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Australia

Our Population’s Need for Cars

The numbers are saying that there is a growing percentage of our population here in Australia that are classed as elderly; by elderly I mean over 65 years of age with a bit of a white/grey background in their hair colour.  Our largest age group sits in the 30 to 34 year old bracket.  Our population of youngsters under the age of 10 also continues to increase.  As well as that, Australia’s overall population is continuing to grow swiftly – thanks mainly to Australia being a great place to make the shift to live and work in.  Building our infrastructure to keep up with the influx and accommodate the population growth is something Australia continues to do well, and definitely Australia does infrastructure a whole lot better than most countries in the rest of the world.

Brisbane, Perth and Sydney know how to do public transport, with Melbourne a shining light when it comes to usable public transport; in fact, more than 80 % of all public transport kilometres in Melbourne are travelled on roads.  All our big Australian cities do the public transport service pretty well, Adelaide being well up the user-usability, user-friendly, and user-satisfaction rankings, too.  However, most of us rely on our own private vehicles to get us across town and city, to travel from one township to another, or even to get from one major city to another throughout, and across, Australia.

The Australian road network covers more than 877,000 kilometres, which is quite phenomenal when you think about it, and well over half a million Australians rely on these roads for their full-time employment.  A relatively recent (2016) analysis of the preferred method of travel that residents in Australia used to get to work showed that 11.4 % used public transport, while 66.1 % used a private vehicle.  These figures still followed pretty-true in Australian Greater Capital Cities surveys, where 15.7 % used public transport and 63.3 % used a private vehicle.  Whilst many of the elderly move closer to the city centre or find a hub that is close to amenities, even the elderly find it hard to totally give up the car keys.  You can’t beat the park just outside your destination!

Here are some interesting stats and bits of info taken from various recent surveys held in Australia, and we need to thank the likes of the Australian Bureau of Statistics for keeping us informed.  Did you know that there were 19.8 million registered motor vehicles across Australia as at the 31st January 2020.  This points to our national fleet having increased by 1.5 % from the same figures discovered in 2019.  Of the 19.8 million vehicles, 25.6 % of the national fleet are diesel and 72.7 % are petrol.  Light, rigid, diesel trucks continue to have the largest growth rate in registrations, increasing 5.8 per cent over the year.  This is followed, rather contemplatively for me, by campervans with a 3.5 per cent growth in registrations.  Light rigid trucks include your Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux type vehicles.

Though still a very small portion of the pie, electric vehicles are gaining some traction in Australia.  Sarah Kiely, Director of ABS Transport Statistics, stated that “While electric vehicles are still small in number, less than 0.1 per cent of the fleet, the 14,253 electric vehicles registered in 2020 is almost double the previous year.”

The growth in our population and the need for more new cars for transportation are reasons why we are seeing the WestConnex  infrastructure project (US $16bn) that is linking Western and South Western Sydney with the city, airport and port in a 33 km continuous motorway.  Once this project is finished, motorists will be able to bypass up to 52 sets of traffic signals from Beverly Hills through to Parramatta.  The Melbourne Airport rail link (US $5bn) is set for construction beginning 2022.  There are many big-ticket infrastructure items on the go, and in the pipeline, that all help get our people about efficiently.

It might be time to trade in your 10.4 year old car (the average age for an Australian car) in for a new Toyota, which is the most preferred manufacturer by Australian new car buyers.

Driving the Hours of Darkness

One of my favourite times for driving is at night or in the early morning; and by early morning I mean well before ‘sparrow’s fart’.  The roads are mostly empty and everything is quiet and serene.  It is possible to travel during the hours of darkness and quite quickly cover the ground.  Here are some definite advantages of travelling by night, with a few of the disadvantages thrown in as well.

First of all there is nothing quite like the fresh, cool air that you get during nightfall.  A lot of the wildlife has settled for the night and the night air has a pristine smell that I love.  When you get out and stretch and take a break during the night drive, the air is always satisfying and refreshing – but just as long as it’s not a frog strangling gulley washer!  You can hear the silence with only the odd chirp or bark, squeak or rustle of wind filling the air.  Just after midnight, the roads are mostly empty and it can be an ideal time to drive.  You will get the odd long haul truck unit doing the intercity run, but on the whole, I find driving at night to be pretty relaxing.

