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May 18, 2011 Australia’s No.1 Automotive Industry Journal No. 581 70,000 Readers Weekly

Camry countdown

All-new Aussie Camry takes shape but will rely on imported engines for up to a year


TOYOTA Australia will import fourcylinder

engines from Japan for up to a year

for its crucial new-generation Camry as it

completes its massive $331 million engine

plant rejuvenation in Victoria.

The new Camry engine plant, partly

funded by a $63 million federal Green Car

Innovation Fund grant, will not ramp up to

full speed until October 2012 – about 12

months after the new seventh-generation

Camry is due to start rolling down the Altona

production line.

The company says the new model remains

on track for a fourth-quarter launch this year,

although Toyota planners appear not to have

ruled out an early 2012 debut if the timing

gets tight around Christmas.

The Camry Hybrid variant, which again

will be built alongside the standard petrol

range, is expected to follow several months

later, with the new V6 Aurion – based on the

new Camry – arriving in the second quarter.

The Altona assembly plant has been

running on half shifts since May 9 due to a

shortage of parts in the wake of the Japanese

earthquake in March, but is set to resume

normal production of the current Camry and

Aurion on June 6 at the rate of about 9000

units a month.

In the meantime, Toyota is putting the

fi nishing touches to its redesigned models,

which have been designed overseas for

global markets, but with local productplanning

and engineering input.

Sketches surfacing in Japan indicate the

new-generation Camry will get a bolder

face in a relatively conservative makeover

that appears evolutionary rather than


The images indicate a heavier grille and

sharper headlight treatment for the all-

DIG DIGITAL IMAGE: E Luc Br Britt it en e

important, volume-selling Camry that will

be tasked with retaining Toyota’s mid-size

car crown against a raft of newcomers such

as General Motors’ Malibu.

Over the past week, Hyundai has also

revealed its all-new i40 medium-sized

sedan, which is under consideration for

release in Australia to form a two-pronged

attack – with the i45 – against the Camry.

VFACTS fi gures show Camry sales are

down 18.6 per cent year to date, although it

still holds a commanding 32.8 per cent share

of the mid-sized car market, well ahead of the

Ford Mondeo (13.3 per cent), Mazda6 (10.6),

Subaru Liberty (9.1), Honda Accord Euro

(8.2) and the i45 (7.8).

Continued next page




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Camry countdown

Continued from previous page

Last year, Toyota sold just over 25,000

Camrys for a 40.2 per cent share of the

medium-car market segment.

The new ‘AR’ 2.5-litre four-cylinder

engine – including an Atkinson-cycle variant

for the Camry Hybrid – is not scheduled to

go into full production locally until late 2012,

meaning Toyota Australia will have to carry a

heavy import bill for drivetrains initially.

Work on the 100,000-unit a year engine

plant is due to start in August this year, with

the so-called commissioning stage running

from late January to March.

But the plant is not scheduled to ramp

up to full speed until October 2012, with

Toyota’s offi cial project overview pamphlet

saying the factory will conduct low-volume

engine production trials to fi netune the

new engine production line until the end of

September 2012.

Toyota Australia has this week confi rmed

to GoAuto that more than 300 engine plant

employees will be redeployed into other areas

of the Altona factory for several months while

the new production machinery is installed – a

process that will require excavation for new

foundations for some machines.

Although the local engines will not arrive

until 2012, production of the new Camry

John Mellor’s

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PUBLISHER: John Mellor

EDITOR: Terry Martin

MANAGING EDITOR: Marton Pettendy

JOURNALISTS: Ron Hammerton, Haitham Razagui

Byron Mathioudakis, James Stanford


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Want to integrate with your supplier?

We work with every

factory in Australia.

using the same AR four-cylinder engines

from Japan will start late this year for local

launch in either December or January.

The hybrid version will go into production

a few months later, with the new V6 Aurion

next in line from about April.

The new engines to be built at Altona will

be the same AR powerplants that will be

imported from Japan to fi ll the production gap

once the all-new Camry model – the seventh

generation in Australia – starts rolling down

the Altona production line late this year.

The 2.5-litre AR replaces the 2.4-litre

AZ engine in the local Camry, although

the newer engine has done duty in the

American version since 2009. In the US,

the engine comes in two states of tune –

a 126kW/226Nm for base models and a

133kW/230Nm version for the Camry SE.

This compares with 117kW/218Nm for

the current engine in the Australian Camry.

Toyota says fuel consumption will

improve by 4.5 per cent, cutting the current

Camry combined fuel consumption from 8.8

litres per 100km to about 8.5L/100km.

CO2 emissions are also expected to be cut

by about fi ve per cent, from 208 grams per

kilometre to below 200g/km.

The Camry is expected to get a six-speed

automatic transmission – up from the current

fi ve-speed – while the hybrid will continue

to match its petrol-electric second-generation


May 18, 2011 Page 2

2.5-litre AR engine

Hybrid Synergy Drive drivetrain with a

continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The current Camry Hybrid combines a

110kW petrol engine – which is imported –

with a 30kW electric motor for a combined

output of 140kW.

Ultimately, the 2.5-litre petrol engine

for the new Hybrid Camry will be made

alongside the standard engine at Altona,

while the remainder of the hybrid powertrain

will continue to be imported.

The engine plant was the subject of much

debate within Toyota until last year, when the

federal government, Victorian government and

Toyota Australia convinced TMC to invest in a

much-needed revamp for the plant.

The alternative for Toyota was to make

the four-cylinder engines in Thailand and

ship them to Australia.

Now, Toyota Australia will export some

of the engines to Thailand and Vietnam,

as well as continuing to export completely

built up Camrys to the Middle East.

Announcing the intention of the company

to return to normal production levels in June,

Toyota Australia president and CEO Max

Yasuda said last week that the company had

confi rmed it had suffi cient parts to support a

return to full vehicle production.


Back to ‘normal’ – next page







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GoAuto News

Back to ‘normal’

Toyota production set to

ramp up here and abroad

after sharp Q4 profi t fall


TOYOTA has announced a return to normal

levels of production at its Altona plant in

Victoria from June 6 as the Japanese auto

giant recovers more quickly than previously

expected from the devastating March 11

earthquake and tsunami.

The earthquake was largely responsible

for a 77 per cent fall in net income Toyota

Motor Corporation (TMC) reported last

week for the fi nal quarter of its fi nancial

year ending March 31, with widespread

production cutbacks forcing sales down

across the globe.

However, the world’s biggest car-maker

– which is likely to lose its number-one

ranking to General Motors as a result of the

cutbacks – says global production will now

begin returning to normal in June, rather than

starting in July in Japan and in August outside

its home market, as announced on April 22.

In the fi rst week of June, Toyota’s global

production is expected to be carried out

at around 70 per cent of normal output,

depending on the region and vehicle model.

In Australia, production has been reduced

to 50 per cent of pre-earthquake levels since

May 9 as a result of the limited availability

of components necessary to build Camry

and Aurion models at Altona.

With a resumption of parts supply, Toyota

will return production to around 9000 vehicles

a month from June. The company says it is

also “reasonably confi dent” it will be able to

maintain this output into July and August.

“Toyota Australia and our suppliers

have worked closely with Toyota Motor

Corporation to secure the parts needed to

resume normal vehicle production levels in

early June,” said Toyota Australia president

and CEO Max Yasuda.

“This has involved studying and

confi rming the supply of critical parts from

the earthquake-affected areas and identifying

interim alternate suppliers.

“The past two months have been

challenging for Toyota Australia employees,

dealers and suppliers, but their fl exibility

and support has been critical in helping the

company get back on its feet quickly.”

In Japan, Toyota last week made it clear

that reduced production levels “may have

signifi cant impact on TMC’s business


Notably, TMC has declined to provide

a forecast on vehicle sales, revenue and

earnings for the current fi nancial year due

to the impact of the so-called Great East

Japan Earthquake, saying that “more time

is needed to complete the examination of

production and sales plans”.


More reports – next page

Australia’s No.1

Motor Marketing Specialist


May 18, 2011 Page 3


NISSAN appears to have weathered Japan’s

devastating earthquake and tsunami far

better than rival Toyota, reporting a better

quarterly profi t than anticipated despite

disrupted supply and factory shutdowns.

The company appears to have avoided

the fate of Toyota – which last week

announced a 77 per cent fall in net income

– because it is less dependent on Japanese

production. Only 25 per cent of Nissans

are built in Japan whereas global leader

Toyota manufactures 45 per cent of its

vehicles at home.

Nissan Motor Company reported a net

income of ¥30.8 billion ($A360.2 million) in

the fourth quarter (to March 31) compared

with a loss of ¥11.6 billion ($A135.7

million) in the same period last year.

It was the only one of Japan’s Big Three

car-makers to report an improved result for

the period. Honda, which was overtaken

by Nissan last year, produces 26 per cent

of its vehicles in Japan but reported a 38

per cent drop in profi t for the quarter.


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GoAuto News

Quake rocks Prius+

Earthquake disrupts plans for Prius MPV in Australia


PRODUCTION dislocation due to the

Japanese earthquake in March is messing

with plans by Toyota Australia to lock in

its fi rst family-friendly hybrid vehicle, the

Prius+ people-mover.

The seven-seat Prius has just been

formally launched alongside its fi ve-seat

twin, the Prius V, under a new sub-brand –

Prius Alpha – in Japan, where Toyota dealers

are holding 25,000 pre-sale orders.

