John Mellor’s
Australia’s No.1 Automotive Industry Journal
No. 578
70,000 Readers Weekly
E: L
c Br
B it
April 27, 2011
Big Apple seeds
New York motor show throws light on new models – and intentions – for Australia
THE striking new sheetmetal unveiled at
the Shanghai motor show was still warm
under the spotlights last week when the
automotive world wheeled around to New
York to see a host of new models that are
heading Down Under.
Subaru claimed most attention with its
latest reinterpretation of the Impreza hatch
and sedan, and told us the inside story of
the crucial new car’s development, while
Ford pointed to the styling of this year’s
facelifted Falcon through its US Taurus –
and at the same time emphasised the global
nature of its V6 engine.
There was no comment on the future of
Australian manufacturing from Blue Oval top
brass, but ‘One Ford’ – for styling, platforms
and powertrains – was again writ large.
General Motors, meanwhile, talked up
Commodore’s relevance in the face of the
global medium-large Malibu – shown in
the Big Apple with a hybrid version that
should eventually join the imported range
in Australia – while Chrysler turned out its
image-leading SRT8 Grand Cherokee and
300C high-performance twins, both of which
GoAuto can confirm will go on sale here.
There were plenty of other significant cars
on show that are heading this way, not least
of which are Kia’s redesigned Rio sedan and
uplifted Soul, Nissan’s forthcoming light
sedan, and, hopefully, a hybrid and factory
turbocharged Kizashi from Suzuki.
Toyota also delivered more details on its
FT-86 rear-drive coupe through a concept –
the FR-S – from its Scion youth brand.
As they did in Shanghai, the top luxury
car marques used their motor show floor
space to flex some considerable muscle.
While Lexus took the wraps off its
LF-Gh concept prior to the New York
opening, BMW weighed in with a 2.0-litre
turbo for its Z4 roadster, Mercedes-Benz
brought its twin-turbocharged E63 sedan
and wagon, Jaguar launched no less than
three upgraded models – XF, XK and XJ –
and Nissan’s Infiniti brand confirmed that
a new large luxury crossover, the JX, was
coming soon.
It all made for quite an incredible week
in world motoring terms. And GoAuto has
it covered…
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April 27, 2011 Page 2
Impreza out to impress
Subaru’s all-new Impreza
emerges as biggest debut
at New York motor show
SUBARU unleashed its chunky new
Liberty-inspired 2012 Impreza hatch and
sedan at the New York motor show last
week, revealing a striking new design that
departs significantly from its four-year-old
predecessor’s less distinctive look.
Although Subaru Australia is staying mum
on local release timing for its fresh Mazda3
and Corolla fighter, both body variants of
the redesigned small car are due on sale here
later this year after an expected Australian
debut at the Melbourne motor show in July.
Both models were previewed ahead of
their global debut in the US by a teaser
profile shot in the case of the four-door and,
in the five-door’s case, via the jacked-up
body-cladded XV crossover hatchback
concept that premiered a day earlier at the
Shanghai motor show.
The latter may also make its local debut
in Melbourne.
There for all to see is a far more angular
John Mellor’s
PUBLISHER: John Mellor
EDITOR: Terry Martin
MANAGING EDITOR: Marton Pettendy
JOURNALISTS: Ron Hammerton, Haitham Razagui
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shape than the current Impreza hatch’s more
organic appearance, complete with bulging
hexagonal grille, a heavily sculpted bonnet,
redesigned grille, geometric lower foglight
bezels and sharp-sided wrap-around ‘hawkeye’ headlights with split-level lower edges
like the latest Liberty’s.
Subaru says the fourth-generation
Impreza’s aggressive new body shape is
more aerodynamic due to a faster windscreen
that is 200mm further forward at its base.
It also offers improved visibility, thanks
in part to larger door-mounted (rather than
pillar-mounted) wing mirrors, narrower Aand B-pillars, 60mm-lower window sills
and a lower-set dashboard.
Also new is a bigger and more upmarket
interior that is more generous in terms of
rear shoulder room and legroom (the latter
is up by more than 50mm, thanks in part
to new scalloped-back front seats) and was
shown in New York with full leather trim
and classy white instrument dials.
The extra cabin space comes not from a
longer body, which measures the same as
the current Impreza overall and has shorter
overhangs, but from a slightly lengthier
wheelbase – up from 2621 to 2644mm –
while entry/exit is improved via larger
front (up 127mm) and rear door apertures,
20mm-lower door sills and (10mm
front/20mm rear) higher hip points.
Subaru says the Impreza sedan’s boot is
bigger too but does not provide figures and
still fits gooseneck hinges, while the hatch
now offers a flat load space with the rear
seats folded.
Refinement and cabin presentation were
also key areas of improvement, with Subaru
claiming the employment of more softtouch surfaces for the dash, door trim and
centre console armrest.
Under the more heavily scalloped bonnet
is a 2.0-litre version of Subaru’s newgeneration longer-stroke FB-series fourcylinder boxer engine, which debuted here
last year in 2.5-litre guise in the Forester.
It features double overhead camshafts
and Subaru’s Dual Active Valve Control
System (DAVCS) on both the intake and
exhaust valves.
Mileage top of mind – next page
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April 27, 2011 Page 3
Mileage top of mind
Greener market drives
Subaru to focus on fuel
economy with Impreza
SUBARU has revealed that improved
fuel consumption was the main focus in
the development of the fourth-generation
Impreza small car.
But snapping hot on the heels of that is
significantly more rear seat space, along
with improved interior quality and better
driveability, according to G4 Impreza project
general manager Akihide Takeuchi.
“Market issues means that Subaru had
to change the Impreza quickly … in a
new green-minded era,” Mr Takeuchi told
GoAuto at an event associated with the New
York motor show last week.
“We needed to increase the Impreza’s
environmental credentials ... by making the
Impreza more efficient.”
Due in Australia late in the fourth
quarter of this year in five-door hatch and
four-door sedan body styles, the boxerengined all-wheel-drive small-car range is
approximately 80 per cent changed from its
predecessor at cost level.
Surprisingly, the four-door sedan was
styled first, with the five-door hatch evolving
from there. Designed in Japan, Subaru says
it tried to achieve a ‘California view’ with
the latest Impreza.
The series will now be split into
(WRX/STi) and compact SUV/crossover
(XV) guises, with each boasting a unique
appearance to underline their differing
duties. At the time of writing, Subaru had
not yet confirmed XV production.
The G4 Impreza follows in the footsteps
of its Mk5 Liberty/Legacy/Outback big
brothers in gaining a completely redesigned
‘automatic’ transmission as one of its bigticket attractions.
A lighter and more compact evolution
of the Lineartronic continuously variable
transmission (CVT) that debuted in the
2009 Liberty range, the gearbox heralds
significantly improved fuel economy
combined with lower emissions. A six-speed
manual will also be standard for Australia.
Meanwhile, a completely redesigned
naturally aspirated 2.0-litre boxer engine also
finds its way in the MY12 Impreza range.
A longer-stroke FB-series unit closely
related to the 2.5-litre engine first featured in
the MY11 Forester earlier this year, the new
2.0 includes double overhead camshafts
and a Dual Active Valve Control System
on both the intake and exhaust valves
for measurably improved fuel efficiency
without performance sacrifice.
The new drivetrain required a redesign
of the front-end structure and firewall, with
added strength built in to help safety and
quell noise and vibration issues. However,
in the interest of keeping weight down, the
current Liberty’s much-touted engine cradle
system is not employed here.
Switching to an electric power steering
system also keeps the kilos down, as well as
enhances packaging and fuel economy.
No diesel engine details have been
revealed for now, but an improved version of
the 2.0-litre boxer diesel available in Europe
(as well as in the Forester and Outback) is
set to debut in the Impreza for Australia.
A CVT eventually will join the six-speed
manual that has been the sole transmission
choice with the existing diesel offerings when
Subaru is satisfied the gearbox will be able to
cope with the 350Nm-plus torque load.
More reports – page 15
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April 27, 2011 Page 4
Taurus points to Falcon
US Taurus shows way to
facelifted Falcon as Ford
highlights global engines
FORD’S global design chief J Mays has
confirmed that the 2013 Taurus facelift
featuring the company’s new corporate
nose will be integrated across a variety of
upcoming models, including this year’s vital
Falcon makeover.
The new Ford look will also be integrated into
the next-generation Mondeo mid-size sedan.
Speaking to GoAuto at the New York motor
show last week, Mr Mays explained Ford’s
desire for a bold, coherent look that still
retains each individual model’s character.
Claimed to have been heavily influenced
by the latest Audi A6, the new Taurus features
a cleaner and more defined hexagonal grille
treatment that lends itself to a variety of
model grade variations.
Bowing to US buyer feedback, Ford said
it worked hard to differentiate the sportsorientated SHO version from the more
mundane Taurus models with modified grille,
bumper and air intake elements.
“Both domestically and globally, we’re
experimenting with various trapezoidal shapes
on the front of the car,” Mr Mays explained.
“Some of those shapes are ‘Superman
shield’ in nature, like on the Taurus SHO,
and some of the classic inverted trapezoid
on a variety of cars around the world, from
Focus and Mondeo to many of our crossover
2013 Taurus
products that you have seen.
“That inverted trapezoid has even made
its way onto the Falcon when it goes through
its mid-cycle action in Australia.
“So we’re talking very closely as a global
design team about finding a recognisable
face for Ford that we could spread around
the world.”
However, Mr Mays explained that the
trapezoidal face has to be flexible enough to
give it attitude: “It will be there, but it will
be slightly different in every way, too.”
Another Ford designer added that it is all
about achieving the right look and proportion.
“I think SUVs and crossovers will have
a slightly different aspect ratio or attitude
to things as far as the trapezoidal shape is
concerned,” said the designer.
“It’s not going to be exactly the same
shape all the time, it’s just that the formula
is one you hope everybody will recognise.”
Beyond the styling, Ford promises softer
trim materials and an improved feeling
of ‘quality’, as well as a palpably quieter
interior, in all of its future models, including
the Falcon.
The recently released SZ Territory is a
strong pointer to the upgrades we can expect
in the 2012 Falcon.