Who doesn’t like getting places faster?  At night, driving with very few other vehicles on the road means that you can keep up a steadier speed at higher velocity which allows you to cover the ground in a shorter amount of time.  You can hit the speed limit and stay at it for longer.  This is a win-win because it also links in with fuel efficiency, which I’ll touch on later.

Not having the sun about means the night air is cooler, which is a phenomenon that’s rather nice in a hot sunny country by-day – like it is in Australia.  Your air-conditioning requirements are not quite so demanding, therefore avoiding the need to pump through gallons of cool fresh air at maximum levels in order to keep cool inside the car.  You also have less heat streaming in through the closed windows and onto your skin, another nice feature about night driving.  Sun strike is not a problem, either.

If you are getting from A to B quicker at night, then it is obvious that the lack of traffic will mean that the drive will be more fuel efficient.  Because there are fewer cars on the road, your speed is even and you avoid the stop and go motion of other cars around you.  There actions and choices slow you down, and the more of these the slower you go as they the weave in and out of your lane and generally make life more stressful. Because you’re avoiding other cars by travelling at night, you are going to get better fuel efficiency.  A steady higher speed is good for economy.  Putting a lighter load on the air-conditioning system by driving at night in the cooler air is also good for fuel economy.  More economic, cooler, more relaxed, quicker and more fuel efficient at night: now who doesn’t like that?

When you do need to refuel at a gas station, getting fuel at night is a breeze, with nobody around other than the sleepy cashier.  And there are even no cashiers at card-only fuel stations.

As with most things, there can be a downside to night driving.  Yes, you could get sleepy when driving during the hours that you’re normally in bed.  Not many shops open; and should you want to stop for a sleep, then most motels are closed up by 9/10 pm.  Kangaroos and other larger creatures still wander, shuffle or bounce onto the road from seemingly out of nowhere in the dark.  They can even do this in daylight, mind you…

Driving at night is/or can be fun and enjoyable.  I personally enjoy it but realise that it’s not for everyone.  After I have done a long haul at night, I do tend to take things pretty cruisy the next day, while ensuring I get a great night’s sleep the following night.  I sense a few roadies coming on; it is the festive season, after all.

Road Trip Australia

One of the things that we can look forward to once everything settles back down to normal after covid is being able to fully appreciate Australia and its diversity.  Instead of grabbing that best flight deal for an overseas trip, I reckon we could pick up the road map and get out and see Australia by road a bit more. Support the locals, you know…

The following are some of the best road trips in Australia; so take a look and be inspired:

1) Round the Perimeter

Doing the whole lap of Australia around the coastline would have to be the ultimate Australian road trip.  The road trip follows around 15,000 km of our great Highway One, and it links seven of the major cities.  You’ll get to explore and taste the menu that Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Broome, Perth, Esperance, Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart all have to offer.

If you can nab a 4WD for this road trip, then you’ll be able to take your time and head down some of the fun tracks that shoot off to the side.  Around Australia will include everything from big city lights to sleepy coastal towns, lush green rainforest to dusty and dry red Outback.

One thing that you might like to factor in is that when you travel the northern part of Australia (Broome to Cairns) it’s best to do it in the April to September window to make the most of the good weather.  During the wet season roads can be closed.

2) Torquay to Allansford, Victoria

One of the country’s most famous road trips stretches along the southern coast on Victoria.  Travelling from Torquay to Allansford winds 243 km along some of Australia’s most stunning coastline.  You’ll also head through rainforest, along sunburnt cliffs, by shipwrecks, and, you’ll also see the famous Twelve Apostles – but there is only eight of them now!

3) The Gibb River Road, Western Australia

If you want to tackle some 4WDing, then the Munja Track, in Kimberley is a super exciting adventure.  The route was constructed in the 1960s to transport stock, and this 660 km road cuts right through from Derby to Wyndham.  You’ll get to see magnificent and remote wilderness, some of our most ancient gorges, beautiful, thundering waterfalls, some sacred Aboriginal sites and so much more.  Take a look at Bell Gorge, where you’ll find a multi-tiered waterfall cascading down layered sandstone into several pools.  And, you can even swim!