But, in the same breath, Toyota Motor

Corporation has warned Japanese customers

they might have to cool their heels a little

longer for the two vehicles while its factories

play catch-up from the March 11 earthquake

and tsunami.

The same production dislocation is also

hampering Toyota Australia’s efforts to fi rm

up plans for the Prius+, which it wants to

sell alongside the standard fi ve-seat Prius in

this market.

Toyota Australia spokesman Chris Parker

told GoAuto: “Because of the Japanese

quake, production hasn’t been confi rmed, so

The Company

Regent Motors Pty Ltd is a longstanding,

privately owned automotive business in Western

Australia. Our key business partners include

Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Mitsubishi, Isuzu Ute,

Proton and Chery. We employ over 250

personnel across 4 sites and have acquisitive

growth planned. We strive to provide

employees with ongoing opportunities to

challenge themselves and develop and grow

their career.

Galleria Toyota in Morley employs 65

personnel across all areas of Dealership

Operations. As a proud member of the

global Toyota family we openly promote and

embrace the “continuous improvement”

philosophy of “Kaizen” in all that we do. We are

constantly revising and reviewing our systems

and processes to improve the customer’s

purchase and ownership experience.

everything is still under investigation at the


Overseas reports suggest the combination

of battery pack shortages caused by the

earthquake and strong initial demand in the

Japanese domestic market is expected to

delay exports.

The Detroit News said customers might

have to wait up to a year for delivery, as

Toyota can build only 3000 units a month.

However, the Prius+ – revealed at the

Geneva motor show in March – is still a

chance for the Australian International

Motor Show in Melbourne in July, if TMC

gives the car the thumbs up for Australia.

So far, Toyota Australia has confi rmed it

will display yet another hybrid, the Prius C

compact hatch concept, at the show, along

with its new rear-drive, boxer-engined sports

coupe, the FT-86.

“For the Melbourne motor show, we have

defi nitely confi rmed Prius C, but we have

asked for a range of cars,” Mr Parker said.


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This is a unique opportunity for a

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delivering exemplary customer service.

You will be responsible for each department

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Ultimately you will provide the vision,

inspiration and professionalism required

to successfully lead Galleria Toyota in

driving growth whilst building strong

key stakeholder partnerships.


May 18, 2011 Page 4

Toyota’s FT-86 coupe

set for Melbourne show


TOYOTA has offi cially confi rmed its

slick new rear-drive FT-86 boxer coupe

for Australia, but appears to be hedging its

bets on a release date.

The FT-86 II concept was last week

confi rmed to make its Australian debut

at the Melbourne motor show on July 1,

before the production version hits local

showrooms “in the second half of 2012 or

the fi rst half of 2013”.

The fi rst rear-drive Toyota since the

MR2 was due to roll off Toyota’s Japanese

production lines in mid-2012, making an

October 2012 local on-sale date the most

likely given the traditional three-month

delay between Japanese production and

Australian release.

Just two months ago at the Geneva

motor show in March, Toyota Australia

spokesman Mike Breen told GoAuto the

production FT-86 would go on sale here

in 18 months with a sharper-than-expected

base price target of less than $35,000.

“We would like it to be in the early

$30,000s,” said Mr Breen at the time.

“That’s where we would like it to be (but

it) doesn’t mean it will be there. Eighteen

months away, it is a little too far out to say

it will be this or it will be that.”


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John Mellor’s

GoAuto News



Hyundai’s other mid-sizer

New i40 sedan hits show

fl oor in Spain as HMCA

considers spot next to i45


HYUNDAI has taken the wraps off its

all-new fl agship sedan for Europe, the i40,

which could join the larger US-oriented

i45 in a double-barrelled mid-size sedan

onslaught in Australia next year.

The release of fi rst images and full

details alongside the car’s global debut at

last week’s Barcelona motor show in Spain

confi rms the four-door i40 is smaller and

more understated than the i45.

Riding on the same new global platform as

the i45 but with a 25mm-shorter (2770mm)

wheelbase, the i40 four-door is 80mm shorter

at 4740mm long and 20mm narrower at

1815mm wide overall, but shares the same

coupe-like roofl ine and 1470mm height.

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That makes it shorter than all but Suzuki’s

Kizashi in Australia’s D-segment sedan

category, where Hyundai Motor Company

Australia (HMCA) is considering positioning

the car above the i45, which was released

here in May 2010 and was bolstered by a sub-

$27,000 2.0-litre petrol variant last week.

Hyundai has confi rmed it will introduce the

similarly Euro-fl avoured i40 wagon – which

debuted at the Geneva motor show in March

– here in November, potentially giving it

three entrants in a segment dominated by

Toyota’s fl eet-friendly Camry sedan, which

will soon be renewed, and multiple body

styles of the Ford Mondeo and Mazda6.

No interior images of the i40 sedan, which

hits European showrooms in the fi nal quarter

of this year and the UK in early 2012, have

been released but the four-door’s cabin is

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expected to mirror that of the fi ve-door’s and is

claimed to offer best-in-class front headroom,

shoulder room and legroom.

That is despite a sweeping coupelike

roofl ine that Hyundai admits took

inspiration from Volkswagen’s Passat CC.

The i40’s silhouette may be more compact

but also looks similar to the i45, with which

it also shares upmarket exterior cues like

twin outboard exhaust outlets, wing mirror

indicators and chromed window surrounds.

Like the i45, the i40 is also distinguished

by a bold body-side character line that

descends from its tail-light to the front

wheelarch, while the i40 adds an extra

front quarter crease that extends from its

headlights to the front doors.


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John Mellor’s

GoAuto News

Aftermarket sector waits

as federal decision looms

on access to vehicle data

New Car Sales Manager

Number one in Victoria and a Mazda Master dealer

for the past four years, Max Kirwan Mazda is the

dealership for individuals who want to excel. With

over 60 years of experience in the automotive

industry and numerous awards for outstanding

service, Max Kirwan is a brand that is trusted and

respected. It’s the perfect place for an ambitious and

dedicated New Car Sales Manager to really fl ourish.

You will thrive in our busy dealership, providing fi rst

class customer service and driving sales results.

You’ll be confi dent managing the sales team and

overseeing our new vehicle sales, which average

180 vehicles per month.


May 18, 2011 Page 6

Data access decision time


THE Australian automotive aftermarket

industry expects to know within weeks if its

two-year campaign to gain the same access

to motor vehicle manufacturer technical and

diagnostic information as motor dealers will

fi nd a foothold at federal government level.

Representatives of the Australian

Automotive Aftermarket Association

(AAAA) – representing 1300 aftermarket

parts, accessory and workshop

equipment manufacturers and

importers in an industry worth a

claimed $8 billion a year – will

meet with parliamentary secretary

to the treasurer, David Bradbury,

on June 1 to receive his feedback

on a proposal to enshrine the right

to access to the information in the

Australian Design Rules (ADRs).

They are also expecting to hear

the latest on the warranty issue, which

they say Mr Bradbury – whose ministerial

responsibilities include competition and

consumer policy – promised to raise with

state consumer ministers.

Speaking at the bi-annual Australian Auto

Aftermarket Expo in Melbourne last week,

AAAA executive director Stuart Charity said

the independent, non-dealer aftermarket service

and repair sector was fi nding it increasingly

Stuart Charity

diffi cult to access the latest information

required to service and maintain vehicles.

He said the aftermarket parts industry was

inextricably linked with independent repairers

who needed access to information

such as electronic settings in modern

engine management, traction control

systems and electronic stability

control systems, as well as panel

repair information.

“If the workshops close down

because they can’t do repairs on

modern vehicles, our industry closes

as well,” he said.

In 2009, the AAAA launched a

campaign called Choice of Repairer, modelled

on a campaign in the United States where the

aftermarket industry is fi ghting a similar battle.

A former vice-president of the Automotive

Aftermarket Industry Association, Lee

Kadrich, was the keynote speaker on the

subject at the Melbourne show.

Mr Kadrich said last week that the

American industry was “moving the

ball state to state” on the matter, with

Massachusetts state legislators set to vote

on the issue next month, and moves afoot to

introduce a similar bill in Oregon.

He said the US aftermarket industry hoped

that if suffi cient states passed legislation to

mandate access to the information from

original equipment manufacturers, the US

congress would eventually follow suit.

Mr Kadrich said independent repairers in

the US had also started a public campaign

with “yard signs” asking car owners if they

had “asked your congressmen about your

right to repair”.

Mr Charity said Europe had already

adopted laws protecting the right of access of

independent repairers to the electronic data

and other information from manufacturers –

rules that he described as “the holy grail”.

He said the AAAA was not demanding

free access for independent repairers to the

information, but would be willing to pay for

it in the same way as dealers.


Aftermarket export boom – next page


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John Mellor’s

GoAuto News

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Aftermarket export boom

Exports of Aussie-made

parts and accessories are

now worth $850m a year


AUSTRALIA’S automotive replacement

parts and accessories manufacturing industry

is fi nding its feet in high value-added and

niche components as Asian manufacturers –

particularly Chinese companies – take over

the mass market.

Australian Automotive Aftermarket

Association executive director Stuart Charity

told GoAuto at the Australian Automotive

Aftermarket Expo in Melbourne last week

that while the industry had been in decline

in the face of imports, Australia still had 300

manufacturers of replacement parts, accessories

and motorsport components generating exports

valued at $850 million a year.

“The replacement parts side of things is

really shifting to China, and manufacturers

are turning into importers,” he said.

“In the specialty equipment area – in high

performance and motorsport and four-wheel

drive, where it is high innovation, high-value

add, niche volume – the Australian industry

is still very competitive in that space and we

are exporting all around the world.