Meanwhile, Ford global product boss
Derrick Kuzak said that the V6 powertrain
in the new Taurus is going global as part of
the company’s ‘One Ford’ mantra.
“You already know that the (four-cylinder)
2.0-litre EcoBoost in the Taurus is going to
the Falcon,” he told us. “Just as we have
global platforms, we also think about engines
and transmission architectures and powertrain
systems in exactly the same way.
“We’re on a path of reducing the number
of platforms and having them all global,
and we’re doing the same thing around our
powertrain architectures.”
More reports – page 6,13
Area Sales Manager – WA
‘Attention Sales Professionals’
• Global automotive brand • Carlisle, Perth location
KIA aims to become one of the world’s premier automotive
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Australia, an exciting opportunity has arisen reporting to the
Regional Manager, based in Carlisle, Perth.
You will be responsible for creating, communicating and
implementing a Sales strategy and national plan utilising
regional resources, Kia dealerships and their representatives.
This will involve establishing effective relationships with Dealers
in both Metro and Rural regions; providing on-going support to
the Dealer Network and identifying wholesale and retail (including
Fleet) sales opportunities for the Kia Motors product range.
The successful candidate will have the following attributes:
• Minimum 3 years sales experience (preferably within the
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April 27, 2011 Page 5
Toyota quake cuts set to
drag on here and abroad
Malibu to help, not hinder, Commodore: Reuss
FORMER GM Holden chairman and now
GM North America president Mark Reuss
has asserted that the Commodore’s Australian
future will be enhanced – rather than stifled
– by any success of the forthcoming Koreanbuilt Malibu mid-sizer.
Speaking in New York after the US reveal
of the next-generation Chevrolet Malibu,
which made its global debut in Shanghai the
previous day and will go on sale in Australia
as a Holden next year, Mr Reuss said he
believed the Malibu will attract a different
audience to the Commodore.
He said that difference will shore up
Australian production of Holden’s rearwheel drive Zeta platform-based models,
including the Commodore.
“I think that in some strange ways
(Malibu) secures some of the rear-wheel
drive production that we have there because
the two cars there are so different, and
that we will be able to demonstrate (those
differences) at Holden, and I think that is
very important,” said Mr Reuss.
“While you see other car-makers down
there converging on one type of vehicle
we’re going to have two different vehicles
that will offer something different and
that’s important.
“I think there are a lot of different tastes
down there that we will satisfy. I think (Malibu)
is going to be really good for Australia … I
think it is going to be really relevant.
“And I think rear-wheel drive, frontwheel drive and all-wheel drive are different
– very different. And the packaging will be
very different.
“And I don’t think the Malibu is too close
in size to the Commodore,” he added.
The veteran GM engineer said that
Australia’s growing demographic diversity
has led to the need for more choice and that
retailing both models will result in higher
overall Holden sales.
PRODUCTION cuts at Toyota’s Australian
car manufacturing plant at Altona in
Victoria next month are likely to extend into
June as parts shortages caused by the March
earthquake and tsunami in Japan drag on.
The company’s head office warned in
Japan last week that Toyota global motor
vehicle production might not return to
pre-earthquake levels until November or
December, although it hoped to ramp up
supplies from July.
Toyota’s Japanese plants are already
running at only 50 per cent of their normal
production rate, while plants in Thailand
and the United States are down to just 30
per cent.
As announced two weeks ago, the
Australian plant will join the go-slow from
next week, with a lack of parts halving
production, to about 250 a day.
Toyota Australia manager of public affairs
and communication, Glenn Campbell, told
GoAuto this week that a decision on local
June production of Camry and Aurion
would be made during May.
More reports – page 6, 14, 21
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April 27, 2011 Page 6
Cars in limbo
Australia can’t afford
three car-makers: Jeff
Wharf dispute maroons thousands of cars in Victoria
AT LEAST eight car-carrying ships bringing
imported vehicles to Melbourne have been
delayed by industrial action taking place at
Webb Dock, leaving some vessels stranded
at anchor in Port Phillip Bay for more than a
week, causing thousands of cars to arrive late.
The delays come at a time when the
supply of cars is already under pressure in the
aftermath of the March 11 earthquake, tsunami
and resultant infrastructure crisis in Japan.
The action taken by the Maritime Union
of Australia (MUA) is part of an attempt
to secure annual pay increases, higher
superannuation contributions and more
annual leave for its members.
Details on which vehicle brands are
affected remain scarce but a shipping
industry insider told GoAuto that one
vessel scheduled to discharge about 500
cars, including Citroens, Fords, Nissans
and Renaults, at Melbourne was diverted to
Geelong after a three-day wait.
The hulking ships – the largest affected
being 228 metres long by 32 metres wide –
have posed an unusual sight from most of
Melbourne’s beaches over the past week or
so as they sat stationary in the bay – and there
was no end in sight this Easter weekend.
Of the eight affected vessels, two originate
from Europe, three appear to have come
from Thailand, and two have come directly
from Japan.
Another vessel named Aquamarine Ace
came from Japan via North America and
appears to be the worst affected so far.
FORMER Victorian premier Jeff Kennett
has predicted the demise of one of Australia’s
three local car-makers as Australian motorists
increasingly choose imported vehicles.
Mr Kennett, whose Liberal state
government was instrumental in securing
car industry investment for plants such as
Holden’s $400m global V6 engine factory in
Port Melbourne in the 1990s, said Australia
could no longer support three car-makers.
Although he did not name any car
company that he thought was vulnerable,
he said the closure of any manufacturing
operation would have a severe impact on
the Victorian economy in particular.
While Mr Kennett no longer has any
formal ties to government, his comments
on the local industry will still resonate
around Victoria where he is remembered
for his strong government.
Writing in a commentary piece for
Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Mr Kennett said
there was no point blaming governments
for the decline in Australia’s manufacturing
industry, but he called on governments to
manage the change.
“We Australians have made the decisions
ourselves through our buying patterns,” he
wrote. “It is better to work in advance of
the change when it comes.”
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April 27, 2011 Page 7
VW’s growing pains
Expansion plans continue
at VW Australia but stock
issues are limiting sales
A Daimler Brand
MORE staff, extra dealers, a new national
headquarters, a new parts distribution
warehouse and constant pleas to head office
for more stock are all on the agenda at
Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) as one
of Australia’s fastest-growing brands tries to
manage its emergence from niche importer
to mainstream marque.
Stock shortages caused by booming
global demand for Volkswagen vehicles are economic and financial crisis, probably
constraining VW sales growth in Australia better than any of our competitors. We are
and elsewhere, with some new customers lucky in this situation, and therefore we are
wanting certain in-demand models such as asking all the time for more (stock).
the Polo GTI now having to wait until 2012
“But we don’t want to have a boost in
for delivery.
volume just for one year – we want to do it
The company, which is launching new step by step, and we want also to make sure
and facelifted models at the rate of one a that the processes are in place.
month, also held back delivery of
“We have right now a lot of runits new Amarok utility until this
outs, as new models are coming up,
month because of a stock hold-up,
but we are planning it step by step.
frustrating some would-be buyers.
“We could sell more Polos right
VGA is selling three times as
now, but the Polo is doing so well
many vehicles in Australia as it did
in other countries. So right now we
a decade ago, and managing director
can’t supply all the demands from
Anke Koeckler conceded the
all our customers.”
company could sell more vehicles Anke Koeckler
Ms Koeckler said her company
if it could get them, but global demand was was keeping dealers up to date with the
outstripping supply.
stock situation, with “transparent” advice,
“Volkswagen right now is doing very, and asking them not to raise customer
very well,” she told GoAuto at last week’s expectation.
2011 Passat launch.
She said that although VW held the media
“We have had another boost in demand launch of the Amarok ute in late February,
from customer side, and that means that the first shipments of stock had just been
every country is asking for more.
released and all would be delivered by the
“And we went very quickly out of the end of April.
Polo GTI
“We had a little bit of a delay, but we are
going to do that (deliver them) right now,”
she said. “We have informed our dealers that
right now. We are in close contact with our
dealers, and by the end of April we will be
delivering all the cars.
“We only wanted to make sure that
everything is also in the right process once
they are on the transport from the ships,
going to the dealers.”
Ms Koeckler said VGA was in the process
of hiring an extra 30 staff to handle the wave
of new models in Australia, including the justreleased new Passat, the upcoming Jetta and
facelifted Tiguan. “We have more and more
products to come to this market and they all
need a little preparation, introduction – every
department is affected by it,” she said.
As well, VGA is putting the final
touches on its new parts warehouse at its
new Chullora complex, in Sydney’s west,
that will include the expanded national
headquarters by year’s end.
Scirocco set to go – next page
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Silver Star Motors Mercedes-Benz is seeking an experienced
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The successful applicant must:
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April 27, 2011 Page 8
Scirocco set to go
VW confirms early 2012
Oz launch for three-door
coupe - in 195kW R spec
AUSTRALIAN drivers will finally be able
to get their hands on Volkswagen’s stylish
Golf-based Scirocco three-door coupe when
it arrives in Australia in its cracking 195kW
‘R’ form from early 2012.
Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA)
will show the four-seat Scirocco R at the
Australian International Motor Show in
July, but the company says the hot hatch is
still at least eight months away.
Although the company is committing to
only a single specification, VGA managing
director Anke Koeckler has left the door
open for additional models from the range
which is offered with six engine choices –
four petrol and two diesel – in Europe.
The Scirocco has been a pet project of Ms
Koeckler, who told GoAuto that she has been
working on a business case for the product
since she arrived in Australia 18 months ago.
She confirmed at last week’s 2011 Passat
launch that the latest third-generation model
– built on the Golf V platform in VW’s
Portuguese factory since 2008 – had now been
Scirocco R
given the tick of approval to join the long list of
new-model additions for Australian release.
Other models in the pipeline include the
fuel-sipping BlueMotion diesel Golf, Eos
coupe-cabrio facelift, Jetta small car, Tiguan
facelift and Amarok single-cab, petrol and
automatic transmission variants.
The Scirocco will provide a twinpronged ‘R’ attack on the small-car
market, with the AWD five-door Golf R
4Motion and three-door Scirocco R sitting
side by side in the range.