4) Cairns to Cape York, Queensland

You’ll need a decent 4WD for this 1000 km drive that begins at Cairns and ends at Cape York.  This is the road that gets you through to the Barrier Reef.  There is loads of red dirt and the river crossings will have crocodiles.  The lush rainforest is amazing, and there are 2 World Heritage areas (The Reef and the Daintree).

5) Perth to Ningaloo, Western Australia

Here is the road that has loads of beautiful secluded beaches and crystal clear water.  It’s close to 1200 km in length and starts at Perth and ends at Exmouth.  Western Australian beaches also have some stunning Coral Coastlines.

Love the sea? Then this is a trip for you.  Western Australia is where the Indian Ocean meets the rugged Outback.  You’ll get to see the Pinnacles Desert and the World Heritage Shark Bay.  How about swimming with dolphins, manta rays and whale sharks?  There is also the breath-taking  gorges of the Kalbarri National Park – wow!

If you book this trip in the June to September window, then you’ll also be wowed with the colourful wildflowers that carpet the barren landscape.

6) The Great Alpine Road, Victoria

This route starts in Wangaratta and winds its way around 500 km through Victorian High Country to Metung in Gippsland Lakes area.  On the way you’ll be travelling over Australia’s highest accessible sealed road, which takes in mountain ranges, deep valleys, wine regions and the sparkling waterways of the Gippsland Lakes region. This is a lovely scenic road that has some nice quaint historic towns along the way.

Victoria’s highest alpine village, Mt Hotham, is nice to visit year-round, with excellent downhill skiing and cross-country trails.  You can also book in for a horse ride, and fish during the warmer months.

7) The Savannah Way

The Savannah Way is around 3700 km in length and it offers loads of adventure.  It takes you from Queensland all the way to Western Australia.

Encompassing 15 national parks and five World Heritage along the way, this is the ultimate east to west road trip. Tropical rainforest, vast grassy plains, remote cattle stations, waterfalls, gorges, turquoise waters and ancient rock art; it’s all there.  Boodjamulla National Park is one of Queensland’s awesome sights and experiences.

It’s advisable to carry a radio for when mobile reception isn’t the best, as you are in some faily remote country at times in the Outback.

8) The Nullarbor, South Australia

This is Australia’s straightest road trip: the Nullarbor Plain.  It’s not hard to find, running 1256 km between the goldfields of WA and the Eyre Peninsula in SA.

It is a legendary flat plain that meets with the towering sea cliffs of the Great Australian Bight. It’s home to prolific wildlife, and you’ll be able to see emus, kangaroos, dingoes and camels along the way.  It also boasts the world’s longest golf course!

9) The Pacific Coast, New South Wales & Queensland

If you haven’t done this trip, then it has to be on your to-do list.  The Legendary Pacific Coast follows around 900 km from Sydney to Brisbane through the Central Coast, Port Stephens, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Ballina and Byron Bay.  This is coastal Australia at its best, with it being home to a host of surfing beaches, charming seaside towns, pretty landscapes and national parks.

Take your time and venture off the main highway to find rich pickings of fun activities, boutiques and food.

10) The Grand Pacific Drive, New South Wales

This one’s a photographer’s joy; The Grand Pacific Drive is a 140 km scenic coastal drive taking you through rainforests, over the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge and through the coastal cities and townships of Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and the Shoalhaven.  This also has some of New South Wale’s most beautiful cliff faces.

Get yourself ready!

What Can A Motorist Do During Lockdown?

Although the restrictions aren’t in place all across the country, the state of Victoria is having to cope with lockdown. We sympathise, we really do. It’s not easy and we wish you all the best.

The lockdown rules mean that you’ve only got four reasons for being in a vehicle on the roads: “to shop for food and essential goods or services; to provide care, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment; to exercise or for outdoor recreation; for work or study, if you can’t do it from home” – and that’s a direct quote from the website. You are also advised to “not travel further than you need to”. This means that you probably won’t have much luck convincing the Powers That Be that driving counts as “outdoor recreation”. Of course, if you’re an essential worker, you can keep on working and driving to work (actually, that’s one of the four reasons). Enjoy the clear roads and drive safely, even if you’re exhausted.