“In fact, we estimate that exports are at

$850 million per annum of only aftermarket

parts and accessories, and it is growing at

8.5 per cent per annum.

“We had 26 companies in a performance

and racing show at Orlando last year. It

was our biggest ever export mission to

one of the homes of motorsport, and the

Australian pavilion was the largest pavilion

at that show.”

A similar Australian mission is planned

for a show in Dubai later this year.

Mr Charity said the industry was receiving

support from Austrade and the Victorian

and NSW governments for its overseas

push, with Austrade providing a dedicated

aftermarket representative in Chicago to

help facilitate exports to North America.

He said products linked with Australianspecifi

c niches, such as bullbars, roof racks,

May 18, 2011 Page 7

Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo

winches and rugged suspension parts, were

in demand in export markets.

Chinese manufacturers were more interested

in generic replacement parts and accessories

with high volumes, while the Australian

manufacturers could fi ll specifi c needs.

“It (Australian manufacturing) is in the area

of high technical content where people are

paying a premium for high performance and

features rather than just on price,” he said.

Mr Charity gave the example of suspension

parts-maker Pedder which he said had set up

a highly successful network in the United

States to sell its aftermarket shock absorbers

and other parts for muscle-cars such as the

Australian-engineered Pontiac GTO and

Chevrolet Camaro.



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John Mellor’s

GoAuto News




FBT fl at rate ‘a tax grab’

Swan’s 20 per cent rule

for car fringe benefi ts tax

is too high, says industry


A NEW fl at-rate system for calculating car

fringe benefi ts tax, which was announced last

week in the federal budget, will be phased in

over four years to gradually standardise the

current statutory kilometre-based formula to

a fl at 20 per cent in a move that will cost

industry an extra $953 million.

Motor industry and fl eet association

leaders have described the 20 per cent rate

as a tax grab, saying the government should

have adopted a lower percentage to make

the move revenue neutral.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive

Industries (FCAI) says the government should

either cut the tax rate to reduce the FBT

windfall or offset it with some other tax reform,

such as abolishing the luxury car tax, to reduce

the burden on industry and motorists.

However, the FCAI and the Australasian

Fleet Managers Association (AFMA) have

both welcomed the fl at rate system in

principle, saying it is consistent with lowering

greenhouse emissions by encouraging

drivers to curb their kilometres.

Announcing the revised system, federal

treasurer Wayne Swan said it would remove

the unintended incentive for people to drive

their vehicle further than they need to, in

order to obtain a larger tax concession.

“Phasing out the current car fringe

benefi t treatment is a sensible reform

from both a taxation and an environmental

perspective,” he said.

While company car drivers who cover

up to 15,000km a year will be better off

under the new system, those who drive

25,000km or more will be slugged harder

than previously, carrying the extra burden of

the higher percentage.

The new system will apply to new

contracts signed after 7.30pm on May

10 – Budget night – and does not apply to

existing contracts.

Fleet drivers will also be able to retain

the log-book method of calculating FBT,

which some people feared might be given

May 18, 2011 Page 8

the chop in the budget.

Under the new statutory system – where

the rate is multiplied by the cost of the car

to determine a person’s car fringe benefi t –

drivers on new contracts who drive up to

25,000km will be immediately standardised

on 20 per cent.

Drivers covering between 25,000km and

40,000km will move up from 11 per cent to

14 per cent immediately, and then to 17 per

cent at the start of the new FBT year on April

1, 2012, before reaching 20 per cent on April

1, 2013. Long-distance drivers covering

more than 40,000km will move up from

seven per cent to 10 per cent immediately

if they start a new contract, before sliding

up each year to 13 per cent, 17 per cent and

fi nally 20 per cent on April 1, 2014.


Carbon tax costs – page 22

– Multi-site Brisbane Dealerships

– Attractive remuneration package (including company vehicle)

– ASX Listed Company

AUTOMOTIVE HOLDINGS GROUP Limited is Australia’s largest automotive group with 10 of the top 11 automotive brands in Australia, over 100 dealerships and

employing over 3,500 people throughout Australia and New Zealand, with a group turnover in excess of $3.5 billion per annum. Due to planned growth of our Finance

& Insurance business, we are seeking a highly motivated and successful Senior Business Manager with a proven track record of managing a pro table department.

As the Senior Business Manager, you will be responsible and accountable for the professional day-to-day running of the F&I Department, managing rosters, ensuring

department income / budget expectations are met and exceeded, ensuring activities are aligned with AHG expectations, providing accurate and timely reporting and

ensuring compliance with regulatory and group obligations. The Senior Business Manager will also be expected to contribute to the pro t of the F&I Department.

We are offering the following to the successful applicant:

• Excellent Dealership Management team, with a positive team culture.

• Industry Leading remuneration package.

• Career path including future Dealership and Corporate of ce opportunities.

• Continual support and training from our Corporate Of ce.

To be considered you must have the following essential attributes:

• Previous experience in managing a successful Finance & Insurance Department in the Automotive industry.

• Track record of solid sales and management performance.

• Demonstrated ability to build relationships with sales teams, management, direct reports and Finance and Insurance companies.

• Tier 2 Accreditations as a Business Manager.

• Sound reporting and analytical ability.

• Previous experience in training and mentoring of staff.

If you are self-motivated and would like to be part of our dynamic and successful team, then you are invited to submit your application to:

Alana Henderson, F&I Training and Development Manager, Automotive Holdings Group Limited, PO Box 121 Mt Gravatt QLD 4122. Email: Applications are strictly con dential and close Tuesday 31st May 2011.

John Mellor’s

GoAuto News

Saab saved - again

China’s Pang Da emerges

as new Saab saviour after

Hawtai Motor deal failed


THE ongoing saga over the future of Saab

Automobile took a new turn this week

with the announcement by parent Spyker

Cars that it had forged a €95 million-plus

($A127.2m) deal with the large Chinese

retail group Pang Da Automobile Trade Co.

Just four days after the previous rescue

deal and proposed strategic partnership with

China’s Hawtai Motor Group collapsed,

the Dutch-based Spyker said it had signed

a memorandum of understanding with Pang

Da that should secure its “medium-term”

funding needs.

Under the deal, Pang Da – which is

described as China’s largest publicly listed

automobile distributor with more than

1100 dealerships nationwide – will pay €65

million ($A87m) for a 24 per cent stake in

Spyker Cars and make an additional €30

million ($A40.2m) payment to purchase

Saab cars for sale in China.

It also has the option to buy up to €15 million

worth of more Saab cars within 30 days.

If approved, the agreement will form

the basis of a 50/50 joint venture between

A Daimler Brand

We’re looking for Star Recruits.

Mercedes-Benz Toorak is now seeking motivated individuals to

join the team at its exclusive, boutique Melbourne dealership.

Sales Executive

An exciting opportunity is available for an experienced, driven, selfstarter

to deliver exceptional customer service to optimise the sales

and growth of Mercedes-Benz Toorak.

Reporting to the Sales Manager, you will be responsible for

proactively identifying new business opportunities and maintaining

relationships with existing customers to ensure excellent levels

of customer service are maintained. You will be experienced in

achieving set sales targets while pursuing profi table growth and

managing relationships with new and existing customers.

A passion for Mercedes-Benz combined with knowledge of the

prestige vehicle industry will be seen as an advantage. Benefi ts

include a fully-maintained Mercedes-Benz vehicle, excellent OTE

earnings potential, and numerous development opportunities

including prestigious vehicles sales training.


Mercedes-Benz Toorak is seeking an experienced Technician to join

our prestigious dealership in the heart of Toorak. This challenging

role will see you work with the latest vehicle technology in the

marketplace and for one of the most prominent brands in the world.

Spyker and Pang Da for the distribution of

Saab-branded vehicles in China.

The memorandum also includes a

manufacturing joint venture for Saab

vehicles as well as those to emerge under

a new Chinese brand established between

Saab Automobile, Pang Da and a still-to-beselected

manufacturing partner.

Saab Automobile will be allowed up to a 50

per cent shareholding in the manufacturing

JV, with Pang Da and the manufacturing

partner to own the remaining shares.

The short-lived deal with Hawtai

was struck on May 3 in a bid to resume

production at Saab’s Trollhattan plant and to

develop a new vehicle platform that would

underpin its crucial next-generation 9-3 and

other future models.

In return, the privately owned, Beijingbased

Hawtai was to take a 29.9 per cent

stake in Spyker and secure the rights to

Mercedes-Benz Toorak, 11 Carters Avenue, Toorak, VIC. Tel: 03 8825 5000.


May 18, 2011 Page 9

9-5 Trollhattan production

produce and distribute Saab vehicles in

China, as well as share technology.

According to Spyker, the €30 million in

cash from Pang Da should enable it to pay

the debts owing to suppliers and restart

production in Sweden “as soon as possible”.

There is, however, no defi nitive word at this

stage on future vehicle platform architecture.

As was the case with Hawtai, the Pang

Da deal is subject to “defi nitive transaction

documentation and certain conditions”,

which include approval from Chinese

government agencies, the European

Investment Bank, General Motors (which

sold Saab to Spyker last year, but still

has ties to the company) and the Swedish

National Debt Offi ce.



The successful candidate will possess a natural aptitude for

mechanical repairs and diagnosis, a thorough knowledge of

mechanical and electronic systems and a strong work ethic with

commitment to excellence. Previous experience in the Passenger

Car retail industry with a recognised mechanical apprenticeship

will be highly regarded. Mercedes-Benz experience is preferred but

not essential.

