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Toyota tax target Toyota tax target by niusheng11

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									                                                                    e
 John Mellor's

                                                                                                                             RE E
                                                                                                                           FFR E E
                             GoAuto                                                 -news        No. 228 8 0
                                                                                                   No. 1
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Maserati
muscle
MASERATI did its part to
raise the temperature in
Geneva with the reveal of the
MC-12 Stradale, a 6.0-litre V12
460kW road-going version of a
car designed for international GT
racing.
Using the engine and chassis
from the Ferrari Enzo, the MC-12
Stradale will accelerate to 100km/h from
rest in 3.8 seconds and over the 400 metre
dash in 11.3 seconds. Top speed of the two-seat
coupe-spider is beyond 330km/h.
Two cars are allocated to Australia from this year's 25-car
build, with the first example expected to be unveiled at the
Sydney motor show in October. The cost? Somewhere close to
the Enzo’s $1.8 million. The bad news? The MC-12 will definitely not
be road legal. For more from Geneva, go to pages 8 and 9.

                                            Ford is set to wow crowds at the Melbourne
Oh no, what a feeling! FPV's first turbo Falcon
Toyota tax target
            motor show with



TOYOTA Australia’s inability to                                                   $62.4 million in net profit. The       operations in one country and head
make a consistent and significant                                                 company is predicting a small profit   office in another and the way that
profit despite automotive industry-                                               for the 2003-04 financial year based   there are charges for the goods and
leading sales revenues has been                                                   on record sales of 186,370 vehicles    services that operate between the
highlighted by an Australian Tax                                                  in 2003 and industry-leading exports   two bodies,” he said.
Office review.                                                                    for Camry.                                “Transfer pricing is an accepted
    The ATO action was revealed                                                      In comparison, Holden earned        part of the tax system and the tax
in spectacular fashion yesterday                                                  $35.672 billion in sales revenue and   office has rules and regulations to
by the Herald Sun newspaper in                                                    returned a net profit of $1.971 bil-   deal with it, and has no concern with
Melbourne, which reported on its                                                  lion in the same period.               it provided organisations follow the
front page that Toyota had been                                                      Toyota Australia has made no        ATO rules.
served with a tax bill of between                                                 secret of the cost challenges it has      “We believe we have been fol-
$400 million and $1 billion.              The Herald Sun front page               had in recent years, going through     lowing all the rules and regulations,
    At the centre of the ATO’s review      report on the tax office                a process of de-Yenning itself,        so it is something we need to work
is transfer pricing, the process multi-        investigations.                    trying to source alternate suppli-     through with the ATO.”
national companies use to set prices                                              ers for vehicles and parts outside        Mr Griffin also played down the
for goods and services between its        pay their fair tax obligations on       Japan in an attempt to drive down      Herald Sun claim of potential job
subsidiaries. The ATO is concerned        revenue earned in the country,” a       costs.                                 losses at the Altona plant and that
it is being used to ship profits out of   spokesman told GoAuto.                     Toyota Australia spokesman Peter    a “bitter showdown” was shaping
Australia to lower-taxing countries.         “We are continuing to look at        Griffin confirmed the company had      between Toyota and the ATO.
    The ATO refused to confirm or         specific industries including motor     been under review for the years           “We want to make it clear that
deny the newspaper report, but a          vehicles, oil, pharmaceuticals, dis-    1994-1999 by the ATO for the past      issues that may be arising around
spokesman did say that transfer pric-     tributors, banking and insurance.”      two years, but would not reveal the    the tax office and making cars and
ing by multi-nationals was currently         Between 1994 and the end of          amount of tax under scrutiny.          exporting cars at Altona are not
a tax office focus.                       the 2002-03 financial year, Toyota         “Transfer pricing is a common       related and our view is to be grow-
    “Basically, we want to ensure that    Australia earned more than $43          practice for international companies   ing the business there and not to be
companies that operate in Australia       billion in sales revenue, and made      such as car companies that have        scaling it back in any way.”




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 John Mellor's


                  GoAuto      e    -news                                                                                               M A R C H 1 0 , 2 0 0 4 Page 2