So what can a keen motorist do during lockdown to keep that part of their psyche satisfied? The most obvious answer is to spend time during lockdown playing motor racing games on whatever device you fancy. This is all very well and there are some great ones out there that help you fulfil your racing driver or speed freak fantasies. However, one has to remember that (a) don’t get too used to driving that way, as you can’t walk away from a car that crashes by flipping end over end in real life and (b) there is only so long that you ought to spend hogging the X-box or PC console.

There are other things that are (mostly) more productive to keep you occupied. Here are a few suggestions that you can try:

  • Take the time to deep clean the car you own. You know that you need to keep it clean and to get all those stray chips out from under the seat. Now’s your chance. Give your car a bit of TLC and really see it gleaming. While you’re at it, do all those little maintenance jobs on your car that you’ve always meant to get around to.
  • If you don’t know how to do basic maintenance jobs on your car, this is your chance to learn how. If there isn’t anybody at home with you who knows how to do all those little jobs like checking and topping up the oil, rotating the tyres, or whatever needs to be done, then the internet has a lot of useful videos. Watch a few to get an idea of what’s needed, then have a go. If you do know how to do these maintenance jobs and you have kids at home, teach them how to do the basic things. Even if you don’t have anything that needs doing right now, show them how to change a tyre. It’s a life skill that everybody needs to use at some point, in contrast to quadratic equations, which only get used by a few people (including motor engineers).
  • Spend time browsing and learning about all the great new models and makes out there. Who knows, when all this is over, you might decide it’s time to get a new set of wheels. Our car reviews may be a great place to start.
  • Order a model car online and make it up.
  • Read a good e-book or listen to an audiobook on any motoring-related topic.
  • Play with the toy cars with the kids – and teach them about road rules while you’re at it. Sound effects are encouraged.
  • Use those motoring magazines you’ve got stashed away as inspiration and try your hand at drawing.

Could Motorists Receive a Refund for Car Registration and Insurance Costs?

As the impact of the Coronavirus continues to play havoc on our day to day lives, roads are still largely empty compared with normal traffic levels. It’s hardly unsurprising, however.

On the one hand, we’ve been told to stay home unless going out for one of few “essential” reasons, and on the other hand, in the parts of the country where restrictions are starting to be lifted, that doesn’t mean jobs will come back any time soon. Given these changes, our cars are seeing much less usage than they normally might.

But what does that mean for some of the significant costs we bear each year as part of having our car on the road? For starters, we’re paying registration to have our vehicle authorised and approved for roadworthiness, yet we are discouraged (or even fined!) from taking our wheels out. Similarly, insurance is for the most part designed to mitigate any risk associated with an accident, but we should feel pretty comfortable there won’t be any collisions when our cars are parked up in the garage.

 

Should drivers be eligible for a refund?

If you ask thousands of Australian motorists, apparently, the resounding answer is ‘yes’.

In recent days, one online price comparison company has started a petition making the point as to why shouldn’t Australians be eligible to receive a refund on a portion of their unused car registration and insurance costs?

Quite predictably, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. After all, times are tough at the moment and we could all do with a little extra money in our pockets.

 

 

But is it likely that government and insurers would budge?

According to some, the principle of ‘fairness’ goes some way to underpin the request for a partial refund. And sure, if either state governments or insurers are feeling charitable, the prospect certainly can’t be ruled out.

However, we also have to put into perspective broader efforts being made by all levels of government. From health care costs, to support for businesses, jobs and the significant ‘benefits’ payments being distributed to support people who receive subsidies and/or find themselves impacted by a change in employment circumstances. This means that government debt is set to balloon. Believe it or not, we’ll all be paying for that soon enough.

What is also missing from this equation is a ‘benefit’ that motorists have seen offset their car expenses. That is, the overwhelming majority, if not all drivers have seen a significant reduction in running costs. Petrol prices have plummeted in recent weeks, not to mention, most of us are driving nowhere near as much as we normally might. On top of that, a reduction in wear and tear can only help delay some costs arising from repair work.

In light of this benefit relating to lower petrol costs, the federal government will also lose a chunk of its fuel excise intake due to refiners and petrol operators shifting less fuel. And ultimately, this fee is more linked to your driving activity than say, registration, which would still normally apply even if you were not using your car or out of the country.

Although insurance refunds could be on the agenda – especially if there is enough of a vocal push from insured motorists – even here, we have to consider, your car is meant to be insured even when it’s not being driven, in case of fire and theft, or for that once a week trip to the supermarket.