Vehicle Cleaner

An exciting opportunity exists for a responsible and experienced

Vehicle Cleaner to join our Mercedes-Benz Cars team. Reporting to the

Service Manager your responsibilities will include washing vehicles

to the required presentation standard while working to an agreed

schedule and providing support to a number of departments.

You will receive broad exposure to a range of business operations

and work with one of the fi nest brands in the automotive industry.

Applicants must hold a current Australian Driver’s License.

Please forward your resumé and cover letter with job title to: by Friday 27th May 2011.

John Mellor’s

GoAuto News




Duties will include:

• Provision of operational, training, advisory and help desk support

to dealership personnel in the use of “ERA”.

• Provision of ERA technical (IT) support services.

• Participation in various State and National ERA-based projects.


The ideal candidate will possess the following attributes:

• Good general motor dealership experience and/or understanding.

• Fluency with ERA functionality, ideally including Vehicle Advisor.

• Con dent in communicating clearly with dealership personnel.

May 18, 2011 Page 10

Bentley heats up Conti GT with more power, sharper dynamics and tech treats


BENTLEY has launched its secondgeneration

Continental GT luxury fourseater

coupe, which has undergone a host

of engineering and design improvements

including a reworked chassis, hi-tech cabin

features and higher outputs from its twinturbocharged

W12 engine.

The Volkswagen-owned British prestige

brand sold 23,000 versions of the outgoing

GT worldwide from its 2003 launch to the

present day – more than the 16,000 cars

the Bentley marque had managed in the 80

years preceding its arrival.

At the redesigned model’s launch in New

Zealand last week, Bentley Motors Limited’s

regional manager for South East Asia and

Australasia, Ed Striebig, told GoAuto that

around 250 Gen I Conti GTs had been sold

in Australia, primarily in Sydney but closely

followed by Melbourne and Brisbane, and

that he expected 80 to 90 registrations this

year – up 50 per cent on 2010 – with continued

Climate change

growth as market conditions improve.

Priced from $405,714 (plus on-road costs)

and selling initially in a single specifi cation,

the all-new GT closely resembles the current

model but has emerged as a more driverfocused


At its core is the more powerful 6.0-litre

twin-turbo W12 engine, up 11kW to 423kW

at 6000rpm with torque boosted by 50Nm to

700Nm – and available from just 1700rpm.

Drive continues to all four wheels via an

uprated six-speed ZF ‘Quickshift’ automatic

transmission and a new Torsen centre

differential which now splits torque 40:60

front/rear – as seen on the current highperformance

Supersports model.

Transmission shift times are said to have

halved to just 200 milliseconds, while the

revised gearbox also now has the ability to

deliver double downshifts, such as fourth to


With a 65kg weight reduction (to 2320kg)

and a more aerodynamic shape (now 0.33Cd),

the Continental can accelerate from 0-100km/h

in 4.6 seconds, making it two-tenths quicker

than its predecessor, on its way to a top speed

of 318km/h, the same as before.

The engine will run on ethanol blends at up

to E85, which Bentley says will cut well-towheel

CO2 by up to 70 per cent. However, the

raw numbers when it comes to environmental

performance of the W12 are still high – the

GT racks up 16.5L/100km on the combined

EU cycle, 25.4L/100km in urban conditions

and 11.4L/100km on the highway. CO2

emissions are rated at 384g/km.

The W12 will be joined later this year by

a 4.0-litre V8 that Bentley claims will trim

emissions by 40 per cent.

There is no plan for a diesel engine, with

Bentley Motors’ head of marketing and

communications for the Asia Pacifi c region,

Robin Peel, telling us: “We’re not against

diesel but customer research says they don’t

want diesel in a Bentley.”

Continued next page

AUTOMOTIVE HOLDINGS GROUP Limited is Australia’s largest automotive group with 10 of the top 11 automotive brands in Australia, over 100 dealerships and

employing over 3,500 people throughout Australia and New Zealand, with a group turnover in excess of $3.5 billion per annum.

AHG’s Queensland Information Services department wishes to augment its team with an experienced ERA Support Consultant to assist in the ongoing support

and development of the Pentana Solutions “ERA” dealership management system (DMS) in Queensland. The primary function of this role will be to support AHG’s

Queensland-based dealerships.

AHG is a strong believer of promoting from within and provides career development with attractive remuneration. Salary dependent on skills and experience.

Please forward your resumé with covering letter to Todd Brook, Manager Application and Support, by email:

Applications are strictly con dential and close Tuesday 31st May 2011. AHG is an equal opportunity employer.

John Mellor’s

GoAuto News

Climate change

Continued from previous page

More pertinent, Bentley’s biggest markets

are the US and China, both strongly petrolfocused.

Mr Peel also ruled out a fuel-saving

idle-stop feature – apparently anathema

to Bentley owners – but not cylinder

deactivation technology, as seen on the

Mulsanne limousine’s 377kW/1020Nm

6.75-litre twin-turbo V8. Stand by for more

news on that front.

Dimensions are largely unchanged for

the 4806mm-long GT, but overall width has

increased to 2227mm and this is refl ected in the

broader stance and wider wheelarches of the

new model, which accommodate wider tracks

– up 41mm at the front and 48mm at the rear.

Other chassis highlights include the use

of redesigned front suspension uprights

made from hollow-but-strong ‘cast-forged’

aluminium, plus a redesigned anti-roll bar

and retuned spring and damper settings.

A revised electronic stability control

system is said to provide additional traction,

the variable damping system has been

overhauled, and changes to the ZF-type

Servotronic steering aim to reduce steering

friction and deliver better road feel.

Styling-wise, our initial taster in a 1929

Bentley 4.5-litre and the 1939 Derby meant

an opportunity to discuss visual parallels with

interior designer Robin Page, an engagingly

enthusiastic man whose fi rst great success was

the interior of the original Continental GT.

“Before we put pen to paper (on the new

car) we did collective research on what our

customer wanted,” he told GoAuto. “They

Year end tax planning

Are you ready for 30 June 2011?

The end of the financial year is fast

approaching and businesses should be taking

action now to legitimately reduce your tax

bill for 2011 year.

• Superannuation contributions for owners/

directors must be paid and received by the

fund by 30 June 2011

in order to get a tax deduction

• Obtain valuations for used vehicles and

demonstrators at 30 June 2011 which can

lower the dealership’s taxable income

said, ‘Don’t start again, treat it like a 911.’”

And evolutionary rather than wholesales

changes bring their own puzzles: “As

a designer you want to start afresh. It’s

actually more diffi cult to take a design icon

and not ruin it.”

Mr Page says customers wanted a sportier,

lighter, more modern and more dynamic

look, and his team referenced athletes, and

product design with strong, graphic lines and

craftsmanship, always remembering that “a

design is complete when there’s nothing to

take away”.

As the team sketched and carved,

they involved not only engineers but the

company’s craftsmen and women, to confi rm

their vision could be built.

The all-new cabin that resulted sports a

dash with fl owing lines which refl ect the

Bentley roundel and wings, with simple,

sculpted forms, the designer’s original vision

often refl ected in the leather’s stitching.

The seats are wider at the top and

• Obsolete spare parts stock can be written

down to a reasonable value for tax

purposes if it can be shown that there is

little or no prospect of future sales.

Deloitte Motor Industry Services will be

holding free Year End Fraud and Tax Planning

sessions at the following locations:

• Brisbane office, Monday 20th June 2011

• Sydney office, Wednesday 22nd June 2011

• Melbourne office, Friday 24th June 2011.

Please register your interest at


Stavroula Papadatos


Tel: +61 (0) 2 9322 3577


Grant Cameron


Tel: +61 (0) 2 9322 3535


Mark Weaver


Mob: +61 (0) 400 085 553


May 18, 2011 Page 11

narrower at the hip to provide both comfort

and support, and the seatbelt has moved to

the car’s frame, removing seat bulk. These

pews are 25kg lighter – and slimmer, to

liberate rear space.

Meantime, Mr Page and his team had to

accommodate modern technology without

creating a car that would be outdated with

the next iPod generation. So there is a touchscreen

to access the wide array of features,

from the 11-speaker Naim sound system to

the variable damping settings or the sat-nav.



Caring approach to fleet pays off

Blue Care is one of Queensland’s

leading providers of community health

and aged care, which has more than

10,000 volunteers and staff that travel in

excess of 32 million kilometres each year.

So it’s no wonder Blue Care’s Fleet

Manager Mark Stephens devised a

strategy to ensure their drivers were

safe on the road and their vehicles are

well maintained.

“We have an absolute obligation as a

large employer to do everything we can

to ensure all our nurses, carers and support staff have

the best possible assistance and training to minimise

the risk of injury,” Mr Stephens said.

As driver safety has always been a critical focus for

the company, Blue Care turned to RACQ to deliver

driver training and manage their roadside assistance


Blue Care credits using RACQ, for a big reduction

in the number of significant crashes (claims valued at

$10,000 or more), from 10 in 2009 to zero in 2010.

“We have also reduced red light camera and speeding

offences and associated costs by 75% during the same

period as our staff have become more focused on their

responsibilities on the road. This year we also had a 3.5%

reduction in our insurance premiums,” Mr Stephens said.

Driver Education

“ We have also reduced

red light camera and

speeding offences

and associated costs by

75% during the same

period as our staff have

become more focused

on their responsibilities

“As well, we were the proud

recipients of the 2010 Australian

Fleet Managers Association (AFMA)

Fleet Safety Award.”