    CHAIRMAN'S CHALLENGE

 Korean
 war on
 luxury
 locals
                 By BRUCE NEWTON                       form from the 1985-1996 W124 E-class.                        Mr Burling bullishly dismissed the perception
                                                           The two models coming to Australia should             the car was simply a cheap South Korean copy of
SSANGYONG will head onto the beaten track              be the Cm600S and the range-topping Cm600L,               an old Benz.
when it launches the Mercedes-Benz look-a-like         both sharing the same 3.2-litre six-cylinder engine          “I think the car is a lot better than that, certainly I
Chairman luxury sedan on the Australian market         producing 162kW at 5500rpm, and 310Nm at                  think you will be surprised,” he said.
around mid-year.                                       3750rpm.                                                     “I guess you could say a Fairlane or a Statesman
   And it will follow that up with a seven-seat peo-       But as shown by the chart below, they vary by         is an imitation of Falcon or a Commodore.
ple-mover currently codenamed A100, which will         a significant 300mm in terms                                                               “This is not. This is a
be launched at the Sydney motor show in October.       of both wheelbase and over-                                                             luxury car. They wouldn’t
   They will join a range that is already expand-      all length. The LWB version                                                             make a limo out of it and
ing from the Rexton off-road wagon to include          is also 50kg heavier.                                                                   sell it to a lot of the hotels
the Musso Sports dual cab utility and the Korando          They are also better                                                                around Asia unless it was
short wheelbase off-roader over the next couple of     equipped than the six-cylin-                                                            a pretty good car.”
months.                                                der base model versions of                                                                 Mr Burling revealed
   The Chairman is intended to line up directly        the Fairlane and Statesman                                                              that the plans to sell
against the Ford Fairlane and Holden Statesman,        with standard electroni-                                                                the Statesman in South
with pricing tipped to start around $57,000.           cally controlled suspension,                                                            Korea had prompted
   But Ssangyong won’t stop there, with a long         leather interior and power                                                              Ssangyong to send one of
wheelbase version also in the pipeline with pricing    everything.                                                                             its directors to Australia
pitched just under $100,000.                               The chairman of local Ssangyong distributor           to drive the local product.
   The local launch of the South Korean luxury car     Rapson Australia, Russell Burling, told GoAuto               “He went away smiling … I think they were
will give Holden a preview of what the Statesman       he expected to sell just 50 of the short wheelbase        concerned about Statesman in Korea because they
can expect when it goes on-sale in Korea – as a        Chairmans per year and no more than 10 LWBs,              don’t know pricing and positioning yet, but I think
Daewoo – before the end of the year.                   mostly accounted for by the hotel trade. That com-        their feeling was it will need a fair bit of work to be
   Ssangyong – the smallest South Korean manu-         pares to 5424 Statesman/Caprice and 2535 Fairlane/        accepted in the Korean market,” Mr Burling said.
facturer – has been best known for its four-wheel      LTD sales in 2003 here.                                      “We like a hard ride and low profile tyres in
drive and off-road vehicles, but has also sold the         “It will be a limited volume for us we believe, but   Australia but that’s probably going to be unaccept-
Benz-based Chairman in the booming Korean              it is available to us and we think it helps with the      able on Korean roads.”
luxury market since 1998.                              brand image,” Mr Burling said.                               The A100 will be renamed when it is launched
   A new generation of the rear-wheel drive car            “It’s a major player in the Korean luxury car mar-    in South Korea around the end of March or the start
was launched in January in South Korea, still aping    ket … it’s high quality, it’s driveability is Mercedes-   of April, offering seven seats and 2.7-litre com-
Mercedes-Benz looks and underpinned by the plat-       Benz, it’s based on a Mercedes-Benz platform.”            mon-rail turbo-diesel power mated to a five-speed
                                                                                                                 tiptronic automatic gearbox.
                                                                                                                    Based on the same platform as the Chairman, it
                       HOW THEY COMPARE                                                                          will also offer the choice of rear-wheel drive or all-
                                                                                                                 wheel drive configurations, although no raised ride
                         Chairman Cm600L        Chairman Cm600S         Fairlane Ghia            Statesman       height or low range. Ssangyong Australia plans to
 Length                  5435mm                 5135mm                  5153mm                   5193mm          pitch it in the $40,000-$50,000 bracket.
 Wheelbase               3200mm                 2900mm                  2919mm                   2939mm             “If someone asked how big is the target, it’s a
 Kerb weight             1860kg                 1810kg                  1770kg                   1691kg          case of how long is a piece of string, because that
 Engine                  3.2 I6                 3.2 I6                  4.0 I6                   3.8 V6          type of product has never been available in Australia
 Power                   162kW                  162kW                   182kW                    152kW           before,” Mr Burling said.
 Torque                  310Nm                  310Nm                   380Nm                    305Nm              “It’s probably the first cross-over SUV MPV that
 Price                   $95,000 (est)          $57,000 (est)           $53,450                  $53,990
                                                                                                                 will be on the market here.”