The Scirocco effectively will replace the
current three-door Golf R, which will be
dropped from the line-up. The remaining fivedoor Golf R, powered by an 188kW 2.0-litre
TFSI four-cylinder petrol engine, will offer
five-door practicality, while the Scirocco will
target more style-conscious drivers.
In Europe, the Scirocco R’s version of the
turbocharged 2.0-litre TSI engine is rated at
195kW of power and 350Nm of torque – a
step up on the Golf R.
Like the 155kW Golf GTI, the Scirocco
channels its power through the front wheels
using VW’s electronic cross-axle traction
(XDS) control system to tame the traction.
It has VW’s Adaptive Chassis Control,
which allows the driver to vary the chassis
settings, and both manual and DSG dualclutch transmission are available. The
0-100km/h sprint is achieved in six seconds –
0.3 seconds slower than the all-paw Golf R.
Tech this out – next page
General Manager
Established in 1984, the James Frizelle’s Automotive Group is a large privately
owned Automotive Group representing many of the world’s best vehicle
manufacturers such as Hyundai, Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Volkswagen.
Today, the group retails in excess of 8000 New and Used vehicles per year and
employs over 300 people across our Southport, Nerang, Lismore and Tweed
Heads operation.
Due to unforseen personal circumstances the position of General Manager – Tweed
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successful applicant will be a pivotal part of our groups operation and responsible
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The successful applicant will also need to maintain a culture based around industry
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April 27, 2011 Page 9
Tech this out
Prices hold firm but hi-tech features abound in VW’s redesigned mid-sizer
VOLKSWAGEN has given its solid middleclass citizen, the Passat, a new suit, greater
efficiency and a swag of hi-tech party tricks in
a mild new-model makeover that the company
says will get the German-made sedan and
wagon range back on song in the showrooms.
While sales of the run-out mid-sizer are
down 42 per cent so far this year compared
with the first three months of last year,
Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) says
the arrival of stocks of the new 2011 Passat
in local showrooms from this month will not
only reverse the sales downswing this year but
resume the model’s long-term growth trend.
Passat sales peaked in 2008 when 3297
vehicles found homes in Australia, before
slumping in the global financial crisis to
2258 units in 2009 – a fall of 31.5 per cent –
and recovering by 15.3 per cent last year.
VGA managing director Anke Koeckler
declined to disclose the company’s sales targets
for the new seventh-generation 2011 model –
known internally as B7 – saying only that the
car would make a major contribution to the
company’s planned sales growth in Australia.
The company is also expecting an update
of the Passat CC coupe-cabrio “in due
course”, and says watch this space on a highperformance version of the Passat sedan and
wagon, probably using a turbocharged fourcylinder engine in the mould of the Golf R.
The new Passat is effectively an
evolutionary re-skin of the previous B6
generation, with all panels except the roof
being reshaped over the same underpinnings
and carryover powertrains, but with a range of
new features and tweaks thrown in to improve
safety, efficiency, comfort and value.
The new nose has a strong four-bar chrome
grille to give the Passat’s conservative
countenance a little more pizzazz. Inside, a
new console layout and fresh trim throughout
is designed to do the same.
Leather is now standard across the
range, as is a new driver fatigue sensing
system, Bluetooth with audio streaming
and fuel-saving brake energy recuperation
technology that charges the car’s battery
under deceleration to reduce the alternator’s
load on the engine at other times.
Fuel savings over the previous model vary
from 4.6 per cent for the flagship petrol V6 to
12 per cent for the 2.0-litre diesel. The latter
also gets VW’s BlueMotion idle-stop to cut
the engine when the car is stationary, bringing
the claimed combined fuel consumption for
the diesel down to 5.7 litres per 100km – the
best for any Passat in its 38 years.
Despite elevated feature levels, prices
have been held firm in a move that
Volkswagen says will attract more buyers
to the model that straddles the gap between
family mid-size cars such as the Mazda6,
Honda Accord twins and Ford Mondeo and
the luxury brigade that includes the Passat’s
prestige relative, the Audi A4, as well as the
BMW 3 Series and Lexus IS range.
The previous four models (with four
engine choices) have been cut to three, with
that trio carrying three carryover powertrains
– the 118kW/250Nm 1.8-litre TSI petrol
four-cylinder, the 125kW/350Nm 2.0-litre
TDI diesel four-cylinder and top-of-therange 220kW/350Nm 3.6-litre FSI petrol
V6 with VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive.
Continued next page
State Sales Manager – Sydney
Brand Specialist (LiveMarket) - Brisbane
As the State Sales Manager you will be primarily
responsible for new business development and the
retention of existing clients within the NSW territory.
You will have been an experienced automotive sales
executive bringing with you a second to none network .
As a LiveMarket Specialist you will be primarily responsible
for growth of revenue and market share for our LiveMarket
product within the Brisbane territory. Ideally, you have
been a new or used car sales consultant and have a good
understanding of ‘live market’.
Please send your resume with a cover letter to
PLNHIDOFRQHU#FDUVDOHVFRPDX or view our careers online
John Mellor’s
SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.GoAutoMedia.com
April 27, 2011 Page 10
Tech this out
Continued from previous page
Pricing for the base 118TSI model kicks
off the range at $38,990 for the sedan and
$40,900 for the wagon – the same as before.
The 125TDI diesel model is next up the price
range at $43,990 for the sedan and $45,990 for
the wagon – again, unchanged. Compared with
the base model, this version gets the up-spec
Highline fit-out with upmarket Nappa leather,
brushed aluminium highlights in the cabin and
extras such as foglights.
While the sharp-edged R36 sports model
has been dropped, the good news is that
its lusty 3.6-litre V6 now graces the sole
remaining V6 model – the 220FSI 4Motion. European-built Ford Mondeo ranges in
This new variant effectively marries the two price from $30,990 for the 2.3-litre petrol
previous V6 models, with the high-performance LX hatch to $48,490 for the Titanium diesel
powertrain wrapped in the
softer Highline body, chassis
All Passat engines are
and trim package, to create an Sedan
mated to automated dual118TSI (a)
$38,990 clutch transmissions – sevenexecutive express.
$43,990 speed on the 118TSI and
The extra good news is that
220FSI Highline (a) $55,990
the new model comes in at
six-speed on both the 125TDI
$55,990 for the sedan – the
diesel and 220FSI V6.
118TSI (a)
same price as the previous,
The base-level 118TSI
125TDI Highline (a) $45,990
less powerful 3.2-litre V6
Passat sedan is said to be
220FSI Highline (a) $57,990
4Motion. That is well under
good for an 8.5-second sprint
the $64,990 pricetag for the discontinued R36. from zero to 100km/h, while combined fuel
For the record, the new V6 wagon version – economy is rated at 7.2L/100km.
bearing all the same bells and whistles as the
The torquey 125TDI diesel is only a
sedan – will sell for $57,990.
smidgen slower to 100km/h, at 8.6 seconds,
By comparison, the similarly sized and but returns the best fuel economy at
5.7L/100km for both the sedan and wagon.
The swiftest Passat, the 220FSI, hits
100km/h in 5.5 seconds, but it is also the
thirstiest at 9.7L/100km.
V6 Passat buyers not only get more bang
for the buck but a load of extra features,
starting with that 4Motion AWD system to
tame the extra power.
An alarm, 18-inch wheels in place of the 17s
on the lesser models, adaptive chassis control
and 12-way powered front seats are among
goodies made standard on the 220FSI.
For an extra $1300 on all models, drivers
can enjoy the Passat’s new party trick –
Park Assist2.
To support the growth plans for the business, WMC Group are now
seeking an experienced Parts Manager to drive this fast paced division
for the JAC and HIGER brands.
Operating across our Australia and New Zealand business, this role
will be responsible for the overall strategy and success of the parts
department. This includes the strategy for pricing and profitability,
inventory management, sales promotions, NPD, dealer network strategy
and sales into both the genuine and aftermarket segments.
Australia and
New Zealand
JAC and HIGER are two of the world largest manufacturers, and through
new releases will offer a product range covering passenger, LCV and
heavy commercial segments.
Proven success in a wholesale parts manager role is essential.
John Mellor’s
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Kia lifts Rio bar
April 27, 2011 Page 11
Fresh Soul on its way as
all-new model shapes up
New model heads upmarket as sedan debuts in NY
KIA is counting on European design and
technological sophistication to offset price
hikes in the order of 20 per cent for its
important upcoming UB Rio range.
The sleek new four-door sedan variant
was unveiled at the New York motor
show last week as a different and more
conservative car to the China-only K2 sedan
Kia presented in Shanghai a day earlier.
Kia Australia public relations manager
Kevin Hepworth said the Korean company’s
fifth-generation light car has sophistication
and features to mix it with the best in its
class, but will cost more.
“The new Rio is a much more advanced
car – and its price will reflect that,” said Mr
Hepworth. “This is a whole new ballgame
for Kia.
“We have big hopes for the Rio in Australia
and once people see for themselves how
much Kia has changed they will accept the
price rise.”
Kia will not reveal exact pricing for the
five-door hatch that debuted at the Geneva
motor show in March, but a $16,000 kickoff is a good bet for the base Rio S when
it is launched in Australia in September,
followed by $2000 increments for the Si and
top-level SLi.
The new four-door sedan seen here is
expected to cost the same as the hatch
when it follows in the first quarter of 2012,
coinciding with the Australian Open tennis
tournament in Melbourne that is sponsored
by Kia and commences in late January.
Meanwhile, the as yet unsighted threedoor Rio range due in the first half of 2012
is expected to be the company’s price leader,
opening from around $15,000.
Mr Hepworth said the staggered launch
sequence for the newcomers would ensure that
each variant “enjoys its own place in the sun”.
While the hatchback’s styling is the work of
Massimo Fraschella – who is based at Kia’s
California studio and was responsible also for
the well-received Sportage – the UB sedan
was based on the five-door and executed at
the company’s headquarters in Seoul.
Connecting the Rio with the Sportage (as
well as the latest Optima) are clean surfaces,
wedgy lines, a racy profile and sculpted
shoulder lines.