RACQ’s Driver Education

Executive Manager Scott Lewin said

the types of outcomes achieved by

Blue Care would be of great benefit

to Queensland community groups

and commercial organisations alike,

on the road.” ranging from small businesses to

corporate fleets.

“Our driver education programs give Blue Care

Mark Stephens

Blue Care’s Fleet Manager

staff the opportunity to update driving skills and the

knowledge to help keep them safe on the roads,” To find out more

Mr Lewin said. “The result is big savings in the

information on how your

financial and human costs of crashes and the programs business could benefit

also help reduce the carbon footprint of fleets, to from RACQ’s driver

make them more sustainable in the long run.”

education programs,

Another area of RACQ’s business which has helped visit

Blue Care is their Fleet Care Membership. “RACQ‘s or contact Scott Lewin

Fleet Care Membership has also helped us save on on 07 3361 2380. For

costs and keep our cars safe on the roads. Our staff fleet care and business

are always pleased with the prompt and friendly membership information

roadside service RACQ provides and we only have to contact Justin Dunford

pay for what we use”, explained Mark Stephens. on 07 3361 2429 or visit

Written by Georgina Terepai, RACQ.

Does your fleet maintain

your brand reputation?

RACQ‘s Driver Education programs have a proven reputation

for positively influencing driver attitude and behaviour.

RACQ’s Driver Education programs:

significantly assist in reducing the risk of an accident

occurring or being charged with a traffic offence

include defensive driving, urban and outback and site

specific courses

Contact RACQ’s Executive Manager Driver Education on 1800 680 039

tailored to specific organisational and industry training needs

are highly cost-effective and have genuine tangible benefits

Could your organisation benefit from a

driver education program?

John Mellor’s

GoAuto News

AWD for 911 GTS

Porsche product offensive

continues as 911 C4 twins

take on GTS state of mind


PORSCHE has gone niche model mad, with

six new vehicle debuts in as many weeks

comprising fi ve additions to its existing range.

The latest surprise new 911 variants are

the Carrera 4 GTS Coupe and Cabriolet,

both of which will be available to customer

order only in Australia priced from $283,300

and $302,600 respectively.

Porsche is in the middle of launching

its second petrol-electric model in the

Panamera Hybrid, but since the start of April

has also released the Cayman Black Edition

alongside all-black versions of the Boxster

and 911, the frugal new Panamera Diesel

and top-shelf Turbo S four-door, as well as

upgraded engines for the Cayenne SUV.

The new all-wheel-drive Carrera GTS

twins follow the release of the wild new 911

GT3 RS 4.0 Coupe last month, when many

took it to be a fresh and fi nal swansong for

the existing 997-series 911 range before its

991-series replacement premieres at this

September’s Frankfurt motor show.

The new C4 GTS models do not match

the performance of the bigger-engined GT3

RS 4.0, Porsche’s new naturally aspirated

7-8 July 2011

Park Hyatt



May 18, 2011 Page 13

Aston celebrates 50th anniversary of 1961 DB4 GT Zagato with sleek new coupe


BOUTIQUE British sportscar-maker Aston

Martin and Italian design house Zagato

have joined forces to celebrate the 50th

anniversary year of their fi rst joint venture,

the DB4 GT Zagato.

The latest Aston-Zagato collaboration has

resulted in a sleek new coupe with massive

rear haunches, the fi rst teaser image of which

has been revealed ahead of the concept car’s

world debut at the Villa D’Este Concours on

Italy’s Lake Como on May 21.

911 fl agship, but they do offer the same

17kW increase in peak power (to 300kW at

7300rpm) over the 283kW 3.8-litre fl at-six

in the Carrera S.

The GTS engine’s unique induction system

and throatier sports exhaust with specifi c black

outlet surfacing also liberate more fl exibility,

with 320Nm of torque said to be available at

just 1500rpm and peak torque of 420Nm on

tap anywhere between 4200 and 5600rpm.

The result is an offi cial 0-100km/h

acceleration time of just 4.6 seconds for the

most basic Carrera 4 GTS Coupe manual,

with the Cabriolet body style adding 0.2

seconds to that fi gure.

Opting for the PDK twin-clutch

semi-automatic transmission reduces

acceleration times in both models by two

tenths of a second.

Despite this, neither C4 GTS is thirstier

than their equivalent Carrera models,

Aston says development of the as-yetunnamed

vehicle, which will make its

endurance racing debut at Germany’s

Nurburgring on May 28, is well underway

and initial customer interest will be used to

with the coupe’s offi cial European fuel

consumption remaining at 11.0L/100km and

the convertible at 11.2L/100km.

Also like their rear-wheel-drive GTS

counterparts, the AWD models add a range

of performance-oriented extras, including

a motorsport-inspired interior headlined by

sports seats and Alcantara fake-suede-trimmed

steering wheel, gearshifter, handbrake, doorpulls,

door box lids and centre panels.

Once again, the C4 GTS cars are

differentiated externally by a pacier Sport

Design front spoiler with black lip, specifi c

black side skirts, black centre-locking

19-inch RS Spyder wheels with gloss-lathed

rim fl anges and tyres as wide as 305/30

ZR19 at the rear, GTS decals on the doors

and boot, and a refl ective strip between the

tail-lights to denote AWD.


gauge whether a production version will be

forthcoming in 2012.

“Now is the right time for a new Aston

Martin Zagato and in combining our design

intelligence I think we can create something

fi tting of the iconic DB4 GT Zagato that has

gone before and since established itself as

one of the most famous Aston Martins of

all time,” said Aston Martin chief executive

Ulrich Bez.


Registrations are now open for the 2011 FAPM

conference, “Sustainability in a global market”.

Sponsorship opportunities are available from the

Conference website, but hurry as many opportunities

have already been presold.

Additional confi rmed speakers include:

Professor Tim Flannery, 2007 Australian

of the Year

Mr. Robert Graziano, President & CEO,

Ford of Australia

To register go the last page of this publication or visit


John Mellor’s

GoAuto News

Quattroporte now $36K

more affordable as EAI

cuts pricing of key cars

Fancy yourself an Asset Finance Top Gun?

PROVE IT! Join our Car and Equipment Finance Team that’s gunning above the rest!

“ Coming from a car dealership background, I was looking for greater stability and

security in my job, a better work-life-balance and more flexibility in my role.

I found that when I joined the Car Finance Centre, the team is young, vibrant and

passionate about what they do. It’s incredible how simple the loan process is,

it makes life easier for me but more importantly all the customers I service.”

New Car Finance Centre Sales Associate recent recruit Keiron Rice.

Commonwealth Bank is renowned for providing quick and easy, accurate car

and equipment finance. Due to recent growth, we are seeking Car and

Equipment finance professionals that are highly motivated and energetic

to join our sales, credit and customer service divisions.

To apply please visit and click on the Job Search link.

Enter Job reference number 914256 in the keyword search area and complete an online application.

Experience in finance is essential, preferable in vehicle or equipment finance.



Maserati price meltdown


MASERATI’S Quattroporte is now

$36,000 more affordable in Australia

following a range-wide reshuffl e that passes

on currency-based savings to new customers

but is likely to disappoint recent buyers.

The sleeker GranTurismo coupe and

GranCabrio convertible have also come in

for price cuts of $10,000 or more as part

of the latest Maserati range repositioning,

which also aims to more distinctly separate

its luxury and sports models.

The Quattroporte sedan range – which

will be replaced by a signifi cantly lighter

and more effi cient model expected to appear

at next year’s Paris motor show – now opens

at $250,000 (down from $286,000) for the

entry-level 4.2-litre V8 automatic.

Australian Maserati distributor European

Automotive Imports (EAI) says the lower

pricetag takes advantage of the surging

Australian dollar and positions the base

Quattroporte to better compete with the least

sporting versions of its most direct rivals.

Of course, that means Porsche’s Panamera,

which costs less than $200,000 in V6 petrol and


Quattroporte (a) $250,000 (-$36,000)

Quattroporte Sport GT S MC Sportline $298,800 (unchanged)

Quattroporte Sport GT S (a) $328,900 (unchanged)

GranTurismo (a) $288,800 (unchanged)

GranTurismo S (a) $308,000 (-$10,500)

GranTurismo S MC Shift $345,000 (-$900)

GranTurismo MC Stradale $364,900 (new in June)

GranCabrio (a) $328,000 (-$10,000)

diesel guise, and $279,800 with a 4.8-litre V8.

EAI spokesman Edward Rowe said the

cheapest Quattroporte will also offer a range

of more luxury-oriented features from an

expanded range of nine million possible colour

and trim choices, including plush-pile carpet

mats and comfort seats, to better differentiate

it from more sporting Quattroporte variants.

“The 4.2-litre Quattroporte has been

repositioned to focus on the luxury part

of that market sector, and remains fully

competitive with new arrivals,” said Mr

Rowe. “It has been given a range of luxury

equipment and a price that will make it even

more appealing to customers in the area

of the market that is growing. It is there to

bring new customers to the brand.”

Pricing for the 4.7-litre Quattroporte Sport

GT S models remains

unchanged at $298,800

for the Sportline

version with MC Shift

sequential transaxle,

and $328,900 for the

top-shelf variant with a

conventional automatic


However, just as the

May 18, 2011 Page 14

base Quattroporte 4.2 comes with more

luxury features, a number of extra sportsoriented

features will be added to the more

powerful Quattroporte 4.7 models, which

have traditionally attracted the bulk of


“The Quattroporte MC Sportline

represents even better value for our

traditional customers – it is now a better

equipped, more overtly sporting car for

traditional customers,” said Mr Rowe.