                                  e
 John Mellor's

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                 GoAuto        e    -news                                                                                        M A R C H 1 0 , 2 0 0 4 Page 3




  VW makes its move
  By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia
is preparing its largest ever light     Volkswagen
commercial vehicle onslaught,
starting with the release of the new
                                        wants to set
T5 Transporter range.                   the pace in
   Thirty T5-series variants will
be available by year’s end – in         parcel and
van, people-mover and cab-chas-
sis shapes – offering short or long     people-
wheelbase, low, mid or high-roof
and petrol or diesel-powered con-
                                        movers,
figurations.                            both big
   The van is the first Transporter
for the taking, available from early    and small
April. The entry level Kombi and
luxury Caravelle people-movers,
along with the single and dual-cab
chassis T5 workhorses, follow suit
from September.
   Next up will be the Caddy, a                                                                                                           VW Transporter
four-cylinder Golf V-based panel
van in the mould of the Holden                                                      and front-wheel drive     pled subframe and anti roll bars with coupling rods
Combo and Citroen Berlingo (see                                                     transaxle.                all round. The front struts – along with the engine
page 5).                                                                               Optional all-wheel     – are now mounted onto an energy-absorbing sub-
   Meanwhile, the long-awaited Micro-                                               drive is expected later   frame for claimed greater refinement and structural
bus concept, a star of the 2001 Sydney                                              in the year.              rigidity properties.
Motor Show, is expected to materialise                                                 Driver enjoyment,         Powered rack and pinion steering and four-
in six-seater production based on the T5                                            occupant space, com-      wheel disc brakes are the norm.
chassis sometime in 2006.                                                           fort and refinement          All Australian-bound VW petrol engines are
   And finally the next generation LT                                               levels, and crash         EU4 emission compliant. In the T5 they are:
van will debut in late 2006.                                                        protection have risen        85kW/170Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder (van,
   Right now, though, VGA is concen-                                                significantly, a corol-   Kombi only)
trating on the vital new T5 range.                                                  lary of the T5 being         173kW/315Nm 3.2-litre V6 (Caravelle only)
   But the German-owned distributor is                                              engineered first as
withholding all pricing details right up                                                                        A wider range of turbo-diesel engines is     also
                                                                                    a people-mover and
to the release of each variant.                                                                               available:
                                                                                    then as a van, accord-
   VGA general manager of commer-                                                                               63kW/200Nm 1.9-litre four-cylinder           (not
                                                                                    ing to VW.
cial vehicles Phil Clark insisted on the                                                                      Kombi, Caravelle)
                                                           Yet as a workhorse the T5’s maximum load
sticker price secrecy at the T5’s media launch, say-                                                            77kW/250Nm 1.9-litre four-cylinder           (not
                                                        space on the long wheelbase van is now up to 9.3
ing he did not want to give his rivals time to devise                                                         Kombi, Caravelle)
                                                        cubic metres, while an extra sliding door can also
any counteractive pricing strategies.                                                                           96kW/340Nm 2.5-litre five-cylinder           (not
                                                        be ordered as well as the regular hatch or barn-
   But he did promise this: “We will be more than                                                             Caravelle)
                                                        style rear doors.
competitive, with more than just a surprise or two                                                              128kW/400Nm 2.5-litre five-cylinder
                                                           Subscribing to the evolutionary school of styl-
up our sleeves”.                                        ing are the completely redesigned bodies and             All 2.5s offer a six-speed manual gearbox; a six-
   The T5’s main competition will be the new Fiat       cabin, which are purposefully reminiscent of the      speed ZF automatic transmission with Tiptronic
Ducato, Mercedes-Benz Vito, Ford Transit and            upcoming Golf V.                                      shift is available on the 2.5 and 3.2 engines, while
Toyota Hiace SBV.                                          Like VW’s vital small car, the T5 sits on an       the 1.9 and 2.0 units are five-speed manual-only
   Like its 1993-2004 T4 predecessor, the larger T5     all-new chassis.                                      propositions.
features a short-bonnet nose that houses an engine         Suspension is by MacPherson strut with decou-                     Continued next page




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John Mellor's


                GoAutoe   -news                                                                        M A R C H 1 0 , 2 0 0 4 Page 4




  VW makes its move                                                                         Continued from previous page
                                                              VW Kombi         On the technology front, anti-lock braking with elec-
                                                                            tronic differential lock and anti-spin regulation (ABS,
                                                                            EDL and ASR in VW speak) are standard, along with a
                                                                            driver’s airbag and adjustable steering wheel.
                                                                               VGA is also keen to promote the T5’s lower servicing
                                                                            costs. At the model’s launch, the following price examples
                                                                            were issued to the press:
                                                                               T4 2.5 TDI – 120,000km regular scheduled service
                                                                            cost: $1528.00
                                                                               T5 2.5 TDI – 120,000km regular scheduled service
                                                                            cost: $716.00
                                                                               All Transporters will be sourced from Hanover in
                                                                            Germany, except for the cab chassis variants, which come
                                                                            from VW’s new dedicated commercial vehicle facility in
                                                                            Poland. The latter is also the Caddy’s place of birth.
                                                                               Despite shrinking sales of mid-priced mid-sized
                                                                            people-movers like the Mazda MPV, VGA is banking on
                                                                            expanding higher-end segment sales to support a bewil-
                                                                            dering number of people-carrying T5 variants.
                                                                               All models include dual front airbags, air-conditioning,
                                                                            a CD player, keyless entry, power windows and electric
                                                                            mirrors.
                                                                               If you need nine seats, the Kombi Comfortline can
                                                                            oblige. If eight is enough, then the better-equipped Kombi
                                                                            Highline should be fine. Or punters can plonk for the base
                                                                            model Caravelle Shuttle.
                                                                               Moving further upmarket, the Caravelle Comfortline
                                                                            brings sliding and middle-swivelling chairs, and front-side
                                                                            and rear-curtain airbags to a party of seven.
                                                                               The more luxurious Caravelle Highline adds traction
                                                                            and stability controls, three-zone air-conditioning, leather
                                                                            trim, a sliding/folding rear table, electric doors and tail-
                                                                            gate, satellite navigation and a DVD player.
                                                                                   FULL REPORT, DRIVE IMPRESSIONS:
                                                             VW Caravelle                          CLICK HERE