 

We can all hope for a better-than-expected outcome as far as partial refunds go, but let’s realise the principle of ‘fairness’ is merely a cover for that request. http://credit-n.ru/ipoteka.html

Disinfecting Your Car

During this pandemic, we’re all hyperaware of spreading infections and viruses like a bunch of neurotic obsessive-compulsive germophobes, or at least we should be. Hand sanitizer is becoming a must-have and it’s only a matter of time before we have the big fashion houses producing designer masks.

We’re all being encouraged to do our bit to prevent the spread of the dreaded lurgy, aka COVID-19. Handwashing and being extra vigilant about disinfecting surfaces is recommended. OK, if we’re doing as we’re told, we’ll be staying home as much as possible and not going out our cars much, but we are allowed to go to get groceries in the car. And essential workers have to go out in the car as well. Oh, the irony and frustration of super-cheap fuel prices at a time when going out for a drive for fun is discouraged for the rest of us!

However, it’s very easy to forget the car when it comes to good hygiene to the point of excessive hygiene. After all, if you’ve been out doing essential work (good on you, mate!) or if you’ve picked up groceries, you will have touched bits of your car. If by some chance you had the virus on your hands when you got in your car, even if you washed your hands thoroughly when you got home, the next time that you nipped out to the car for whatever reason, that virus will still be lurking there. Boom.

The boffins in the white coats encourage us to sanitise high-touch surfaces, so as well as wiping down things like your phone, computer keyboard, and the doorknobs of your house, don’t forget your car as well. There’s a ton of high-touch surfaces in there as well!

The smart and responsible thing to do is to wipe these places down as well, preferably after every time you come back from going out to get the groceries and other essential items. If you’re off work then you’ve got plenty of time to do this! If you are one of our essential workers, I don’t want to put more strain and stress on you but you’ll definitely have to do this as well.

What you use as a disinfectant for the high-touch spots in your car is up to you. You can use hand sanitizer but there are other options, ranging from common or garden disinfectant from the supermarket to disinfectant wipes to strong alcohol to homemade mixtures involving essential oils. I make my own with a recipe that’s safe for all surfaces and isn’t a beast for your skin (which gets enough grief from all that handwashing).

  • 200 mL white vinegar
  • 100 mL tap water
  • 1 teaspoon eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil.

Put in a bottle and shake well. Apply where you want it with a soft lint-free cloth. It smells rather powerful but better than commercial disinfectants. You also don’t have to explain it to any cops the way that you would if you used vodka to sanitise your car…

Now to get busy with the disinfectant. Here are the spots that you have to give a good wipe with the disinfectant of your choice:

  • Steering wheel. You’ve had both hands on it most of the time if you’ve been driving correctly. This includes any steering wheel mounted controls.
  • Indicators.
  • Handbrake
  • Gear lever. Yes, even if your car is an automatic, you’ll have had to put it in Drive and Park during your trip. Paddle shifters count as well.
  • Door handles. Inside and out. However, you only need to do the handles of the doors that have been used, not the whole lot.
  • Boot release lever or button. Feel smug and grateful if you’ve got one of those auto-opening smart ones. Don’t forget to sterilize the place where you put your hands when you closed the boot as well.
  • Key fob or keys. This one gets overlooked all too easily, even though this one comes into your house.
  • Buttons for automatic windows and climate control.
  • Touchscreens. Be careful when wiping these down and don’t use too much so you don’t damage the finish.
  • Handles of any storage compartments.

Stay safe, whether on the road or in your home! http://credit-n.ru/offers-zaim/oneclickmoney-zaim-na-kartu.html

Kia To Get Extra Sting?

It’s not confirmed for Australia however Kia has appeared to confirm their ballsy Stinger sedan/five door coupe is to get more mumbo. Currently packing a 2.0L turbo four or the punch you in the guts 272kW/510Nm 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, it’s being spoken that the car will receive the bigger 3.5L V6 as found in siblings Hyundai and Genesis.

Inside the Genesis G80, this mill produces 279kW and 530Nm. The turbo four may also be given some fettling, with a 2.4L version said to offer 223kW and over 420Nm. That’s in comparison to the current 182kW and 353Nm. There is also a milf facelift to the exterior and it’s as yet unconfirmed if much will be done to the interior, although it’s likely there will be.