While pricing of the GranCabrio

drops to $328,000 without any change to

specifi cations less than a year after its local

launch, the closely related GranTurismo

coupe range continues to comprise three

variants and will be topped by the wild new

GranTurismo MC Stradale in June, priced

from $364,900.

Incidentally, both the stripped-out

GranTurismo Stradale and the new, more

powerful GranCabrio Sport fl agship

will make their Australian debuts at the

Melbourne motor show on July 1, when

pricing for the latter will be revealed before

it hits local showrooms in early 2012.



John Mellor’s

GoAuto News

Corvette confi dence

General Motors reveals

plans for radical coupe

and an eight-speed auto


GENERAL Motors has revealed it will soon

begin preparations to build Chevrolet’s nextgeneration

C7 Corvette super-coupe and an

all-new eight-speed automatic transmission

for a range of future models.

The news was announced on May 10 –

just days after it posted a $US3.2 billion

($A3b) fi rst quarter net profi t on top of its

fi rst full year in the black since 2004 – as the

US auto giant revealed it will invest $US2

billion ($A1.9b) in plant and equipment in

North America.

GM also confi rmed it will continue to

produce the current Corvette for at least

two more model years, corroborating recent

US reports that the replacement for GM’s

all-American sportscar icon will appear in

2013, when it could become the fi rst midengined


“Plant improvements and installation

of new equipment to make the nextgeneration

Chevrolet Corvette will begin

soon while the current-generation Corvette

is assembled for at least the next two model

years,” said GM.

Please send your resume to Bartons Dealer Principal - Mark Beitz

BARTONS HOLDEN & MITSUBISHI 200 Tingal Road Wynnum. 3396 7777







Ford details gruelling development program for next-generation Focus XR


FORD of Europe has released details and

images of its next-generation Focus ST

development program, but has provided

few clues to the all-new Focus XR that is

due on sale in Australia next year.

Previously confi rmed to join mainstream

versions of the third-generation Focus hatch

and sedan, which will go on sale in Australia

in August, the hot ST version is currently

undergoing validation testing in Europe.

Ford says a fl eet of about 60 prototypes

Some Chev web bloggers went wild with

speculation the next Corvette will ditch its

traditional front-engine confi guration in

favour of a more exotic mid-engine layout

after a top GM executive promised the

existing model’s successor will be something

“completely different”.

All offi cial details of the new Corvette

remain under tight wraps, but GM North

America president and former GM Holden

boss Mark Reuss has said it will be a genuine

competitor in the high-end sportscar market,

presumably including the fi nest supercars

from Porsche and Ferrari.

It has even been suggested the 2013

Corvette – which is likely to continue to

be a left-hand-drive-only model positioned

above Chevrolet’s Australian-designed

LHD-only Camaro coupe – could come

with a split rear window, a design element

not seen since the 1963 model.

based on the garden-variety models already

on sale in the US – plus a few based on

the previous Focus ST/XR – have been

put to the test on everything from British

B-roads to Californian freeways and from

May 18, 2011 Page 15

Corvette Z06 Centennial Edition

GM’s fresh cash injection will also result

in the retention of about 250 jobs at Toledo

to produce “an all-new, advanced eightspeed

automatic transmission for future

vehicles that offer customers improved fuel

economy and outstanding performance”.

Announcing the investment at the 54-yearold

Toledo transmission plant last Tuesday,

GM chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said

his company’s latest investment – including

$US204 million for Toledo – would create

or preserve more than 4000 jobs at 17 GM

facilities in eight US states.

“We are doing this because we are

confi dent about demand for our vehicles

and the economy,” said Mr Akerson. “This

new investment is on top of $3.4 billion and

more than 9000 jobs that GM has added or

saved since mid-2009.”


Germany’s famed Nurburgring to extremely

cold conditions in northern Europe.

It is therefore unclear from the three

frontal ‘spy’ images of the same semidisguised

fi ve-door prototype whether the

Focus range-topper will wear the gaping

Aston Martin-style grille of the bright

orange show car that debuted at last year’s

Paris motor show, or its oversized rear wing

and dual central exhaust outlets.



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John Mellor’s

GoAuto News

BMW blueprint

Norbert Reithofer and the Vision

ConnectedDrive concept

Record sales, extra staff coming in lead-up to i3 EV


JUST four months into the year, BMW has

laid out an audacious plan to sell “well over”

1.5 million vehicles and hire around 2000

extra staff in 2011, before it releases its allelectric

i3 city car in 2013.

Buoyed by BMW’s best-ever full-year

and fi rst-quarter fi nancial results – and its

second-best Q1 sales results – chairman

Norbert Reithofer revealed the ambitious

sales target with which BMW hopes to

achieve its previously stated aim of setting

a new earnings record in 2011.

“We aim to deliver more vehicles than ever

before – well over 1.5 million vehicles (in

2011),” said Mr Reithofer at BMW’s annual

general meeting last Thursday in Munich.

As well as reaffi rming that BMW’s

goals of achieving record earnings and

sales fi gures remain intact, Mr Reithofer

said BMW’s earnings before income tax

(EBIT) margin target of more than eight

per cent for the automotive segment also

remains in place.

And, fresh from announcing a $US4

billion investment in China, BMW said it

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will create about 2000 new jobs this year –

more than half of them in Germany – in the

lead-up to production of the i3 EV in 2013,

followed by the company’s second allelectric

volume model, the i8 eco-coupe.

“The company will be launching its

innovative BMW i3, the fi rst pure electric

vehicle for major cities, on the market in

2013,” said BMW in a statement.

“This will be followed by the BMW

i8, an extremely fuel-effi cient sportscar.

Both vehicles will have a passenger

compartment made of carbon – a fi rst for

the automobile industry.

“The BMW Group will also be making

its future combustion engines even more


Having just posted its most successful

fi nancial year in its history, BMW also

used the AGM to announce a record share

of profi ts for its workers. Combined with

Christmas bonuses, BMW said most staff

on collective pay-scale agreements will take

home an extra €7490 ($A9992) for 2010.


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May 18, 2011 Page 16

BMW teases all-new 1

ahead of October debut


BMW has kicked off the marketing

campaign for its redesigned 1 Series

hatchback range, which will go on sale in

Australia in October.

The Bavarian luxury car brand has

launched a website featuring videos of

same-sex siblings who have contrasting

personalities, tying in with the F20generation

1 Series launch campaign’s

‘One origin, two originals’ slogan.

The website also teases two body

derivatives of the new 1 Series – presumably

three- and fi ve-door versions given that one

appears to have two protrusions on the side

in the doorhandle area – cloaked in cloth.

However, it is only possible to discern that

the new 1 Series will feature the bulbous,

sharply-creased bonnet styling that debuted

with the latest 5 Series large sedan.

BMW Group Australia head of corporate

communications Piers Scott told GoAuto

the new 1 Series is expected to arrive in

Australian showrooms in October. Although

he was unable to say which model variants

lurked under the red and blue cloth, he

confi rmed only the fi ve-door hatch would

be made available in Australia.

As GoAuto has reported, although

BMW has confi rmed plans to produce an

all-new BMW-badged front-wheel drive

model based on the next-generation Mini

platform – perhaps badged as the 0 Series

– the new 1 Series will continue with its

mould-breaking rear-drive layout.



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John Mellor’s

GoAuto News

Honda boosts Accord

Subtle styling tweaks and

more standard features in

store for Accord V6 sedan


HONDA’s top-spec Accord V6 Luxury is

set to get front and rear styling tweaks and

more interior features at no extra charge

when the facelifted model arrives in June.

Photos received from a GoAuto industry

source reveal that the cosmetic changes will

include subtle revisions to the front bumper

and the grille, which will have two horizontal

bars compared to the current model’s three,

as well as chrome stripes running along the

rear tail-lights.

The modifi cations to the grille and tail-lights

appear to be the same as those on the facelifted

US version of the car, which appeared in

American showrooms in August last year.

The Thai-sourced large sedan also gets

Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port with

iPod integration, a new style jack-knife key

and intelligent dual-zone climate-control


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Fuel consumption has also been

marginally improved to 9.9L/100km (down

from 10.0L/100km), while CO2 output will

drop to 235g/km, down from 239g/km on

the outgoing model.

Pricing for the MY2011 Accord V6

Luxury will remain unchanged at $49,990.

It is unclear at this stage if the same changes

will appear on the four-cylinder VTi Accord

models, with details of the update to those

models not yet available.

The Accord facelift cannot come soon

enough for Honda. Sales of its large sedan

have almost halved so far this year, with the

company managing to shift just 733 units

compared with 1370 sales at the same time

last year.

Meanwhile, the Accord Euro facelift,

which debuted at the Geneva motor show

in March, is set to arrive here in the second

half of this year.


May 18, 2011 Page 17

Jeep celebrates 70 years with special-edition models


JEEP has released special-edition versions

of its entire model range to celebrate its

70th anniversary, most of which are now

available in local showrooms.

The 70th Anniversary promotion, which

includes the Patriot, Wrangler, Wrangler

Unlimited and Cherokee petrol models and

the Grand Cherokee in both petrol and diesel

guises, brings new alloy wheels, stainless

steel for the brand’s trademark seven-bar

mesh grille, leather interior highlights and

various equipment upgrades.

All models are available in limited

numbers and come in either silver or black

colour schemes.