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 John Mellor's


                 GoAuto        e    -news                                                                                         M A R C H 1 0 , 2 0 0 4 Page 5




Caddy shacks
up with VW
           By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia will introduce
the Caddy range locally from October.
   To debut at the Sydney motor show, the Caddy
has only recently been released in its native
Germany.
   The front-wheel drive, Polish-built Volkswagen
is slightly larger than the Holden Combo, Citroen
Berlingo and new Renault Kangoo light commer-
cial vehicles (LCV) it aims to steal sales from.                             The Caddy will be one of the first vehicles in its
   And from March 2005, the Caddy Life will                                         class offered with diesel power.
catapult VGA into the uncharted waters of the              Initially a 55kW/127Nm 1.4-litre four-cylinder         “The Caddy’s main job is to be a city delivery
local LCV mini people-mover segment.                    petrol engine mated to a five-speed manual-only        van. And the Life version is for the person who
   A five-seat Caddy Life is a certainty at the         gearbox will be the sole motivator.                    needs to cart around his/her family or kids on the
moment, while the distributor is also looking at           But VW’s evergreen 77kW/250Nm 1.9-litre             weekends,” Mr Clark said.
introducing a seven-seater variant with a 2+3+2         turbo-diesel four-cylinder unit is earmarked for a        To that end, twin sliding side doors are an
configuration, pending the car’s child seat restraint   second-quarter 2005 release.                           option, along with barn-style as well as a hatch-
capabilities.                                              It will be the only engine available in the Caddy   style rear door.
   Unlike its light car-based rivals, the 1400kg-       Life.                                                     The early sales projections are very conserva-
plus Caddy is spawned from a larger C-segment              According to VGA commercial vehicles general        tive. Mr Clark said he expected only around 400
small car – in this case the as yet unseen locally      manager Phil Clark, the turbo-diesel was deemed        sales in the Caddy’s first full year.
Golf V.                                                 necessary due to its availability and compat-             But even this will help the VGA commercial
   This helps explain the class-leading 750kg           ibility with the four-speed automatic transmission     vehicle division hit its 2007 annual sales goal of
load carrying capacity, 3.2 cubic metre load space      VW believes will underpin most Caddy sales in          3000 units.
and 1200kg braked towing capacity. Dividends            Australia.                                                The Caddy has been a successful LCV for VW
in refinement, comfort, dynamics and occupant              Standard safety features should include dual        overseas since the original Mk1 Golf-based two-
safety are also expected as a result.                   front airbags, anti-lock brakes and VW’s anti-skid     door utility model was revealed in 1979.
   The Caddy will also be one of the first vehicles     control. The TDI’s extra torque means it might also       The 2004 model replaces the old Mk3VW Polo/
in its class offered with diesel power.                 arrive with the ESP traction control device.           Seat Ibiza-based version unseen in Australia.




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 John Mellor's


                 GoAuto      e    -news                                                                                    M A R C H 1 0 , 2 0 0 4 Page 6