Kia Australia, however, currently have a different perspective, with the head of PR, Kevin Hepworth, being quoted as saying: “”We are not anticipating any engine changes”. In this context, an extra 200cc offering just 7kW and 20Nm means most buyers would be highly unlikely to tell the difference. Considering that the sedan market is shriveling slowly (although in Europe it is regaining ground under the onslaught of SUVs), should Kia go ahead with that and make that the only powerplant choice, it leaves Kia Australia with either onselling the Stinger with the slightly bigger engine, having Kia pare back the outputs, or, and more unlikely, have Aussie spec Stingers come here with the 3.3L and 2.0L.

Sales figures for the Stinger indicate the V6 is the preferred engine, with around 98% of the 150 to 200 Stingers moved per month being powered by that, and of those a huge 81% are for the top of the range GT. The other factor coming into play is the Australian dollar exchange rate. It’s highly likely that the 2.0L four would be dropped and the 2.4L, if offered, would not be taken up on a cost basis reason. http://credit-n.ru/offers-credit-card/ren-drive-365-credit-card.html

The FCAI Releases March 2020 Car Sales Numbers

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has today announced new vehicle sales figures for the month of March 2020 and not unexpectedly, it’s a story of sliding numbers. 81,690 vehicles were sold in the 31 days of March, with a breakdown of: 21,777 passenger vehicles, 39,171 SUVs, and 18,162 LCV (Light Commercial vehicles). That’s a respective market share of 26.7%, 48.0%, and 22.2%

What these numbers also showcase is a negative growth of 17.9% compared to March 2019 and the 24th consecutive month of falling sales. On a direct comparison of days available to sell, March 2020 sees a decrease of 17,752 vehicles compared to last year, and a daily decrease of 692 per day.

Toyota takes the top spot, with the Hi-Lux notching 3,556 sales and the brand itself selling 17,583. Mazda clocked second overall at 6,002, whilst Kia overtook its Korean relation, Hyundai, with 5,654 against 5,306.

Ford’s Ranger notched 3,108 sales for the second most popular vehicle bought, followed by the RAV4 from Toyota at 2,991. The Corolla wasn’t far behind at 2,812, whilst Holden finally had some sunshine, with Colorado finding 2,391 driveways to park in.

The Chief Executive of the FCAI, Tony Weber, said: “Many dealerships have opted to remain open to maintain support for customers, particularly from a service perspective, during this difficult period. Of particular importance are first responder and essential services vehicles. We must keep these vehicles on the road to ensure our communities continue to function and remain safe. In addition, we need to ensure those who physically attend their workplace can travel safely.

The motor vehicle is a safe form of transport during the pandemic, allowing occupants to preserve their personal distance from other commuters. Within dealerships, customer safety is of the highest priority, and automotive brands have initiated a variety of enhanced hygiene protocols and contactless consultations to maintain personal distance.”

The Passenger Vehicle Market is down by 7,222 vehicle sales (-24.9%) over the same month last year; the Sports Utility Market is down by 6,489 vehicle sales (-14.2%); the Light Commercial Market is down by 3,326 vehicle sales (-15.5%); and the Heavy Commercial Vehicle Market is down by 715 vehicle sales (-21.7%) versus March 2019.

Environmental, political, and economic factors are said to be behind the continued fall in sales.

(Information supplied by the FCAI) http://credit-n.ru/zaymyi.html

Do Honda’s Changes Signal the Beginning of an Australian Exit?

After Holden made the much-anticipated and expected decision to withdraw from the Australian market, attention has turned towards the rest of the industry, as it faces a growing crisis. Compounded by the Coronavirus pandemic that is spreading across the world, local car dealers were already up against it, competing in a market that has been tracking at its worst levels since the GFC.

With pressure only likely to grow in the wake of the health and economic crisis that our country now faces, more questions are being asked about how sustainable it is for manufacturers to compete in such a small yet hotly-contested market such as ours.

This has sparked a lot of speculation around which companies might be next to exit Australia. Honda has enjoyed particularly strong sales in Australia over the years, but with the company facing profitability issues at a global level, the directive has been to improve its operational efficiencies. This has convinced some industry insiders that it was likely to be a matter of time before the Japanese brand would need to respond, and respond they have.