The special-edition Patriot compact SUV

is based on the top-spec Limited, and adds

18-inch Mopar alloy wheels and stainless

steel mesh grille, a power sunroof, leather

seats, a leather-clad steering wheel with

chestnut accents, berber fl oor and cargo

mats, a dark green cluster overlay and 70th

Changes seen on the show model included

the obligatory tweaks to the grille, lights and

bumpers, as well as alterations to interior fabrics

and trim and technological updates. The current

model Accord Euro is now offi cially in run-out,

according to the company’s public website.

The Accord is the latest in a string of mild

changes across Honda’s range so far this

year. In April, the company attained a fi vestar

ANCAP safety rating for its entire Jazz

line-up after it fi tted the base GLi model

with side and curtain airbags.

The Japanese manufacturer also tinkered

with the Odyssey people-mover last month

by including more standard equipment,

changing the interior trim and adding a

colour to the range. These changes were

also accompanied by a $1500 price increase

for the top-shelf Luxury variant.


anniversary logos.

The Anniversary Edition 2.4-litre petrol

is priced at $40,000 driveaway, compared

to the regular Patriot Limited’s price of

$35,000 before on-road costs.

The Cherokee Anniversary edition, which

his based on the 3.7-litre petrol V6 Limited

variant, also gets 18-inch Mopar wheels

with polished face and painted accents

on the spokes, stainless steel mesh grille

inserts, a sunroof and leather upholstery

for the seats, steering wheel, door armrests

and centre console, all of which also get

chestnut accents and stitching.


John Mellor’s

GoAuto News

Amarok’s fresh swipe

New TDI340 variant slips

under HiLux as VW takes

$2000 from ute start price


VOLKSWAGEN will reduce the admission

price of its HiLux-crushing Amarok dualcab

ute to $31,990 (plus on-road costs) with

the addition of a new entry-level variant

dubbed the TDI340.

That makes the base Amarok $600 cheaper

than its most direct rival within Toyota’s

top-selling utility range, the 2WD SR dualcab

diesel pick-up ($32,590 plus ORCs).

Reducing the Amarok starting price by

$2000, the new model shares the same

specifi cation as the previous range-opener,

the Amarok TDI400 2WD manual ($33,990),

but is powered by a lower-output version of

Volkswagen’s 2.0-litre turbo-diesel.

As its name suggests, instead of the

TDI400’s 120kW/400Nm peak fi gures,

the TDI340 produces 90kW of power

at 3850rpm (150rpm lower the TDI400

engine) and 340Nm of torque.

Matched exclusively with the same

six-speed ZF manual transmission, it is

unclear whether the TDI340 will be more

economical than TDI400 2WD, which

returns just 7.7L/100km.

As with other Amarok models, two load

confi gurations will be available for the new

TDI340: the standard heavy-duty set-up







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Like all other Amarok twin-cabs, the

four-door fi ve-seater TDI340 comes with a

braked towing capacity of 2800kg (750kg


Standard equipment remains the same

as the TDI400 2WD, including twin front

and side head/thorax airbags, front seatbelt

tensioners, fi ve three-point seatbelts and

head restraints for all fi ve occupants, plus

ABS brakes and ESC.

It also offers the 2WD TDI400’s 16-inch

steel wheels, ‘Spacer’ cloth trim, power

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May 18, 2011 Page 18

Fiat and PSA outline joint van and drivetrain plans


FIAT and PSA Peugeot Citroen will end

a joint-venture arrangement in 2017 that

produces the mid-size Fiat Scudo, Peugeot

Expert and Citroen Jumpy vans in France

“due to diverging product strategies”.

However, the two European auto

giants – which also share a compact van

– have extended to 2019 their agreement

to produce a common large commercial

vehicle in Italy, meaning the nextgeneration

Fiat Ducato, Peugeot Boxer

and Citroen Jumper vans will again be

mechanically identical.

PSA and Fiat jointly revealed the

commercial model decisions last week at

the SevelSud plant in Val Di Sangro.

“Following detailed analysis, it has

been jointly agreed by PSA Peugeot

Citroen and Fiat Group Automobiles that

their SevelNord joint venture, based in

Valenciennes, France, will not be renewed

at its expiry in 2017 due to changes in


VOLKSWAGEN has unveiled a more

powerful version of its Golf GTI hot

hatch to mark the now-iconic model’s

35th birthday, a small number of which

are expected to be available in Australia

before the end of this year.

The Edition 35 produces 173kW – up

18kW on the standard model – from the

same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder

engine, though Volkswagen remains tightlipped

on any changes to performance

or economy.



each partner’s future product strategies,”

said Fiat.

PSA said: “The product strategies of Fiat

and PSA Peugeot Citroen in the segment

served by the Peugeot Expert, Citroen

Jumpy and Fiat Scudo being divergent,

their joint-venture at SevelNord will not

be renewed.”

At the same time, PSA announced a

major three-year €355 million ($A474m)

capital expenditure program to produce a

turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine

and new dual-clutch transmission.



John Mellor’s

GoAuto Market Insight

Shortcomings in Chery

J1 crash safety highlight

ANCAP value to buyers


THE prevalence of fi ve-star safety performers

coming down the engineering pipeline from

car-makers these days has caused observers

to ponder if the independent crash-test

system is really relevant to consumers when

making purchasing decisions.

And then along comes a Chery J1. With a

safety score of just 16.97 out of a maximum 37,

the Chinese-made small car scraped through

for a three-star rating, despite a comment from

Australasian New Car Assessment Program

(ANCAP) engineers that chest protection for

a J1 driver was poor.

In fact, the car was awarded zero points for

chest protection in both the side impact and

frontal offset crash tests. In the latter, cars are

crashed into a deformable aluminium barrier

at 64km/h, with only the front driver’s side

of the vehicle bearing the brunt.

It is undoubtedly a tough test, but safety

engineers believe it best represents a realworld

crash scenario, and it has become a

global NCAP standard, along with a side

impact and side pole impact tests.

To put crash performance in perspective,

the A-pillar of the top-performing light car, the

Alfa Romeo MiTo, moved rearwards 4mm in

the offset crash, while its steering wheel hub

actually moved forward 11mm – away from

the driver. Afterwards, the doors could be

opened and shut “with normal effort”.

The little Alfa scored a total of 36.1 out

of a possible 37 points – a stunning effort.

In the Chery, the A-pillar moved rearward

75mm, causing a large kink in the roof rail,

while the steering wheel hub was forced

GoAuto Market Insight is brought

to you by Dealer Solutions

backwards 151mm. “High manual effort” was

needed to open the driver’s door afterwards.

The Chery – the fi rst Chinese-made

passenger car to be tested by ANCAP –

even trailed the performance of the lowly

Malaysian-made Proton S16 (now in runout

in Australia), which scored 19.96 out of

37 (for three stars) from ANCAP.

Neither the J1 nor the S16 have side, curtain

or knee airbags. The best performing lights

cars do, although other factors such as inherent

structural integrity are also signifi cant.

Electronic stability control, which since

2008 has been required by ANCAP for a

fi ve-star rating, is also not fi tted to the J1

or the S16.

However, it is instructive to look at the

performances of comparable single models

to see how much the addition of airbags can

add to an ANCAP score.

Hyundai’s new i20 managed just 28.07

points out of 37 when fi tted only with dual

front airbags – as was the case with the entrylevel

Active variants at launch – but when




Means Performance.

Keeping safety in sight

Overall score










Selected light car ANCAP safety scores


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May 18, 2011 Page 19

Chery J1

Proton S16

Ford Fiesta CL

Holden Barina

Toyota Yaris YR

Holden Barina Spark

Audi A1

Hyundai i20


Ford Fiesta Econetic

Toyota Yaris*

VW Polo

Honda Jazz

Suzuki Swift

Alfa Romeo MiTo

*With optional safety pack of curtain, side and knee airbags

Three stars Four stars Five stars 37 maximum score

Inventory & Photo Distribution

tested with six airbags (adding side and curtain

airbags), the result improved to 34.07 points

and lifted the i20 from four to fi ve stars.

Within three months, Hyundai Motor Co

Australia had the entire i20 range fi tted with

the full complement of airbags.

In the case of the Ford Fiesta, the base model

falls short of fi ve-star qualifi cation unless the

customer pays extra for a safety pack that

includes extra airbags and a passenger seatbelt

warning indicator. The most recent ANCAP

rating for the two-airbag Fiesta CL places its

points score at 24.84 points – four stars – for

the previous WS range.

Better-equipped models in both the

previous WT and facelifted WS ranges

turned in a 34.4-point, fi ve-star effort.

With the Toyota Yaris, a three-door base

YR with two airbags came in at 29.46,

while a fi ve-door model with the optional

safety pack of airbags scored a creditable

34.95 – well into fi ve-star range.


No hidden agendas. Contact Dealer Solutions today. 1300 66 11 33

John Mellor’s

GoAuto Green

Green issues in the auto world

GoAuto Green is brought

to you by Custom Fleet

Renault all in a Twizy

$27 is all that European

buyers need to reserve a

place in Twizy EV queue


RENAULT’S futuristic all-electric Twizy

can be reserved online by would-be buyers in

Europe, with the French car-maker opening

the books for pre-orders of the cross-bred car/

scooter ahead of its world debut in production

form at the Barcelona motor show last week.

However, Australian buyers need not

rush to their computers just yet, as Renault

Australia has no plans to import the

revolutionary vehicle any time soon.