The Rio receives a slimmed-down version
of the corporate ‘Tiger’ grille and unique
Among the advanced features are new
GDI ‘gasoline’ direct-injection four-cylinder
petrol powerplants, six-speed transmissions
across the range (a first for the sub-$20,000
light-car segment in Australia) and Kia’s
ISG idle-stop technology – an emissions
and fuel consumption-reducing device that
automatically stops the engine when the
vehicle is not in motion, then fires up again
when the brake pedal is released.
KIA’S revised Soul crossover – one of
its two global debuts at the New York
motor show last week alongside the Rio
sedan – will only have a short lifespan in
Australia as the company is already well
advanced developing the next-generation
replacement vehicle due in 2013.
The facelift – which brings a slightly
revised nose, an interior upgrade and
new drivetrain choices – will not arrive in
Australia until the middle of next year due
to production constraints.
This will be just months ahead of the
global unveiling of the all-new, secondgeneration Soul II, which is currently on
track for an unveiling in late 2012, perhaps
at the Paris or Los Angeles motor shows.
A Kia spokesman said Australian sales
for the Soul II are expected to commence
some time in 2013.
Design work for the Soul II commenced
in 2009 and is being done by Sportage
and Rio hatch stylist Massimo Fraschella,
an Italian based at Kia’s North American
studio in Irvine, California.
It is expected to feature a racier profile
with slimmer detailing and a wider stance
than the current Soul while retaining the
boxy proportions and ‘cute’ personality that
have helped make it a success in many parts
of the world since its 2008 unveiling.
The New York facelift, meanwhile,
adopts some of the items earmarked for
the next-generation Rio light car coming
to Australia in September.
Need to know Australia’s automotive industry & market?
Your one-stop guide to all aspects of our market and
industry from Australian Automotive Intelligence Australia’s automotive sector specialists.
Australian Automotive Intelligence
visit www.aaintelligence.com.au for more information
Work with the world·s Ӿfth largest automobile company and be part of our ongoing growth and success
in Australia. Hyundai Motor Company Australia is looking for an Area After Sales Manager to join our
Eastern Region team based at our Head OԀce in North Ryde. Reporting directly to our Regional After
Sales Manager, this role oӽers a unique opportunity for the right candidate to join our dynamic team.
Your key responsibilities will include:
• Providing operational support to dealers on all Parts and Service issues for a deӾned territory.
• Ensuring regional parts sales and proӾtability targets within your control are met.
• Providing leadership and support on Customer Service, Retention and Dealer facilities issues.
• Liaising with national technical training to ensure relevant training is conducted for your area.
• Ensure individual, territory and regional CSI targets are met.
• Administering warranty policies and procedures.
• Contributing to and supporting regional and national Parts and Service programs
including marketing initiatives.
The ideal candidate will have:
• Tertiary qualiӾcations (preferred but not essential).
• Solid experience in Parts and/or Service in a wholesale environment.
• Good organisation, time management skills with strong computer skills.
• Accomplished presenting skills.
• Able to deal with all levels of the business.
• Australian citizenship or permanent residency.
If you believe this is the role for you, please forward your CV and a brief covering letter, with
Area After Sales Manager, Eastern Region as the subject, to: human_resources@hyundai.com.au
by Wednesday 4th May 2011.
Work with the world·s Ӿfth largest automobile company and be part of our ongoing growth and success
in Australia. Hyundai Motor Company Australia is looking for a Business Sales Manager to join our
dynamic Perth-based team. Reporting directly to the Regional General Manager, Western Region (with
dotted line reporting to Head OԀce in Sydney), this role oӽers a unique development opportunity for the
right candidate.
Your key responsibilities will include:
• Actively pursuing business sales within the Corporate and Government sectors – direct to major
organisations and departments, through third-party relationships and via the Dealer network within
assigned Region/s.
• Manage appropriate ӿeet structures and subsidies for Corporate and Government customers within
assigned Region/s.
• Undertake structured regional visitation programs to clients, third-parties (including Fleet Management/
Leasing companies), Dealers and Regional OԀces.
• Produce a weekly Business Sales report for areas of responsibility.
• Participate as required in a varied range of events and functions which may require participation
outside of normal working hours.
The ideal candidate will have:
• Tertiary qualiӾcations.
• Relevant motor industry sales management experience or business development experience
if outside industry.
• Good organisation and time management skills, and strong computer skills.
• Accomplished presenting skills.
• Able to deal with all levels of the business.
• Australian citizenship or residency.
If you believe this is the role for you, please forward your CV and a brief covering letter, with
Business Sales Manager, Western Region as the subject, to: human_resources@hyundai.com.au
by Wednesday 4th May 2011.
John Mellor’s
SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.GoAutoMedia.com
April 27, 2011 Page 13
Ford picks T6 SUV fight
Aussie-developed global
T6-based wagon aims at
Toyota’s Prado, Fortuner
FORD has ambitions of tackling one of
Toyota’s core segments with a new Australiandeveloped five-door wagon based on the
upcoming T6 Ranger one-tonne utility.
This vehicle will be a mid-sized bodyon-frame SUV that will specifically target
Toyota’s HiLux-based Fortuner – which is
built and sold in various developing markets
– as well as the more sophisticated and
familiar LandCruiser Prado.
As reported exclusively by GoAuto nine
months ago, the T6 SUV will be developed
by the growing engineering group at Ford
Australia’s Broadmeadows headquarters,
where the company recently employed its
1000th engineer.
Ford’s global head of product
development, Derrick Kuzak, confirmed to
GoAuto at the New York motor show that
Ford intended to tackle Toyota’s huge share
of the “lucrative” market held by Fortuner
and Prado in Australia and throughout the
Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions.
Mr Kuzak said the stranglehold Toyota
has with these vehicles in the Asian region
especially is an opportunity too good for
Ford to ignore.
“If you look at the share of the Fortuner and
the Prado – certainly in Australia, but also all
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Ranger development
over the Pacific and into the Middle East – it
is really a remarkable kind of share that these
two vehicles have … in some markets it is
over 25 per cent,” Mr Kuzak told us.
“It is a very lucrative market and they
own it – at this point.”
Expected to be offered in a number
of seating, drivetrain and technology
specifications according to the markets
it is sold in, the new wagon will likely
be built mainly in Thailand, with other
manufacturing locations also expected.
The rugged SUV should follow in the
footsteps of the T6 Ranger – which was
designed and engineered at Broadmeadows
– as one of the most widely marketed Ford
vehicles in existence today.
It would join a growing number of
forthcoming ladder-frame chassis-derived
SUVs based on General Motors’ 2012 Colorado,
the related Isuzu’s next-generation D-Max and
possibly even Volkswagen’s Amarok.
Other rivals include the Nissan Pathfinder,
SsangYong Rexton, Mitsubishi Challenger
and Great Wall V250.
Mr Kuzak said the T6 Ranger’s
development ‘home room’ in Australia
would be expected to deliver further
derivatives as the need arises globally.
“The Australian team do compact pick-ups,
and any other vehicles that may come from
that platform for the entire globe,” he said.
“If you look at our product strategy
today, you see, for example, a platform that
underpins the (US market large car) Taurus
but also a number of other vehicles in the
North American market – the Flex (crossover
wagon), (Lincoln’s) MKS (sedan) and MKT
(crossover) and Explorer (SUV).
“So we have demonstrated an ability to
take a platform and develop a wide range –
from sedans to utilities – off that platform.”
Figo program sees Ford Oz engineers as ‘go-to guys’
FORD’S senior product boss has revealed that
Australia is now at the epicentre of an effective,
quality, low-cost vehicle development
program for the company worldwide.
Dubbed the ‘Value Enabled Strategy’ and
devised with the help of teams of Australian
engineers and designers, it enables vehicles
within the ‘One Ford’ global framework to
be remade relatively inexpensively, meeting
low-price goals of certain markets without
the vehicle losing key brand attributes
common to all Fords.
Ford’s group vice-president of global
product development, Derrick Kuzak,
praised the Broadmeadows team at the New
York auto show last week in the wake of the
Figo’s spectacular success in India over the
past 12 months.
Designed and developed in Australia
primarily as a low-cost family car, the
Figo is a B-segment light car based on the
previous-generation European Fiesta and is
manufactured in Chennai, India.
Sales have now soared past 80,000 units,
making the car Ford’s most successful – as
well as most awarded – vehicle in India of
all time. By the end of this year it will also
be available in Mexico, the Middle East,
North Africa and the Caribbean.
Mr Kuzak said the team at Broadmeadows
were now the ‘go-to guys’ for low-cost
vehicle development.
As well as Figo, Ford Australia developed
the T6 Ranger and Mazda BT-50 light
truck, and is also leading development of a
still-secret light car for China.
John Mellor’s
SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.GoAutoMedia.com
April 27, 2011 Page 14
Green view of Malibu
Holden’s 2012 mid-sizer
set to rival hybrid Camry
as GM unveils Eco model
HOLDEN is set to take on the Toyota Camry
Hybrid and Ford Mondeo diesel sometime
next year or from 2013 with a special hybrid
version of the upcoming Malibu.
The surprise eco model appeared at the
New York motor show last week – a day
after the new American mid-sized sedan
debuted in standard form at the Shanghai
motor show.
Dubbed the 2.4-litre Eco eAssist in North
America, where it will wear a Chevrolet badge,
the new hybrid will be sold in
most markets in the world that
sell the new Malibu, according
to Mark Moussa, GM’s global
chief engineer for mid- and fullsized passenger vehicles.
However, Mr Moussa would not reveal
which turbo-diesel engine option will be
available in the Malibu for Australia.
“There are additional powertrains to be
offered in the future that we will announce
in the coming months, but right now I cannot
tell you,” he told us.
The eAssist drivetrain in the Malibu
employs a 134kW 2.4-litre direct-injection
four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a compact
and lightweight (29kg) 115-volt lithium-ion
battery and a 15kW electric motor-generator
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pack, driving the front wheels via a ‘nextgeneration’ six-speed automatic transmission.
“With light electrification, it maintains
the same levels of performance that exists
in the non-eAssist Malibu, but it allows you
to get it at much less cost in terms of the
value and specification,” said
Mr Moussa.