Toyota
heads
sales
surge
AUSTRALIAN motor vehicle sales are continu-            But Commodore still tops: The Holden Commodore outsold its February
ing their record-breaking run.                              2003 tally to retain its position as Australia’s top-selling car.
   The automotive industry has built on a record
2003 and best-ever January sales with a new peak                                                           But Toyota faces a challenge further out in the
for the month of February.                                        VFACTS                                year because it has no significant new launches
   Figures released last week by the Federal
Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show                       wrap                                 planned for 2004.
                                                                                                           Holden, by contrast, has an all-new Astra and
75,877 motor vehicles were sold in February – up                                                        the significantly updated VZ Commodore due
13.7 per cent on the same month last year.           – LandCruiser, Prado and RAV4 all selling more     this year. Ford could also make a dent in Toyota’s
   Year-to-date sales are already up by 12,769       than 1000 units in February.                       powerful SUV performance with the forthcoming
vehicles or 10 per cent over 2003.                      Overall it won seven VFACTS categories,         Territory cross-over wagon.
   Last year the industry sold a record 909,811      while Holden, Kia and BMW won two, and                Holden’s sales and marketing executive direc-
cars, trucks and buses, easily surpassing the        Honda and Ford scored one apiece.                  tor Ross McKenzie predicted the strong selling
previous record set in 2002 by 85,502 or 10.4           Toyota Australia’s executive director of        would continue: “The Reserve Bank has chosen
per cent.                                            marketing and sales, Dave Buttner, said the        to retain its cash rate at 5.25 per cent which con-
   Toyota was the market leader for the month        result continued the momentum that saw Toyota      tinues to give car buyers access to historically
with 15,589 sales, from Holden with 14,579           crowned number one in the sales race in 2003.      low lease purchase arrangements,” he said.
– both all-time record results for the month – and      “We’ve managed to lift our sales by more than      “Consumer confidence has been reported at a
Ford’s 10,505.                                       15 per cent in the first two months of the year,   nine-year high and unemployment at a 14-year
   Toyota has already established a 2856 vehicle     which is no mean feat when you consider that       low, making conditions ideal for selling.”
sales lead over Holden, riding on the back of        2003 was a record year for both Toyota and the        Holden’s Commodore continued its traditional
powerful sales performances by its SUV line-up       industry as a whole.”                              dominance of the large car market with 6754
                                                                                                        sales compared to the Ford Falcon’s 5901. The
 And the highlights include ....                                                                        Commodore was ahead of its equivalent 2003
                                                                                                        result while the Ford was slightly down.
                 MAZDA Australia has revised its retail sales forecast to 55,000 from an initial           But the good news for Ford was the Falcon
                 estimate of 53,000 because of strong demand for the new Mazda3, the Mazda6             ute taking back its class-leading mantle from the
                 and RX-8 sports car. February was a record for the company with 4755 cars              Commodore ute for the first time in months.
                 sold. The February result was up 21 per cent on January and 15.2 per cent on              The news was not good for the fourth local
                 the same time last year. Overall Mazda had 6.3 per cent market share.                  manufacturer, Mitsubishi, which struggled for
                                                                                                        the second consecutive month, finishing only
                 SUBARU achieved record February sales of 2695 vehicles. The figure is                  sixth in the monthly tally behind boom import-
                 474 vehicles ahead of the same month last year. It means that Subaru has               ers Nissan and Mazda. The locally-built Magna
                 captured 3.7 per cent of the total vehicle market year-to-date and achieved            is already 500 sales down compared to the same
                 18.3 per cent growth.                                                                  time last year.
                                                                                                           The chief executive of the FCAI, Peter
                 HYUNDAI – a sales powerhouse in Australia in the late 1990s – is on the                Sturrock, said the February sales result was a
                 way back. Compared with 2003, Hyundai’s February sales are up 49 per cent              clear indication that the industry had geared up
                 while year-to-date, they are up 48 per cent, representing a 4.2 per cent share         its supply to fulfill the record consumer demand.
                 versus last year’s 3.1 per cent of the market.                                                 FULL REPORT: CLICK HERE




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   e              GoAuto              -news                                                                                             M A R C H 1 0 , 2 0 0 4 Page 7




Jaguar back to basics
                              By BRUCE NEWTON                                                                                             David Blackhall: “I
                                                                                                                                          think there is a
NEW Jaguar Australia general manager David Blackhall has ordered a back                                                                   challenge in getting
to basics review of the way the prestige and luxury car-maker sells into the
                                                                                                                                          the assets delivered
Australian market.
   Mr Blackhall, an Australian who has worked for Ford in Dearborn for the
                                                                                                                                          to the right
past five years, initiated the review as one of his first actions after taking up the                                                     consumers in the
Jaguar job in February.                                                                                                                   right way”.
   He arrives at Jaguar following a disappointing 2003 when sales fell 18 per
cent despite the arrival of a new generation XJ. Long-time local boss Danny                                                                  “I am concerned that we
Rezek abruptly departed the company late in the year.                                                                                     make sure that we position
   Since then, outgoing Premier Automotive Group Australia managing director                                                              our products and price our
Richard Snijders has been managing the business.                                                                                          products so that the target
   The slump has continued into 2004, with Jaguar recording 309 sales in the                                                              consumer gets to understand
first two months of the year, compared to 412 in the corresponding period of                                                              that this represents value in
                                                          2003.                                                                           the segment.
                                                             “I think there is a chal-                                                       “I don’t know if we are