Due to go on sale in Europe at the end

of this year and manufactured at Renault’s

Valladolid plant in Spain, the two-seat

Twizy will be available as a three-variant

line-up, with prices ranging from €6990

($A9334) to €8490 ($A11,337).

Renault is taking €20 ($A27) deposits

via a special website for customers wanting

to pre-reserve their Twizy ahead of its

showroom release in the 38 countries slated

to receive the vehicle.

The €6990 entry-level Twizy 45 is so-called

because its 4kW electric motor enables a

top speed of 45km/h, meaning that in some

countries it can be driven unaccompanied

without a driving licence and on a provisional

driving licence from the age of 16 in others.

For qualifi ed drivers, the 7kW Twizy

Urban (€7690) and Technic (€8490) can

reach 80km/h. Both low and high power

outputs are complemented by 57Nm of

torque, available from zero revs.

In addition to the purchase price, Twizy

customers must also pay a battery leasing fee of

€49 per month (€45 for the low-power model)

in a 36 month/7200km per year agreement.

Renault says the Twizy is more agile than a

car – having a turning circle of just 3.4 metres

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Government and Not for Profit organisations


May 18, 2011 Page 20

– and that its acceleration performance is

“comparable with that of a scooter”.

All Twizy variants are claimed to be

capable of a 100km range from their lithiumion

batteries, which take 3.5 hours for a full

charge from a standard 10 amp power outlet,

using a three-metre spiral cord stored under

a hatch at the front of the vehicle.

The battery pack accounts for 100kg of

the vehicle’s 450kg weight and Renault

quotes the Twizy’s offi cial European CO2

emissions fi gure of 32 grams per kilometre

as including the “entire energy production

cycle and vehicle usage”.


Frugal Volvos to light up in eco-rally as brand CO2 emissions drop 13.8 per cent


VOLVO’S super-economical V60 Plug-in

Hybrid – which made its world debut at the

Geneva show in March – takes its fi rst offi cial

test-drive on public roads in the German

capital city of Berlin today (May 18) as part

of the 11th Michelin Challenge Bibendum.

Alongside the electrifi ed V60 at the

event is the C30 EV and diesel-powered

V50 DRIVe, forming a line-up for the

sustainability rally that Volvo believes will

“emphasise the company’s leadership in

combining environmental technology with

a full luxury car experience”.

Volvo Car Corporation’s senior vicepresident

for research and development,

Peter Mertens, said he expected the cars to

perform well at the challenge, considering

“the drives include acceleration and handling

tests as well as energy-effi cient driving”.

The Chinese-owned Swedish carmaker’s

participation in the event comes as

it is named “most improved” manufacturer

in JATO’s review of car CO2 emissions,

with its eco-centric DRIVe-branded range

helping the company’s average emissions

drop 13.8 per cent year-on-year, to below

158 grams per kilometre.


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John Mellor’s

GoAuto Personnel

GLOBAL automotive

data specialist JATO

Dynamics has appointed

Mark Hutchison as

regional sales president

for Australia and New


Mr Hutchison brings

more than 25 years’

experience to the Mark Hutchison

role, most recently as sales, marketing

and product development manager for

MSX International, a global provider

of outsourced business solutions for the

automotive industry.


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He has also worked at a national level

for a range of automotive brands including

Saab, Mazda, Iveco and Ford Performance


JATO’s vice-president of sales (Asia-

Pacifi c and The Americas) Paul Stokes said:

“Mark’s professionalism and dynamism

together with extensive real-world

automotive OEM experience, will allow us

to get even closer to clients and to shape our

products and services based on his intimate

knowledge of the true business issues faced


May 18, 2011 Page 21



FORMER General Motors chairman and

CEO Robert Stempel – an engineer whose

list of credits include helping to create the

mass production catalytic converter and

igniting GM’s interest in electrifi ed cars –

has died in Florida, aged 77.

The renowned “car guy” and career GM

man also helped to develop the landmark

front-wheel-drive Oldsmobile Toronado

coupe – the forerunner of many front-drive

GM cars – in the 1960s.

But Mr Stempel is best known for taking

the GM helm during one of the bleakest

periods in the company’s history, after the

company racked up billions of dollars in debt

and came perilously close to bankruptcy in

the recession of the early 1990s.

In the end, he was forced out by fellow

directors in 1992 after just two years, a

move seen by many as a classic scapegoat

manoeuvre to help convince the world that

things were changing at The General.

Mr Stempel was born in New Jersey

in 1933, and after gaining a degree in

mechanical engineering, joined GM in

1958. He worked his way up through the

ranks to become general manager of Pontiac

in 1978, and was then sent off to Europe to

look after Opel in 1980.

Following that, he did stints in the chair

at Chevrolet and the Buick-Oldsmobile-

Cadillac division in quick succession,

earning a seat on the GM board in 1984.

With unlucky timing, he replaced long-time

GM boss Roger Smith as CEO and chairman

in August 1990, and was left to manage a debtladen

GM and its shrinking market share just

as Iraq invaded Kuwait, plunging an already

shaky world economy into recession.

During his tenure, Mr Stempel put

GM on its path to electrifi ed vehicles by

encouraging battery research, development

of the EV1 electric car prototype and GM’s

successful SunRaycer entry into the World

Solar Car Challenge in Australia.

A long-time believer that the motor

industry’s days of running on fossil fuels were

numbered, Mr Stempel pursued his interest in

electric vehicle technology by serving on the

boards of two American battery development

companies after departing GM in 1992.

GM paid tribute to Mr Stempel in a brief

statement last week, saying he “admirably

led the company during very diffi cult times

in the early 1990s”.

“Bob was a very popular chairman with

employees, and his many accomplishments

as a visionary engineer included leading the

development of the catalytic converter, one

of the great environmental advancements in

auto history,” it said.

“His knowledge of battery development

led to the push for the EV1 electric car, and

Bob continued to build his expertise in the

electrifi cation of the automobile after he left

GM in 1992.”


Australia’s No.1

Motor Recruitment Specialist

If you have any car industry personnel

announcements, please email them to

Terry Martin at

Anne Taylor

Sharon Hunter

George Hennessy

Mara Nogarotto

Sonya Poci

Les Land

by the industry across the region.”

Mr Hutchison said he was “excited ...

to be driving new business growth whilst

upholding and deepening our already

trusted close client relationships.”

His appointment comes a month

after JATO announced Andy Rothery

as its new global CEO, succeeding Neil

Palfreeman and moving up after two

years as chief operating offi cer – a role

which saw him undertake “a companywide

change program, reshaping JATO’s

business services operations, including

marketing, customer services and product


“Our people take the stress

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for your business.”

For more information please call 1300 666 562 or visit

John Mellor’s

GoAuto News


May 18, 2011 Page 22

GoAuto’s latest car review


Tony Abbott

A CARBON tax could add between $222

and $412 to the cost of each car made in

Australia if the carbon price is set at between

$20 and $30 a tonne, according to a report

prepared on behalf of the Federal Chamber

of Automotive Industries (FCAI).

The investigation, by Pricewaterhouse-

Coopers Australia (PWCA), found that the

overall cost to the $6.2 billion domestic

automotive industry was likely to be between

$30 million and $84 million, depending on

factors including compensation.

The report warned that additional cost

burdens could threaten plans for growth in

the automotive industry, which it described

as “vulnerable”.

The opposition leader Tony Abbott used

the fi gures during a visit to Ford’s factory

at Geelong in Victoria yesterday to raise the

spectre of lost jobs in the motor industry due

to Labor’s carbon tax.

“If the carbon tax turns out to be the nail in

the coffi n of the motor manufacturing industry

in this country, that spells disaster for Australia

as a fi rst-world economy,” he said.

“We want to be a country that makes things,

and the risk with this carbon tax is that we will

stop being a country that makes things any

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CHINESE car sales have fallen for the fi rst

time in 28 months, while India’s motor

industry reported its slowest monthly growth

in two years.

China Association of Automobile

Manufacturers (CAAM) data shows 1.55

million cars were sold in China last month,

0.25 per cent down year-on-year and 15 per

cent lower than March.

A contributing factor – other than that

China’s once-rampant economic growth has

been slowing since the middle of last year – is

that its government is introducing measures to

curb the unfettered growth in vehicle volumes

to a more sustainable level to ease pressure on

parking, road congestion and air pollution.




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more – an absolute disaster for Australia.”

The federal government is set to spell out

the details of its carbon tax plan by July,

with the scheme set to be introduced on July

1, 2012.

The PWCA report said each domestically

made vehicle would have a CO2 footprint of

between 11.1 tonnes and 13.6 tonnes.

The largest proportion – between 6.0

and 7.8 tonnes – would be embodied in the

manufacturing of materials such as steel,

aluminium and plastics.

Parts manufacturing would generate between

2.6 and 3.5 tonnes and vehicle assembly

1.5 tonnes, while small amounts would be

contributed by air-conditioning gases, the

retailing of the vehicle and transportation.

The report said the extent of greenhouse

gas emissions depended on factors such

as the size of the vehicle, extent of local

content, vehicle confi guration and energy

supply mix.

Of the materials used in the typical vehicle,

steel was by far the biggest contributor of

greenhouse gases, at 67 per cent, followed

by aluminium on 26 per cent. Plastics rated

only two per cent.



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7-8 July 2011 Park Hyatt Melbourne

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Social Program

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All Payments must be made in Australian Dollars only.

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Post-Conference AFL Function - Essendon VS Richmond

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Hilton on the Park for pre-game dinner;



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Hilton on the Park foyer


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