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Archive for April, 2010

I know where that car comes from!

We have said that manufacturers are not required to state the country of origin for vehicles sold in Australia.

One of our bloggers, however, posted a comment saying that you just have to look at the compliance place to see where it comes from.

Whilst some carmakers do put the name of the country that made the car on the plate, it is not compulsory.

Still our blogger is, in fact, technically correct!

You see, the first two letters of the VIN number do denote the manufacturing location.

But if the vin starts with ‘SA’ would you know that it is made in the UK?

Or 3A Mexico?

Probably not, until now, that is.

We have listed below the first two digits for vin numbers and their origin code for some of the major manufacturing countries.

OK, that’s a start, but we don’t think it’s enough. we feel that the actual name of the country of origin should also be clearly written on the vin plate, and it can’t be that difficult as the code is the key.

VA through VE – Austria

6A through 6W – Australia

YA through YE – Belgium

9A through 9E – Brazil

2A through 2O – Canada

LA through LO – China

YF through YK – Finland

VF through VR – France

SN through ST – Germany

WA through WO – Germany

TR through TV – Hungary

ZA through ZR – Italy

JA through JO – Japan

PL through PR – Malaysia

3A through 3W – Mexico

XL through XR – Netherlands

SU through SZ – Poland

U5 through U7 – Slovak Republic

AA through AH – South Africa

KL through KR – South Korea

VS through VW – Spain

YS through YW – Sweden

ML through MR – Thailand

NL through NR – Turkey

SA through SM – United Kingdom

1A through 1O – United States

4A through 4O – United States

5A through 5O – United States

Where Does That Car Come From?

If it’s a Volvo it’s Swedish, and Vee Dubs are German, right? Well, not necessarily. We’ve done a quick fun quiz to show you that where a car is made is not so obvious.

To take part in the quiz click here

But on a more serious note, manufacturers do not have to reveal to their Australian customers where they make their cars.

If you buy oranges you want to know if they are locally produced or imported.

Strangely, if you want to buy leather shoes, electrical goods, porcelain, brushware or even powder puffs the importers have to reveal their country of origin. But no so with motor cars, because under the imported goods act which dates back to 1940 there are no requirements for the country of origin for a vehicle being supplied to the Australian market to be so identified.

So you go to buy a Holden and you believe you are supporting local industry; but Holdens sold here could well be made in Thailand, Poland, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Japan or Korea (and probably others that we haven’t been told about). But they don’t have to tell you.

We think this is wrong. We believe you have a right to know which country makes your car and it should be shown on the compliance plate and other places.

Do you agree? If so we’d like to hear from you so place your comment on the blog comment below.

New cars at Australia’s V8 Supercar meets?

Could it be that in the near future we might see some other rivals vying for Australia’s V8 Supercar honours?  I, for one, kind of hope so!


It has been recently reported that the German carmaker, Mercedes Benz, may introduce a weapon to tackle Australia’s great racing circuits as soon as 2012. 


The Ford and Holden battle is a great thing.  And maybe it should be left alone for the sake of tradition.  But some others would say that the V8 Supercar series could do with a boost of new interest and new designs to take on the best from Holden and Ford.  Australia V8 Supercars is becoming a global phenomenon that attracts hundreds of thousands of very loyal fans – viewing the races from around the globe.  Perhaps it would be very fitting, and timely, to see representations of other car marques added into the ingredients because the race is a multicultural affair!  It most certainly has been in the past too.  Who remembers Jaguar’s feat of taking out Bathurst back in the eighties?  I, for one, have always enjoyed viewing top motor racing that has included a wide range of motor racing vehicles in its competition.     


The rumble of a racing engine is something pretty special.  There are some beaut sounding engines out there, but the roaring of a racing V8 has to take top spot.  Shattering the silence and exciting the crowd, the thunder of a Ford or Holden V8 racing engine captures attention like few other racing cars can.  But can you imagine a Mercedes Benz V8, BMW V8 or even a Toyota (Lexus) V8 added into the racing hub-bub!  I’m not saying that they would be superior, but they would sure be a thrilling addition.


One thing is for sure: any new V8 Supercar marque would need to be quick.  Not only are the new Ford and Holden Supercars very quick, they handle and brake superbly.  An Australian V8 Supercar must behold a front engine design that feeds the rear wheels and resembles their production cars.  So, Mercedes Benz would need to comprise a racing vehicle that could deliver the goods to perform as well as Ford’s “Boss 302” SVO or Holden’s 5.0 L Chevrolet Small Block race engines, which typically pump out well in excess of 450 kW.  It would be great to see how any newly invited V8 engine could compete, as the Supercar engines are also electronically restricted to 7500 rpm.  Generally the V8 Supercar engine has a capacity of 5 litres, with 2 valves per cylinder; and the compression ratio is regulated to 10:1.  


Having to weigh in at over 1355 kg and boast bodywork that resembles a production car, I wonder what performance package Mercedes Benz would put together?  Wow, what a stirring thought!