      OUT NOW                                             lenge in getting the assets
                                                          – that is the brand equity,
                                                          the products – delivered
                                                                                                                                          there and I have asked my
                                                                                                                                          team to take a complete new
                                                                                                                                          look – what are the specs,
                                                          to the right consumers in                                                       what are the prices, who are
                                                          the right way,” said Mr                                                         we competitive against, why
                                                          Blackhall.                                                                      are we where we are and
                                                             “So I am probably           what is our brand in relation to their brand?”
                                                          talking, at least initially,      Mr Blackhall said the review was an objective he wanted achieved within 30
                                                          at looking at our market-      days, but he also admitted to 60 and 90-day objectives as well as goals set out
                                                          ing strategies, looking at     over one, three and five years for the brand.
                                                          the way we communicate            Asked where he would like Jaguar Australia to be in five years, he said:
                                                          with the media, looking        “I’ve got three things in mind. More consistently higher achieving volumes and
                                                          at a range of actions we       profits for us, a highly focussed brand image would be number two and then
                                                          can take to really leverage    I want to make sure we have got a very, very dedicated well organised, highly
                                                          what we already own.           efficient dealer network.”




                                                               XK's final refresh
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     Click here for more                                    JAGUAR’S XK sports car has received                      plemented by a lower ‘mouth profile’ in the
     details & order form                                   a final refresh before a new generation                  front bumper
                                                            arrives in 2005.                                         Inside, a driver-controlled Automatic
                                                            Unveiled at the Geneva motor show last                   Speed Limiter is standard on all models.
                                                            week, the latest changes to Jaguar’s                     As now, the range will comprise the XK8
                                                            fastest selling sports car follow on from                4.2-litre V8 coupe and convertibles, and
                                                            last year’s powertrain upgrades and elec-                the supercharged 4.2-litre XKR coupe and
                                                            tronic enhancements in 2001.                             convertible.
                                                            Fundamentally, the XK has had nose and                   The XK will be the final new product
                                                            rear section revision designed to give it a              launch for Jaguar here in 2004.
                                                            more contemporary feel, while there are                  In April, the V6 XJ6 arrives, while the
    www.aaintelligence.com.au                               also new side sills, wheels and trim.                    re-styled S-Type is here mid-year.
                                                            The XKR also gets a new mesh grille, sup-                The XK arrives in the fourth quarter.
John Mellor's


                 GoAuto         e    -news                                                                                          M A R C H 1 0 , 2 0 0 4 Page 8




Dream on
There was a lot more to this
                                                                                                                                              GENEVA MOTOR
                                                                                                                                               SHOW 2004




month’s Geneva auto salon than
the usual rush of new and
soon-to-be-released mainstream
models. This year there were
concepts and supercars all over
the place. Here’s a few of them:




                                                        Fuore BlackJag
                                                        REMEMBER the rather uninspiring Fuore XF10 from the 2003 Barcelona motor show?
                                                        Maybe not, which is understandable because it wasn’t a stunning piece of work. Erwin
                                                        Himmel and the crew at Fuore obviously thought it deserved another look, because Blackjag
                                                        is XF10 titivated. The update is smoothed out in search of a more elegant look than the F1-
                Volvo YCC                               inspired XF10. Changes include new headlights, better integration of the exhaust pipes and
                                                        a slightly different front graphic. The mechanicals are the same, with a 7.0-litre V10 engine
                 CLICK HERE                             pumping out 480kW.

                                                                                                   DC Go
                                                                                                   DC Design is an emerging Indian independent styling and
                                                                                                   prototyping house, and Go is its third creation under its
                                                                                                   own name.
                                                                                                   Powered by the same twin turbo 2.5-litre V6 engine used
                                                                                                   in the Noble M12 GTR 3 that has just been launched in
                                                                                                   Australia, the Go is based on a tubular frame and can
                                                                                                   used either metal, FRP or carbon-fibre for its body panels,
                                                                                                   depending on the performance and price requirements of
                                                                                                   the buyer.




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                                                             Commodore VX + Falcon AU
                                                                                               R RIM Polyurethane Body Kits




   CONCEPT TO REALITY                                                                                                       WWW.C2R.COM.AU
                                                                                                                            CALL
      BEWARE OF FIBREGLASS IMITATIONS

   Australian Design Application 155/2003 (Commodore)      Australian Design Registration 145706, 146977, 146978, 146979 (Falcon)
 John Mellor's


                 GoAuto       e    -news                                                                                              M A R C H 1 0 , 2 0 0 4 Page 9



    GENEVA MOTOR
     SHOW 2004


                                                      Dream on

Koenigsegg CCR
THIS Swedish bunch of speed freaks led by Christian von
Koenigsegg are already in the Guiness Book of Records courtesy
of the CC8S model, which took the accolade for being the world’s
most powerful production car when it was launched in 2002. With
the 1001kW Bugatti Veyron looming, the CCR can’t claim that
accolade with a ‘mere’ 600 or so kilowatts and 920Nm from its
supercharged 4.7-litre V8 engine, but the Swedes are still claiming
a 395km/h top speed and a quarter-mile dash in nine seconds.