The standard Malibu is
powered by a 141kW 2.5-litre
direct-injection Ecotec fourcylinder petrol engine paired
to a new 6T40 six-speed auto.
GM claims the Malibu Eco eAssist is
capable of returning better than 6.2L/100km
on the US highway cycle, compared with
6.7L/100km for the US Camry Hybrid.
The Malibu Eco also includes
regenerative braking (that captures up to
15kW of electricity to charge the battery),
an auto-stop function, a hill-assist feature,
and an aggressive fuel cut-off device during
deceleration down to standstill.
Underscoring economy is an improved
aerodynamic package over regular Malibus
– including four underbody panels, lowresistance tyres, electronically controlled
shutters in the lower grille that close at higher
speeds for reduced air resistance, and an ‘eco’
gauge to promote more frugal driving.
GM claims a possible range of more than
880km from the 60-litre tank.
Asked about the rumoured Malibu
wagon, Mr Moussa revealed that anything is
possible, but refused to confirm the existence
of such a model.
“Right now there is no plan in the rollout as
we understand it today, but that’s not to say that
there couldn’t be in the near future,” he said.
“We know how that changes depending
on the market requirements. We will attend
to the market’s requirements and needs as
we continue to develop the demographic
surrounding this particular platform. But
right now we only have a four-door sedan
that we are going to offer at the onset.”
Reuss not ready for Aussie El Camino - yet
THE president of GM North America,
former GM Holden chairman Mark Reuss,
has revealed that while the current VE
Ute is unlikely to be exported to the US,
soaring oil prices and general downsizing
trends could see a future iteration end up in
America wearing the Chevrolet bow tie.
Mr Reuss said at the New York motor
show opening last week that he is watching
the evolution of the massive American
truck market with interest as consumers
increasingly trade the expense and bulk
of a full-sized ‘pick-up’ such as the Ford
F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado for
smaller utilities and vans, such as the Ford
Transit Connect.
Based on the first-generation (C170)
Focus, the latter is a compact front-drive
panel van that has found surprising success
in North America since it arrived there from
Europe in 2009.
“The Ford Transit Connect is a good
example of that – it’s a little bit ahead
of its time right now,” Mr Reuss said.
“But that type of micro segmentation is
probably really relevant so I think the
industry needs to offer those sorts of
(commercial vehicles).
“I get the job done and I want to do it at a
lot less operating cost and I still get to enjoy
my vehicle – those are the sort of things that
happen with these types of situations.”
However, Mr Reuss did not close the
door on US exports of Australia’s topselling passenger car-based ute.
John Mellor’s
SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.GoAutoMedia.com
Scion stokes FT-86 coals
April 27, 2011 Page 15
Luscious Scion version of
Toyota’s rear-drive coupe
fans FT production flames
TOYOTA has released a wilder
development of its sleek FT-86 coupe
concept – this time via its youth-oriented
North American brand Scion.
Providing more vital clues to the cosmetic
and technical make-up of the production
FT-86, which has been confirmed to make its
global debut at the 2011 Tokyo motor show
on November 30, the Scion FR-S concept
winds up the volume on the FT-86 II show
car in a number of key areas.
First seen at Geneva in March – and then
again at the Shanghai motor show earlier
last week – the FT-86 II concept was a
completely reskinned, more aggressive
version of the original FT-86 concept and its
race-accessorised show sibling, the FT-86 G.
Now, however, the Scion FR-S adds even
more menace by adding new front rear quarter
panels with more heavily flared wheelarches
and a fresh front bumper that does away
with the FTII’s F1-style carbon-fibre and
LED daytime running lights, which are now
located within blue-tinged headlights.
Also gone are the front side vents and big
rear wing of the FT-86 II, the latter replaced
by a bulging bootlid that now features an
LED-illuminated ‘SCION’ logo above a
massive matt-black lower diffuser.
While the blacked-out windows of the
FR-S conceal its interior, the Scion coupe
concept also features revised side skirts and
different monoblock Five Axis alloy wheels,
measuring a huge 20x8.5-inch up front and
20x10.5-inch at the rear.
Its wheelbase remains the same at 2570mm,
but the changes make the FR-S longer, wider
and lower-slung than the FT-86 II overall at
4272mm long (up 37mm), 1818mm wide (up
23mm) and 1204mm high (down 66mm).
Coated in ‘Code Red’ paint comprising a
developmental additive from BASF called
Mearlite SSQ, the FR-S concept is stopped
by four-piston front brake callipers with
enormous fixed 18-inch annular carbon
ceramic matrix rotors.
As GoAuto has reported, the first rear-drive
Toyota coupe since the MR2 will be released
in Australia in the second half of next year with
a targeted starting price in the low-$30,000s.
The all-new as-yet-unnamed 2+2 coupe
will be powered by a 2.0-litre flat four from
Subaru, Toyota’s joint-venture partner in
the ground-breaking project that will also
spawn a Subaru version.
Now, however, Scion has confirmed the
first boxer-engined rear-drive coupe will also
be powered by the first flat four to be fitted
with Toyota’s D4-S direct and port injection
system, which Scion says increase power
and torque throughout the entire powerband
without sacrificing economy.
Only big global sales rise could force Subaru to reconsider building its own B-car
SUBARU says it might one day return
to making its own baby cars instead of
rebadging the Toyota Yaris to create
vehicles such as the Japan-only Trezia, but
not for the foreseeable future.
A one-time baby car specialist – before the
days of all-wheel drive and WRX turbos –
Subaru has not designed, developed or built
its own light car since the demise of the R1/
R2 Kei cars sold from 2003 to 2010.
And even back then these were sub-B
city cars rather than a true B-segment
competitor for models such as the Ford
Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo.
Since then the company that prides itself
on its engineering focus has decided that it
is not financially viable to offer a Subaruengineered light car, despite the increasing
popularity of smaller cars around the world.
Subaru senior engineer Akihide
Takeuchi said the B-segment vehicle was
simply not profitable.
“If B-segment sales globally rise
dramatically, then maybe we will
reconsider the situation,” he said. “But we
now concentrate on the more profitable
C-segment (Impreza) and above.”
Mr Takeuchi said Subaru was too small to
fly solo on a baby car program, particularly
as the global economy has not yet fully
emerged from the ravages of the recent
financial crisis.
“We are a relatively small company
with limited resources,” he said. “And our
production capacity is limited, too.”
For more than a decade Subaru has relied
on Suzuki (Ignis) and then Toyota (mostly
Yaris-derived vehicles such as the Verso)
and Daihatsu (Sirion and Move, among a
string of other models) to fill in gaps in its
various global market portfolios.
In Australia, the move to a front-drive
light car would go against the company’s
‘all-wheel drive is all we do’ philosophy
since late 1997.
developed rear-wheel-drive sportscar is a
strong contender for an Australian launch
next year.
John Mellor’s
SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.GoAutoMedia.com
April 27, 2011 Page 16
Sunny outlook
Nismo takes Leaf for
ride on the wild side
Nissan lights up next compact sedan via US Versa
NISSAN has used the New York auto show
to roll out a new-generation light sedan that
will be sold alongside the Micra in Australia
next year.
Built on the Nissan-Renault front-wheel
drive global ‘V’ (Versatile) platform, the
all-new sedan was first seen last December
at the Guangzhou motor show in China –
where it will be called the Sunny – but full
details on the vehicle have now emerged
from Nissan’s North American subsidiary,
which will sell it as the Versa.
Not to be mistaken for the Tiida small car
– the current model of which is, confusingly,
sold as the Versa in the US – this light
sedan is K13 Micra-based but has grown
to become similar in size to the current
B-platform-based Tiida sold throughout the
world, including in Australia.
As we saw with the unveiling of the
new-generation Tiida replacement at the
Shanghai motor show earlier last week,
Nissan’s all-important redesigned global
small car – which is expected to carry the
Pulsar nameplate when it arrives here during
2012 – has also grown in size with the new
generation, leaving this all-new light-size
Versa/Sunny four-door sitting in between
the Micra hatch and the next ‘Pulsar’.
Nissan Australia confirmed to GoAuto
last week that a name other than Micra was
still under consideration for the light sedan,
which should be produced for our market in
Thailand from the same plant as the hatch.
“Yes, we are considering calling it
something else other than a Micra sedan
when it appears in Australia next year,”
Nissan Australia spokesman Jeff Fisher told
GoAuto. “We haven’t locked in on a name
yet, but that’s under discussion now.
“It still sits on the V platform, which is
the same as the Micra, but it is a somewhat
larger car ... We feel we need a point of
differentiation as well from Micra – it’s a
different concept of a car that’s simply just
a ‘booted Micra’ so it would make sense,
we think, if we moved along that track
(with a new name).”
Sunny? “All bets are open at the moment,”
Mr Fisher said. “But no one name has been
decided upon yet.”
NISSAN’S famed Nismo tuning house
unveiled a radical take on the Leaf
electric vehicle at the New York motor
show last week.
The Nismo Leaf RC (short for Racing
Competition) may share a name with
Nissan’s mass-produced EV, but the
chopped, dropped and hollowed-out track
car leaves almost everything else from its
donor vehicle at the door.
This racing Leaf has a full carbon-fibre
monocoque body, including three-piece
bodywork comprising removable front
and rear sections, fixed windows, LED
headlights and tail-lights, and a driveradjustable rear wing.
As a result of its beefy bodykit, the RC
is 170mm wider and 20mm longer than
the standard Leaf, despite having two
less doors. The wheelbase is a tick under
100mm shorter than the standard Leaf’s,
while a lopped roof and lowered suspension
– the RC sits just 60mm above the ground
– gives it a 355mm lower roofline.
The standard Leaf’s rear seating, boot,
audio system, navigation and carpeting
join the rear doors on the scrap heap, giving
the RC a 40 per cent cut to the car’s kerb
weight. Despite having to contend with a
lithium-ion battery pack, the RC tips the
scales at just 938kg.
Australia waits as Infiniti confirms JX large SUV will enter production in 2012
NISSAN’S luxury division Infiniti has used
the New York auto show to announce it will
produce an all-new large luxury crossover –
the JX – that will reach US showrooms by
mid-2012 and is expected to form part of
the Australian model range after the brand
makes a comeback here late next year.
