vehicles. activities. The former could include sale of a solid position in the rapidly growing “Today’s actions, combined with those the Hummer brand, an option speciﬁcally emerging markets, a global operating of the past several years, position us not referred to in a statement released last week framework that allows us to respond to only to survive this tough period in the US, that estimated $US2-4 billion could be changes in the US market, a commitment to but to come out of it as a lean, strong and generated. No other brand was mentioned. technology leadership, and an ever stronger successful company.” “Outside advisors are currently engaged in and competitive product line-up.” GM’s sales have fallen 16.3 per cent this evaluating alternatives,” the statement said. GM based its actions on the assumption year compared to the ﬁrst half of 2007, “A strategic analysis of the Hummer brand that total US light-vehicle sales would not amid economic conditions the company has is underway, and GM is continuing to focus exceed 14 million units in 2008 or 2009 – portrayed as “a weak US economy, record on proﬁt improvement initiatives across all the lowest sales level in more than a decade. high fuel prices, shifts in consumer vehicle remaining GM brands.” The speciﬁcs of Other “planning assumptions” included a preferences and the lowest US industry these for Holden are not yet known. lower US market share for the company of sales volumes in a decade”. While its second-quarter ﬁnancial results about 21 per cent, and continued elevated The top American manufacturer revealed oil price estimates ranging from $130 to that at the end of the ﬁrst quarter 2008 it had If you have any car industry personnel $150 per barrel by 2009. announcements, please email them to liquidity of $US23.9 billion, with access to US Terry Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org If the crisis deepens, more cutbacks are credit facilities of an additional $US7 billion. certain to follow. John Mellor's SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.mellor.net GoAuto News July 23, 2008 Page 20 GoAuto’s latest car review www.GoAuto.com.au Honda Accord Euro sedan WE’VE heard it all before and we’ll hear it all again. Car companies saying they benchmarked their latest model against the BMW 3 Series – funny how it’s never the Kia Credos – and so it is with the all-new Accord Euro. So where does the all-new Honda sedan ﬁt in the New World Order? If the tactile Ford Mondeo drives like a cut-price BMW and the Mazda6 has the roundedness of a Mercedes, then the base Euro II is all about detail and ﬁnesse – much like an Audi, you might say, but at Skoda prices. Ladies and gentlemen, at $32,990 plus on-roads, prepare to be impressed by the base model. on- CAR REVIEW: CLICK HERE GWM DUAL CAB: SA230 MITSU RACER EMERGES Launch Pad GOAUTO can reveal that Great Wall brought to you by THE Mitsubishi Motors Corporation Motor’s forthcoming launch vehicle, known motorsport division will use the Paris motor to be a dual-cab ute using an alphanumeric JULY: show in October to reveal its next-generation Audi A3 Cabrio racing car. Codenamed MRX09 (Mitsubishi name after GoAuto’s exclusive report last BMW X6 SUV Sportwagon Rally ‘Cross-country’ 2009), the vehicle is month, will be called the SA230. Holden Colorado ute Just as importer Ateco Automotive has based on the (CJ) Lancer Sportback that was Holden Sportwagon abridged Great Wall Motor to GWM in recently previewed, employing modiﬁed HSV W427 sedan Australia, the Sailor dual-cab has been Mazda RX-8 facelift X6 versions of its four-wheel drive system, reduced to SA. The 230 refers to the 2.3-litre Mitsubishi Lancer Evo drivetrain, suspension and brakes. However, four-cylinder petrol engine powering the Nissan Navara King Cab the racing Lancer boasts it own carbon-ﬁbre vehicle from launch. A 2.8-litre turbo-diesel Nissan X-Trail diesel A3 Cabrio bodywork, and uses a new CAD-engineered engine is due to come on line during 2009. New model diary: CLICK HERE multi-tubular steel frame that allows for an The news comes as GWM was last week optimised mechanical layout. barred from importing its Peri small hatch FULL STORY: CLICK HERE into Europe after a Turin court ruled that it was too similar to the Fiat Panda. FIXED ON SERVICING FULL STORY: CLICK HERE THE Toyota Service Advantage ﬁxed-price maintenance plan has been extended to cover ALFA EXTENDS 159 Ti all models in the Toyota range, following ALFA ROMEO has re-released Ti versions of the inclusion of the LandCruiser 70 Series its 159. However, the Tourism International VXR ’RING EDITION for the ﬁrst time. designation will be a ﬁrst for the diesel and All 70 Series models carrying July 2008 Sportswagon models in Australia, as well as HSV has launched a limited edition version compliance plates or later are eligible for the more traditional petrol-powered sedans. of its Astra-based turbocharged four-cylinder the capped-price service offer, which in Three of the four 159 engine options VXR, which is called the Nurburgring this case includes six standard scheduled get the Ti treatment – the 136kW/230Nm Edition in honour of the mightiest race services for $250 each, including GST – 2.2-litre JTS four-cylinder petrol, the circuit in the world. saving customers a claimed $1528. 147kW/400Nm 2.4-litre JTD four-cylinder Production in Europe has been limited Buyers of the Australian-made Camry and turbo-diesel, and the 191kW/322Nm to 835 – because the car recorded a lap Aurion sedans are entitled to four standard 3.2-litre V6 petrol. The entry-level 1.9-litre time at the German track of eight minutes scheduled services under the capped-price JTD four-cylinder turbo-diesel misses out. and 35 seconds – and only 20 examples plan, with all other Toyota models including According to importer Ateco Automotive, are coming to Australia, the ﬁrst of which six services. Fixed-price services for Toyota’s the Ti package has around $10,000 worth of landed this week and is available now. It Corolla, for example, cost $120 each, extra features and modiﬁcations for a $5000 sells for $44,990, which is $2000 more than saving at least a claimed $500 over the six price increase on the four-cylinder 159s, and the mechanically identical regular VXR, services spanning 60,000km or three years of for just a $2000 increase on the V6. and comes with bigger 18-inch wheels with ownership – whichever comes ﬁrst. ultra-low-proﬁle tyres, carbon ﬁbre-look FULL STORY: CLICK HERE interior inserts and unique graphics. FULL STORY: CLICK HERE Stop advertising. Start selling.