                                                                                  Bertone Jet 2
                                                                                  BASED on the Aston Martin Vanquish, the Jet 2 features a floorpan
                                                                                  structure lengthened by 210mm to allow two rear seats. Why the Jet
                                                                                  2 name? Because this vehicle is a tribute to the original Aston Martin
                                                       Rolls                      Jet created by a young Giorgetto Giugiaro for Bertone in 1961, based
                                                                                  on the Aston Martin DB4 GT. This concept was supported informally
                                                Royce 100EX                       through its development by Aston Martin and there is the prospect of
                                                           CLICK HERE             some elements of the design making production.




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 John Mellor's


                 GoAuto    e   -news                                                                              M A R C H 1 0 , 2 0 0 4 Page 10



                                                                                                  UP CLOSE
                                           The legendary Charger coupe
                                                                                                on PERSONNEL
                                                                                       GUIDO GRID LOCKED
                                                                                       GUIDO Schenken has resigned from BMW Group
                                                                                       Australia as marketing communications manager for
                                                                                       the Mini brand to pursue interests in Formula One
                                                                                       motorsport.
                                                                                       Mr Schenken had been with the company for about
                                                                                       five years. He is the son of Tim Schenken, the
                                                                                       Australian who contested 36 Formula One races in the
                                                                                       early 1970s before moving to an international sports
                                                                                       car career.

The Charger returns
DODGE will add a full-sized rear-wheel-drive sedan to its line-up next year, com-
                                                                                       BMW Group Australia is currently in the recruitment
                                                                                       process for a suitable replacement.

pany sources have told Automotive News.                                                ISUZU ANALYSIS
The car apparently draws inspiration from the Dodge Charger muscle car of the late     ANTHONY Botta has been appointed by Isuzu General
1960s.                                                                                 Motors in Australia to the newly created position of
Sources told the weekly newspaper the sedan will be developed off the car-maker’s      analysis manager and project co-ordinator.
rear-wheel drive LX platform, which is shared by the 2005 Chrysler 300 sedan and       Mr Botta is a qualified accountant who recently
the Dodge Magnum wagon.                                                                worked as a cost accountant with Kraft and as a
At the Geneva auto salon last week, Chrysler group’s chief designer Trevor Creed       business management analyst with Mazda.
hinted that such a vehicle was planned.                                                Reporting to national sales operations manager
“We will be looking at a very sporty version of this platform for Dodge,” he said.     Paul Evans, Mr Botta will be involved with analysis,
“However, we will not do badge engineering anymore. You will not see a Dodge           forecasting, dealer development and project
version” that shares sheet metal with the Chrysler 300.                                management.
Mr Creed added: “You’ve got to have a four-door, (but) there’s no market for a
coupe.”                                                                                MAZDA MOVES
With the Dodge brand due to return to Australia in 2006, a reborn Charger would be     CHANGES at Mazda headquarters in Japan, effective
a natural fit, even if it was sedan rather than the legendary Charger coupe (above),   from this month, include:
which was built here from 1971 to 1978.                                                   Gideon Wolthers, currently representative
                                                                                       director, senior managing executive officer and CFO

BMW in multi move                                                                      responsible for corporate strategy and subsidiary,
                                                                                       has been appointed to oversee corporate planning,
                                                                                       product profit control and subsidiary and affiliated
DESPITE denials internationally and in Australia, BMW AG has now admitted              companies in addition to his current roles.
it is developing two multi-purpose vehicles with high roofs for the world market,         Ryoichi Hasegawa, currently director, senior
reports Automotive News.                                                               managing executive officer responsible for IT
The vehicles, under development for more than a year, appear to be people-mover-       solutions, e-business, general and legal affairs, risk
like, although BMW prefers not to use that term.                                       management and Osaka branch and assistant to the
The German car-maker has not approved the vehicles, but a senior executive said        CFO, has been appointed to also oversee corporate
they were getting a serious look.                                                      affairs.
“The vehicles are in pre-budget,” said Burkhard Goeschel, BMW’s board member              M. Greg Gollaher, currently managing executive
in charge of research and development.                                                 officer in charge of corporate and cost planning;
“Now we have to decide whether to do it.”                                              general manager, corporate planning division, has
The larger vehicle could be built either on the X5 or 5 Series platform. The smaller   been given the additional responsibility of corporate
vehicle could share either the X3 or 3 Series platform.                                strategy.
The vehicles would have 18-inch wheels and a sporty seating position for the              Kiyoshi Ozaki, currently managing executive officer
driver. A V8 engine would be available for the larger vehicle, while a six-cylinder    in charge of financial services and domestic dealer
engine could power the smaller one.                                                    financial administration; general manager, financial
BMW’s vehicles, which obviously shape up as rivals for Mercedes-Benz’s forth-          services division, has been given the additional
coming R-class, are being developed under the code names RFK-1 and RFK-2.              responsibility of assistant to the China strategy
RFK stands for Raum funktionales Konzept, which means functional-space concept.        officer.