Nissan Australia spokesman Jeff Fisher
has told GoAuto that details such as the
vehicle’s right-hand drive production were
still to be confirmed.
“As to whether or not it makes the starting
line-up for Infiniti late next year, it’s a bit
early still,” he said. “There is no concrete
study on that at the moment.”
The three-row, seven-seat large SUV was
expected to have been shown in the metal in
New York, but Nissan now says a concept will
be unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours
d’Elegance in August while the production
version will make its global debut at the Los
Angeles auto show in November.
The JX will enter production in the US in
the first half of next year and will be sold as
a 2013 model.
It will be positioned above the smaller
EX SUV and will either replace or sit
above the large FX SUV. Some overseas
media outlets have reported as fact that the
JX will replace the FX, but this is still to
be confirmed.
Nissan claims the exterior sketch issued
last week suggests the vehicle “pushes the
boundaries of what a luxury crossover can be”.
The company says it carries signature
styling cues of the Infiniti brand, such
as “dynamic and elegant line treatments
inspired by nature” while the “crescent cut”
greenhouse design is said to be influenced
by the Essence concept car.
John Mellor’s
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April 27, 2011 Page 17
SRT8 twins muscle in
Big 347kW 6.4 Hemi V8
is coming here for Grand
Cherokee and next 300C
CHRYSLER has taken the wraps off two
highly anticipated new high-performance
SRT8 models at the New York auto show,
confirming a stonking 6.4-litre Hemi
V8 for the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the
forthcoming redesigned 300C – both of
which are heading Down Under.
Chrysler Australia has told GoAuto that
both SRT8 variants are certain starters for
Australia, with the Grand Cherokee SRT
to sit atop the recently released fourthgeneration SUV series from early next year
and the 300 SRT to join the all-new large car
range now due around mid-2012.
The US rollout begins with the Grand
Cherokee SRT in the third quarter of this year.
“We’re all incredibly excited by the
unveiling of the SRT8 range, and can confirm
they will indeed make it to Australia,”
said Chrysler Australia spokesman Dean
Bonthorne. “The Grand Cherokee SRT8 will
join the rest of the range around Q2, with
300C SRT8 not until mid-year or early Q3.”
300 SRT8
Grand Cherokee SRT8
As expected, the Fiat-controlled US auto
giant has increased the displacement size of
its bent-eight SRT from 6.1 to 6.4 litres, and
although full details are still to be revealed,
Chrysler has announced that the new engine
will deliver an “estimated” and neatly
rounded 465 horsepower (347kW) and 465
lb-ft (630Nm).
This makes the Grand Cherokee the
most powerful production Jeep in history,
and likewise the 300C becomes Chrysler’s
most powerful sedan ever, with preliminary
performance figures – using the standard
five-speed automatic transmission – pointing
to 0-60mph (96.56km/h) completed in 4.8
seconds for the SUV and “in the high foursecond range” for the sedan.
The quarter mile for the Jeep should be
dispatched in 13.5 seconds on its way to a
250km/h top speed, while the 300 is claimed
to pass the same (402m) mark in the “high
12-second range” and continue on to just
over 280km/h.
By comparison, the previous SRT8’s 6.1litre Hemi V8 produced 317kW at 6000rpm
(detuned slightly in the Jeep to 313kW) and
569Nm at 4600rpm, while the new Grand
Cherokee’s range-topping circa-$70,000
5.7-litre Hemi delivers 259kW and 520Nm.
Running on premium unleaded petrol,
the previous SRT8s were relatively thirsty
beasts, consuming 14.2L/100km in the 300C
and 16.1L/100km in the Grand Cherokee,
while CO2 emissions were at 337 and 380g/
km for the sedan and SUV respectively. The
5.7 Grand Cherokee, meanwhile, returns
14.1L/100km and 224g/km.
Chrysler is still to provide official economy
and emissions figures for the new-generation
SRT8 models, but has foreshadowed a 25
per cent drop in highway-cycle consumption
with the introduction of a new ‘active valve’
exhaust system that allows the cylinderdeactivation system to engage over a wider
rpm range when in four-cylinder mode.
The new exhaust system is also said to
allow for ‘straight-through’ mid and rear
mufflers for a rortier exhaust note under
engine load.
Fiat’s Chrysler move – page 23
Jaguar facelifts XF sedan and XK sportscar as XJ limo adds new rear-seat options
A SCOWLING new face on the XF sedan
leads the updates to Jaguar’s MY2012
range, flanked by a revised XK sportscar
and new rear-seat options for the XJ limo,
all of which made their public debuts at last
week’s New York motor show ahead of an
expected Australian release late this year.
The Indian-owned British luxury brand
has brought the XF’s looks into line with
those of the XJ flagship, sharing its big
brother’s narrow headlight profile, made
possible through the use of “bi-function
HID Xenon technology” that Jaguar says
provides “outstanding beam resolution”
despite the slim shape of the apertures.
The bonnet’s sheetmetal has been reshaped
to accommodate the new front lights, as have
the front guards, which now incorporate
triangular-shaped side vents in place of the
pre-facelift XF’s shark-like gills.
Daytime running lights have been moved
from the air vents in the front bumper to a
“J-Blade” pattern around the edge of the
new, slimmer headlights.
At the back, the all-LED tail-lights
give the XF a “distinctive night-time rear
signature” and now extend along both
sides of the chrome feature strip that runs
horizontally across the facia – which for the
facelift has a gloss black lower edge above
the numberplate.
While each XF variant will have its own
discrete front and rear bumper differences,
the hot XFR range-topper gets a revised
bodykit setting it apart from the rest of
the line-up.
In comparison with the outgoing model,
the new XFR features larger air intakes on
each side of its new front bumper, plus a rear
diffuser. Jaguar will also offer an optional
aerodynamic package for all variants to
give them a more sporting look.
Rounding off the exterior changes are
three new paint colours and extra alloy wheel
designs ranging from 17 to 20 inches.
Inside, the first significantly refreshed
XF since its 2008 Australian release
continues with its signature start-up
sequence of revolving air vents and
rising gear selector but adds redesigned
seats, new colour combinations and extra
personalisation options.
John Mellor’s
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April 27, 2011 Page 18
Kizashi kisses
Benz unleashes bi-turbo
E63 AMG sedan, wagon
Hybrid and factory turbo models turn up in NY
AFTER promising earlier this month to
reveal two new concepts in New York that
“take the Kizashi to the next level”, Suzuki
has taken the covers off a long-awaited
petrol-electric hybrid version and a sizzling
220kW-plus factory turbocharged variant of
its medium-sized sedan.
Demonstrating that its hybrid program
is back in full swing after being derailed
during the global financial crisis, Suzuki
wheeled out the ‘Kizashi EcoCharge’ in the
Big Apple and has confirmed to GoAuto
that a decision on series production is
expected once its American subsidiary
finishes a test fleet program in the next
couple of months.
Suzuki Australia spokesperson Andrew
Ellis said “naturally, we will be investigating
the possibility of, and feasibility for, a
right-hand drive version” that would hand
it a direct rival to Toyota’s Australian-built
Camry Hybrid, but there is currently no firm
Apex turbo
timetable for an Australian launch.
Preliminary specifications for the Kizashi
hybrid show that it uses a Suzuki-sourced
J20B 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine –
as seen in the current SX4 – that produces
106kW of power at 6500rpm and 173Nm
of torque at 4500rpm.
The combustion engine works in
conjunction with a 15kW belt-driven, liquidcooled induction motor/generator unit tied
to a 115-volt air-cooled lithium-ion battery
system, driving the front wheels through a sixspeed automatic transmission and delivering a
claimed 25 per cent improvement in highway
fuel economy over the conventional-engined
(2.4-litre) Kizashi sedan.
Specific economy and emissions figures
are still to be released.
As per Suzuki’s 2009 announcement of the
petrol-electric Kizashi program, the hybrid
technology is sourced from General Motors
and is about to enter service in the MY 2012
Buick LaCrosse, in which it combines with
a 2.4-litre Ecotec engine.
In a bid to further reduce consumption,
the Kizashi EcoCharge is also fitted with
low-rolling-resistance tyres and lightweight
alloy wheels.
THE substitution of AMG’s bahnstorming
6.2-litre V8 with a smaller 5.5-litre twinturbocharged bent-eight continues apace,
with Mercedes-Benz revealing quicker
and more fuel-efficient E63 AMG sedan
and wagon models at last week’s New
York motor show.
Due in Australian showrooms by
November, the upgraded 2012 E-class
AMGs follow the debut of the all-new
twin-turbo V8 here in the facelifted CL63
AMG coupe last November, before the
downsized S63 AMG sedan was released
here in February.
The lower-displacement force-fed V8
– designated by a ‘V8 BITURBO’ frontquarter badging rather than ‘6.3 V8’
lettering as before – will also power the
second-generation CLS63 AMG coupesedan due here mid-year, as well as next
year’s top-shelf AMG version of the
redesigned SLK roadster.
The facelifted C63 AMG sedan, wagon
and all-new coupe will continue with a
more efficient version of Mercedes-AMG’s
naturally aspirated 6.2 – a dry-sump version
of which powers the range-topping SLS
AMG ‘Gullwing’ – when they are released
here before the end of this year.
BMW confirms 176kW TwinPower 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo for Z4 roadster
TEUTONIC turbo-meister BMW used last
week’s New York motor show to announce
that the high-output four-cylinder 2.0-litre
‘TwinPower’ turbocharged petrol engine
that debuted in its X1 crossover will make
it under the long bonnet of the Z4 roadster
by the end of this year.
Like the X1, the Z4 will receive 28i
nomenclature for variants fitted with the
new engine. While the X1’s engine is rated
at 180kW, BMW quotes 176kW for the Z4
– although it points out that final output and
performance figures will not be finalised
until mid-year.
As GoAuto reported when the X1
received the engine in January, the new
powerplant’s power output comes close to
that of BMW’s naturally aspirated straightsix in 28i/30i specification while producing
an extra 50Nm of torque.