 

 

Dealership changes

Earlier this month, Honda was said to be considering three potential options for its future down under. First, the company was understood to have the option to close its national network and exit the market. Second, the Japanese auto-maker could pursue a ‘rationalisation’ strategy and reduce the number of showrooms across the country. Finally, the company could move towards an independent distributor model.

Commenting on the speculation at the time, the company said, “Honda is committed to the Australian market and as a part of normal business, regularly assesses its operations and organisational performance. We committed to our dealer network that we would update them on our long-term plans in the first quarter of 2020 and we are planning to do this later this month”.

In recent days, the company has come to a decision. Starting from the middle of 2021, Honda will slash the number of dealerships across the country. From over 100 dealers at the moment, there are expected to be around 60 by the time the changes take place. Their owners are expected to reduce from 71 to just 12. In addition, the brand will also move to eliminate underperforming car models and adopt an “agency” style business with fixed prices across the board.

The move is set to spark a sharp cut in jobs across the Honda network, as well as a sizeable slump in sales for the brand as it focuses predominantly on the Civic small car, HR-V small SUV and CR-V medium SUV. On the back of the news, however, dealers have begun to interpret the move as the early stages of a formal Australian exit for the company. In the meantime, the official line from the manufacturer reads, “we are committed to the Australian market. This is about strengthening the business for the future”. But aren’t those familiar words we’ve heard before?

  http://credit-n.ru/offers-zaim/fastmoney-srochnyi-zaim-na-kartu.html

Holden On To The Memory.

February 17, 2020. It’s the day after a very successful fund raising concert for Australia’s beleaguered fire fighting services. The country is on a high. Midday and the high is replaced by a collective sense of disbelief. It’s the day that many prophesied yet even more hoped would never come.

The name, Holden, would be consigned to the bin of history.

There will be many discussions as the reason why the once near invincible powerhouse that was “Australia’s own”, the company immortalised in a jingle along with “football, meat pies, kangaroos”, finally met its end at the hands of parent company General Motors. In simple terms, there will never be just one reason, there will be many.

If Holden’s last manager, Kristian Aquilina, to be is to believed, the company didn’t go down without some sort of a fight. “In this investment cycle, we developed an ambitious investment – an investment proposal to turn around our current performance and to see Holden flourish in this market, not just survive,” Aquilina stated.

“And over a number of months, GM undertook an exhaustive analysis of that plan together with our parent company we chased down every conceivable option, every strategy, every plan… We looked under every rock.

“We have had multiple rounds of discussions and have tried to find a way to defy gravity but the hard truth was there was just no way to come up with a plan that would support a competitive, and growing and flourishing Holden – and also provide a sufficient return to our investors.” he said. GM’s International Operations vice president Julian Blissett wasn’t willing to detail the costs involved, instead settling on a package to move the remaining Holden stock and close dealerships. The estimated cost is somewhere around $1.1 billion.

The closure also, sadly, includes the fabled Lang Lang proving grounds in the western part of Victoria. It’s rumoured that transport magnate Lindsay Fox has expressed interest in investing in the site. The anger that so many are feeling is inclusive of the statement by Holden after the closure of local building that Lang Lang and its importance would stay in place.

GM has also flagged the closure of its Thailand based manufacturing facility. However, a saviour for that plant in the form of Great Wall Motors may save the plant and its employees. Should this go ahead it places Great Wall into the same manufacturing heartbeat as brands such as Toyota, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, and others.Holden’s own history has places where its innovation could, could have gone further. The homegrown 5.0L, the famous 308, was being worked on for an overhead camshaft design. This “mule” engine kept the standard centre of block cam, meaning it was a three cam engine, unique at the time. Concept cars such as ECOmmodore, the W427, the Crewman and its HSV sibling, the Avalanche, were all possibilities for ongoing. Our friends at Bauer Media go further, with this list of concepts.

Holden has committed to the next ten years for customer support, a statement that some, cynically, will equate to Holden’s advertising of “We’re here to stay”, when clearly they aren’t.

It’s a day, and a decision, that for many will remain as a stain on the once thriving heart of Australian automotive manufacturing. http://credit-n.ru/zaymi-nalichnymi-blog-single.html