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 John Mellor's


                 GoAuto           e-news                                                                                   M A R C H 1 0 , 2 0 0 4 Page 11



 GoAuto latest road test
                                                                              Holden Caprice sedan
                                                           HOLDEN’S Statesman and Caprice may not enjoy the status they once did, but
                                                             they still have relevance in this big, sunburnt country. Where else can you
                                                                         buy so much car for the money? The latest WK versions are getting
                                                                            quite refined too, with much of the electronic trickery you’ll find
                                                                               in European luxury cars, as well as ever-improving standards
                                                                                 of finish. The 5.7-litre V8 might be relatively crude, but it’s
                                                                                 effective and doesn’t require high-octane unleaded fuel to
                                                                                 produce its 245kW. And it handles the four-speed automatic
                                                                                transmission quite nicely. Dynamically, there may not be a lot
                                                                            of finesse, but the big Holden does most of the things most peo-
                                                                            ple need. And it looks pretty sharp too. REPORT: CLICK HERE


                                                             LAUNCH PAD                                 WEBBER SLAMS POLICE
                                                                                                        AUSTRALIAN Formula One driver Mark
                                                      MARCH:                                            Webber has criticised Victoria’s speed camera
                                                                                                        policy and indicated he would hesitate to return
                                                         BMW 545i sedan                                 to Australia because of it.
                                                         Honda Civic sedan facelift                     Responding to a Q&A feature in the Fairfax
                                                                                                        magazine Sunday Life, he said that he was not
                                                         Land Rover Freelander facelift
BUICK VELITE CONFIRMED                                                                                  sure about returning to live in Australia because
REPORTS out of the US confirm our recent                 Porsche 911 GTS RS                             of speed cameras.
story that Buick will reveal a concept                   Saab 9-3 Aero convertible                      Webber said the police had “lost the plot”.
convertible called the Velite at April’s New York                                                       Interviewer Melisande Clarke: How have the
motor show.                                              Suzuki Liana facelift                          police lost the plot?
It will be based on the new rear and all-wheel        New model diary: CLICK HERE                       Webber: Speed cameras and all that stuff.
drive architecture predominantly developed by                                                           Clarke: Do you want to do 360 km/h down the
Holden. The Velite will be powered by a V6                                                              Hume Highway?
engine – probably the new HFV6 that is being        MITSUBISHI, PROTON SPLIT                            Webber: No, I want to do 62 in a 60km/h zone
built in Australia, as well as Canada.              STRUGGLING Mitsubishi Motors has sold its           and not get booked. They are very anal, aren’t
 If produced, the Velite would take over from       7.93 per cent stake in Proton, marking the          they?
the Park Avenue sedan as Buick’s flagship car,      beginning of the end to its 20-year relationship    Clarke: They’re not like that in Europe?
although the division has not decided if the        with the Malaysian car-maker.                       Webber: In the UK, the police will pull
production Velite would be a hardtop or not.        Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Corporation        alongside you and say: ‘C’mon, mate, just back
Buick will kill the Park Avenue after 2005.         have been key partners to Proton since its          off’ – and you respect it.
                                                    inception in 1983, supplying engines and car
                                                    designs. Each held a 7.93 per cent stake in
GENEVA BOMB THREAT                                  Proton before the sale
POLICE destroyed a suitcase containing “what        Proton reported a surprise quarterly loss last
looked like” a bomb at the Geneva motor show,       month as sales of foreign models outpaced its
organisers said. They evacuated hundreds of         ageing models.
visitors on Sunday morning, March 2, after          Last month it launched an all-new Persona
receiving a call threatening to blow up the         replacement called Gen-2 in Malaysia, powered
exhibition venue.                                   by its own Campro engine.
After an intense search, police discovered a sus-    Proton had wanted to end the Mitsubishi
pect package in the entrance hall of the Palexpo    relationship for some time and is also keen to
building that is hosting the show. The area was     end expensive licensing agreements for
sealed off and visitors were evacuated.             hardware like engines and gearboxes.
De-mining experts from the local police force       In a separate move, Proton and struggling British    Mark Webber burns some rubber at the
then destroyed the suitcase which contained a       company MG Rover have recently announced                Sydney Opera House dcuring a
device that looked like a bomb but contained no     the signing of a letter of intent to explore          promotional even for last Sunday's
explosive charge or detonator.                      “collaborative projects”.                                   Australian Grand Prix.



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