BMW employs twin-scroll turbocharging
(which separates the exhaust gases from each
pair of cylinders to reduce turbo lag), direct
fuel injection, variable camshaft timing and
valve control to achieve power and torque
outputs higher than would normally be
expected for an engine of this size.
The power and torque delivery
characteristics of the turbo four also promise
to make it a more usable unit, peak power
coming in at 5000rpm rather than 6600rpm
and maximum torque from just 1250rpm as
opposed to 2600rpm.
As would be expected, the smaller
capacity and lower cylinder count also
contribute to significant fuel and CO2
savings of 16 per cent over the six-cylinder
it replaces in the X1. According to overseas
reports, the engine is responsive, refined
and efficient but lacks the soundtrack and
character of BMW’s iconic inline-six.
John Mellor’s
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April 27, 2011 Page 19
Geely’s big guns
Australia’s first Chinese
car brand shows off new
models, reveals EV plan
GEELY is most famous for its parent
company’s purchase of Sweden’s largest
car-maker, Volvo, and last year also released
the first – and cheapest – Chinese passenger
car in Australia.
Now the burgeoning Chinese company
has revealed its intention to start mass
production of its first hybrid and all-electric
models by the end of next year.
The ambitious electrification plan was
revealed to the Reuters news agency at
last week’s Shanghai motor show, where
Geely Automobile Holdings highlighted its
latest R&D achievement as an independent
Chinese auto-maker by exhibiting no fewer
than 37 models, three theme parks and two
interactive experience zones.
Although it remains unclear which of them
will actually reach production, Geely took
the wraps off at least five interesting new
models under three sub-brands in Shanghai,
including everything from a Mini Cooperstyle hatchback to an imposing SUV and a
Gleagle GX6
Emgrand EC6-RV
folding hard-top roadster.
Geely again wheeled out its gaudy GS
– a near carbon-copy of the Rolls-Royce
Phantom – but its most striking new model
was the small Emgrand ‘EC6-RV’ hatch,
which borrows its roofline from Suzuki’s
Swift and has similar overall proportions to
the Mini hatch.
Despite that, the 3.8-metre mini-car, which
is powered by a turbocharged 1.3-litre petrol
engine that drives through a new dual-clutch
automatic transmission and features a fuelsaving idle-stop system, still manages to look
convincingly cohesive in its own right.
At least the EC6-RV was more
contemporary than the Englon SC7-RV, an
even more retro five-door hatch that looks a
lot like Nissan’s previous-generation Micra
from the rear and a bit like a London cab
from the front.
And then there were three Gleagle-badged
vehicles – including the GS-CC, a compact
2+2 coupe-convertible sportscar that looks like
a cross between a BMW Z4 and a Lexus SC,
and the somewhat underwhelming GC6 midsize sedan – details of which are also sketchy.
Perhaps the least derivative of the Gleagle
trio is the striking GX6 crossover, a fiveseat/five-door wagon with chunky lower
body cladding, a complicated grille and
radical back-swept headlights that make it
look different from anything we have ever
seen from Geely – or any other brand.
Geely came to Australia at the beginning
of 2010 with a single model, the lightsized MK sedan, which matched the
Proton S16’s benchmark-setting $11,990
driveaway pricetag when it became
available only in West Australia – the
home state of veteran vehicle importer
John Hughes, the man behind Chinese
Automotive Distributors (CAD).
Chery – Australia’s third Chinese passenger
vehicle brand, imported by Ateco Automotive,
the same distributor that brought us the first
in 2009, Great Wall Motors – matched that
price with its J1 city car in February.
Great Wall’s ute and SUV models are
due to be joined by its first passenger car in
Australia later this year.
Rolls-Royce unveils long-wheelbase version of entry-level Ghost at Shanghai show
UNDERLINING the importance placed
by the automotive industry on the Chinese
market, Rolls-Royce elected to use last
week’s Shanghai show as the background
against which to make its first-ever world
debut of a car in the Asia Pacific region.
Providing more than twice the knee-room
of the standard Ghost – afforded by an extra
170mm of length, bringing the car’s total
length to 5569mm – the Ghost Extended
Wheelbase also features a panoramic sunroof,
which Rolls-Royce claims “sets new standards
for interior ambience and light”.
Citing the extended Ghost as “for
customers who require increased space
and comfort without sacrificing Ghost’s
unique balance of dynamism and poise”,
Rolls-Royce is pitching the car as equally
suited to being driven by its owner or used
as chauffeured transport.
Rolls-Royce claims that the added
length has not compromised the vehicle’s
proportions. The increase is cleverly and
subtly integrated to the design and the
elongated Ghost remains 265mm shorter
than the standard-length Phantom.
First production for Australian-delivered
cars will begin around November, meaning
the first deliveries, including showroom
demonstrator models, are expected by
February or March next year.
According to Rolls-Royce importer Trivett’s
executive chairman Greg Duncan, most
Australian Rolls-Royce customers self-drive,
meaning that sales of extended wheelbase
models here will be mainly to luxury hotels or
high-end limousine companies.
Speaking at Shanghai, Rolls-Royce CEO
Torsten Muller-Otvos said: “This latest RollsRoyce is a model of outstanding design and
unrivalled luxury. Ghost Extended Wheelbase
delivers all the poise and dynamism enjoyed by
discerning Ghost owners, with the indulgent
experience of an extended wheelbase car. It is
the very best of both worlds.”
The LWB Ghost – which represents the
sixth model in the Rolls-Royce line-up
alongside the Phantom, Phantom Extended
Wheelbase, Phantom Drophead, Phantom
Coupe and Ghost – will be built to order
in limited numbers this year before full
production commences in 2012.
John Mellor’s
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GoAuto Market Insight
April 27, 2011 Page 20
GoAuto Market Insight is brought
to you by Dealer Solutions
Means Performance.
China spreads its wings
Cars imported from China
Chinese auto-makers
to look to Australia as
domestic growth slows
Great Wall
ute launched
Chery J1 and
J11 launched
Geely MK
launched in WA
Great Wall
utes launched
Great Wall X240
SUV launched
It also put China just outside the top 10 in
the list of imported brands in its first year,
behind Japan, Thailand, Korea, Germany,
South Africa, England, USA, Spain,
France and Belgium, but ahead of Brazil,
Czech Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy,
Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Slovak
Republic, Sweden, Taiwan and Turkey.
With the aid of Geely, which launched its
MK light car in Western Australia in January,
and Chery’s small-car duo, Chinese vehicle
sales are up 35 per cent to March this year,
when Great Wall notched up its 10,000th sale.
At its official local launch in late February,
Chery said it plans to sell 5000 vehicles in
Australia in 2011 – a year in which its (and
Great Wall’s) Australian distributor, Ateco
Automotive, expects to sell a further 10,000
Great Wall vehicles.
To get there, Great Wall will introduce
its first passenger car in Australia later this
year and could also release a fourth model,
while Chery’s first direct rival for Toyota’s
top-selling Corolla, the J3 hatch, will go on
sale early in the third quarter.
However, Ateco’s potential combined
THE explosive growth of China’s immature
auto industry has been well documented in
these pages, and Market Insight has also
covered the outstanding local success of
Australia’s first Chinese passenger car
brand, Great Wall Motors.
Of course, it is too early to draw any
conclusive long-term trends from less than
two years of Great Wall ute and SUV sales,
but it is worth revisiting Australia’s Chinese
vehicle boom a month after the release of
our third Chinese brand, Chery.
Last month, when Chery released its
inaugural J1 city car and J11 compact SUV
models, sales of Chinese passenger cars
surged to a record 756 – almost triple the initial
274 figure recorded in July 2009, when Great
Wall’s two cut-price dual-cabs first shook up
the bottom end of the ute segment.
Great Wall sales have grown consistently in
between, spiking to 375 in November 2009,
when Australia’s first Chinese SUV (the
X240) arrived, and – with the help of singlecab and cab-chassis V240 ute models released
from mid-year – totalling 6690 in the fledgling
brand’s first full year of sales in 2010.
That was enough to put Great Wall firmly
in the top 20 vehicle brands in Australia,
ahead of established marques including Alfa
Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, Chrysler,
Citroen, Dodge, Ferrari, Fiat, Hummer,
Isuzu Ute, Jaguar, Jeep, Lamborghini, Land
Rover, Lexus, Lotus, Maserati, Maybach,
Mini, Morgan, Peugeot, Porsche, Proton,
Renault, Rolls-Royce, Saab, Skoda, Smart,
SsangYong and Volvo.
tally of 15,000 Chinese vehicles sales this
year, which would put China among the top
five countries of origin in terms of Australian
imports, does not include the third unnamed
Chinese brand – or the first Chinese EV – it
promised to introduce here in 2011.
Nor does it include the rise of Geely,
which plans to release a replacement for the
MK in the five-door 1.3-litre CE hatchback,
as well as the smaller LC (Panda) city car
and the larger EC7 small sedan and hatch
via a network of Geely showrooms across
Australia within 2011.
While Ateco remains coy about its
Chinese vehicle sales targets, owner and
governing director Neville Crichton said in
February last year that by 2015 he expected
Chinese vehicles to account for a “major,
major” share of the Australian market, in
which they would undermine sales of both
Korean and Japanese vehicles.
“Hyundai has a big slice of the market,”
he said at the time. “We’re not trying to take
it off them – we just want some of it.”
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Green issues in the auto world
April 27, 2011 Page 21
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‘Aussie’ pod on the road
Australian-designed GM
EN-V electric pod set for
real-world trials in China
A FUTURISTIC two-wheeled electric
commuter concept designed by young
Australian designers at GM Holden could
morph into a production vehicle that will
cruise without driver input through city
traffic snarls in China.
The Port Melbourne-designed twoseater Xiao EN-V (Electric NetworkedVehicle) was one of three EV passenger
‘pods’ revealed ahead of the 2010 World
Expo in Shanghai last May, when General
Motors and its Chinese partner Shanghai
Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC)
revealed their vision for sustainable urban
transportation in the year 2030.
Now, GM China has announced it will
develop a next-generation EN-V to take
part in real-world testing on public roads
in China, as part of a memorandum of
understanding it signed on April 17 with the
Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-City Investment
and Development Co Ltd (SSTEC).
As part of the agreement, GM will initiate
a feasibility study to incorporate a ‘mobility
internet’ into transport infrastructure to
support vehicles like the EN-V.
GM China Group chief and former Holden
executive, Australian Kevin Wale, said at last
week’s Shanghai motor show opening that
GM had reached a preliminary agreement
with the SSTEC to conduct joint research to
directly address urban congestion concerns
being expressed in major cities.
“At World Expo 2010 Shanghai, GM
demonstrated our vision of sustainable urban
mobility and published the GM Sustainable
Urban Mobility Blue Paper at the conclusion
of the event as a call for action and a roadmap
to the future,” said Mr Wale.
“We are pleased that GM’s partnership
with SSTEC can serve as the first step for
realising our vision.”
The is no guarantee that Holden Design’s
“nautically inspired” version of the EN-V –
which translates to ‘laugh’ in Chinese and is a
“light-hearted” Aussie design that looks like a
deep-sea diving suit – will reach production.
But it has as much chance as the Jiao
(pride) EN-V designed by GM Europe and
the Californian-designed Miao (magic),
which will also ride on a next-generation
Segway platform that balances on two
wheels powered by two electric motors and
a lithium-ion battery.
Either way, Holden says it is chuffed that
its most daring design to date could go to
the next level in the production process.
“Obviously from a Holden perspective,
it’s pleasing to see the hard work and
creative vision that our advanced design
team put into the original concept rewarded
with this next step in the program,” said
spokesman Jonathan Rose.
“The original work, showcased at
last year’s China Expo, really broke the
mould of the projects we undertake within
Holden Design.”
While the three advanced GM EN-Vs
took pride of place at the SAIC-GM
Pavilion a year ago, last week Mr Wale
announced an ambitious five-year business
plan in which he said GM would take further
steps to bring its vision of a world without
petroleum, vehicle emissions, accidents and
traffic congestion to life.
Mr Wale also announced GM would
introduce 60 new or upgraded models and
achieve EV leadership in China in the next
five years as part of its drive to double
sales to about five million vehicles in its
largest single market and the world’s most
populous nation by 2015.
Correction: An article in last week’s issue
referred to EV Engineering’s Commodore
program as a hybrid, when it is, as previously
reported, a fully electric vehicle.
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GoAuto Personnel
April 27, 2011 Page 22
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fied Applicants
VOLKSWAGEN has appointed former
GM executive Terry Johnsson as its new
sales chief in North and South America,
succeeding former Volkswagen Group
Australia managing director Jutta Dierks.
As GoAuto reported
last year, Ms Dierks
was appointed vicepresident of sales and
marketing at the German
auto giant’s Brazilian
Frank Brustmann at
Terry Johnsson Volkswagen do Brasil.
Ms Dierks had been working as head of
Volkswagen brand sales for the Americas
since leaving Australia in June 2009, when
she was replaced by Anke Koeckler.
Mr Johnsson’s position is based in Germany
and sees him report to VW’s board member
responsible for sales, Christian Klingler.
An economist, Mr Johnsson joined GM
in 1984 and rose to become president and
director of GM’s Middle East operations –
a position he held from 2004 to 2008, and in
which he was eventually replaced by Mike
Devereux, now GM Holden chairman and
managing director.
Like Mr Devereux and other GM/Holden
executives such as Alan Batey – the man
Mr Devereux replaced at the top of Holden
– Mr Johnsson held a number of senior GM
positions in sales, service and marketing.
Most recently, he was president of sales,
service and marketing at GM China, working
under another former Holden director (and
now GM China president), Kevin Wale.
Earlier in his career, Mr Johnsson
undertook various planning, product
development and marketing assignments
across a number of markets including the
UK and China, and became vice-president
of sales, service and marketing in Indonesia
and Thailand in 1993.
He performed a similar role for GM Asia
Pacific in 2002, having transferred to the
division two years earlier as regional director
for e-Business Solutions. A replacement for Mr
Johnsson at GM China is still to be named.
AP EAGERS business development
and analysis manager Rohan Meyer has
joined Deloitte Motor Industry Services
(MIS) as manager
of the Profit Focus
reporting unit.
Mr Meyer joined
AP Eagers in 2007
after 10 years at GM
Holden, where he was
responsible for dealer
Rohan Meyer
vehicle remarketing.
Prior to that he worked at Toyota Australia
for six years on dealer development and
dealership business analysis.
At Deloitte MIS, Mr Meyer will
be working with clients on dealership
profit review and enhancement, market
representation and strategy, and customer
relationship management.
If you have any car industry personnel
announcements, please email them to
Terry Martin at tmartin@mellor.net
Bentley launches $553K ISR Conti cabrio and reveals start price for new GT coupe
FOLLOWING its global debut at the
Geneva show last month, the Bentley
Continental Supersports Convertible Ice
Speed Record (ISR) special edition is now
on sale in Australia priced at $553,585 plus
on-road costs.
Bentley has also confirmed to GoAuto
that the first examples of the secondgeneration Continental GT coupe will be
arriving Down Under within the coming
months, priced at $405,714.
The production run of 100 ISRs exists
to commemorate the 330.695km/h world
ice speed record set in February by a biofuelled Bentley Supersports Convertible
driven by Finnish four-time world rally
champion Juha Kankkunen.
Kankkunen’s previous record of
Australia’s No.1
321.6km/h, set in 2007, was also achieved
in a Bentley, a Continental GT coupe.
Peak power of 471kW makes the ISR
the most powerful Bentley ever (by 8kW)
and its price makes it the most expensive
Continental – by almost $22,000. The extra
eight kilowatts are liberated through the
use of revised air-intake, intercooler and
exhaust systems.
Torque of 800Nm is shared with the
Anne Taylor
George Hennessy
standard Supersports coupe and convertible,
as is its 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine’s
ability to consume petrol, E85 bio-ethanol
or a mixture of both.
The ISR powers from zero to 100km/h
in four seconds, 160km/h is achieved in
9.4 seconds and v-max is 325km/h. Bentley
claims that a side effect of the new freeflowing exhaust system is a “sporty baritone
under hard acceleration”.
On top of impressive standing-start
performance, the ISR’s in-gear acceleration
from 80-120km/h is achieved in just 2.5
seconds. Bringing all that power under
control are carbon-ceramic brake discs, the
420mm diameter front rotors being gripped
by eight-piston callipers.
Sonya Poci
Motor Recruitment Specialist
Sharon Hunter
Mara Nogarotto
Les Land
“Our people take the stress
out of hiring the best people
for your business.”
For more information please call 1300 666 562 or visit www.motorstaff.com.au
John Mellor’s
SUBSCRIBE FREE: www.GoAutoMedia.com
April 27, 2011 Page 23
GoAuto’s latest car review
Hyundai i20 1.4 Active 3-dr hatch
THE light-car class has long split into two groups – $13K cheapies (dominated by Hyundai’s
Getz) and $17K premium babies (hello VW Polo). But with the former group’s old guard
dying out and Nissan’s latest Micra redefining parameters, Hyundai has been forced
upmarket with the $15,490 i20. Tested in base Active manual guise, we assess whether
Nissan should be laughing or VW ought to be worried. Whatever, the i20 is arguably
the best Hyundai available in Australia right now.
Launch Pad
Australia’s No.1 because it works!
BMW 6 Series Convertible
Ford Territory facelift
Ford Territory diesel
Saab 9-5 sedan
Renault Latitude sedan
Volkswagen Passat range
PORSCHE has given the 2011 Cayenne a
minor refresh, tweaking the diesel, hybrid
and twin-turbo V8 engines in its SUV range
– and the Stuttgart-based manufacturer has
confirmed to GoAuto that the first updated
models will arrive locally around August.
The most notable change is seen in the
diesel variant, with Porsche trimming the fat
and extracting more power from the 3.0-litre
turbo V6 powerplant.
Modifications such as an improved
turbocharger, a revamped direct-injection
system, reduced frictional resistance
and a redesigned crankshaft increase the
Cayenne diesel’s peak power output from
176kW to 180kW.
Porsche claims that these modifications
also created a more responsive and freerevving unit, while the use of new materials
has helped the V6 to shed 20 kilograms,
bringing the hefty Cayenne’s unladen weight
down to 2080kg.
As you would expect, this has led to slight
improvements in both fuel consumption
and acceleration figures for the German
luxury SUV.
6 Seri
S ies
es Conv
Ford Territory
New model diary: CLICK HERE
FIAT is set to take majority control of
American car-maker Chrysler Group by
the end of this year, provided it delivers
on a promise to pay back government
loans and meet other targets stipulated by
the Obama administration.
The Italian company has struck a deal
with other Chrysler shareholders to pay
$US1.27 billion ($A1.18b) to exercise an
option for a further 16 per cent share of
Chrysler, taking its stake in the company
from 30 per cent to 46 per cent by the
second quarter of this year, as long as it
pays back $US7.53 billion ($A7b) in US
and Canadian government loans.
If Chrysler also meets a requirement to
build a Fiat-based 40mpg (5.66L/100km)
car in the US, the governments will hand
over another five per cent share free of
This would take Fiat’s share of Chrysler to
51 per cent by the end of this year, creating a
new global motor company two years ahead
of the original 2013 target date.
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dealership’s brand on Australia’s largest online automotive network.
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MINI’S Countryman crossover range is
about to receive a flagship diesel variant in
the form of the Cooper SD (sport diesel),
slotting above the petrol-powered Cooper S
variant and priced from $52,100.
Standard specification for the SD includes
all-wheel drive, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear
parking sensors, ‘Radio Boost’ CD audio
system with USB and Bluetooth, rain-sensing
wipers, automatic headlights, sports leather
steering wheel and front sports seats.
CITROEN’S C4 hatchback and Kia’s
discontinued Magentis sedan have both
come in for safety recalls in the past week.
In the case of Citroen’s fourth recall
in 2011 – and the second for the C4 this
year – 125 examples of the current C4,
carrying a range of vehicle identification
numbers (VINs), have been called back to
fix potentially faulty tailgate wiring.
According to Citroen: “After a number of
tailgate movements, damage may occur to
electrical wires which could lead to functional
problems with various electrical equipment
linked to the tailgate.”