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Mike Costello - Page 101

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Holden boss says proposed funding cuts could spell an even more premature end for local car making

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Holden boss says proposed funding cuts could spell an even more premature end for local car making

GM Holden chairman and managing director Gerry Dorizas has warned the Australian car industry and the nearly 50,000 jobs it directly supports could shut down earlier than planned if the Federal Government’s proposed funding cuts go ahead...

Recent Posts
Mazda 3 SP25 v Renault Megane GT-Line : Comparison review
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Mazda 3 SP25 v Renault Megane GT-Line : Comparison review

Getting warmer… warmer… warmer. Perfect. Not everybody wants a hot hatch. But at the same time, a run-of-the-mill small car that ticks all the practical boxes but lacks a little zing doesn’t do it for some either. Luckily there are a host of small hatchbacks that straddle between these two markets, offering a few cheap thrills without going overboard...


2015 Holden Trax: pricing and specifications
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2015 Holden Trax: pricing and specifications

The new range-topping MY15 Holden Trax LTZ 1.4-litre turbo will hit the market on August 18 priced from $29,990 plus on-road costs. Featuring a 103kW/200Nm 1.4-litre engine familiar from the Barina RS and Cruze family, the new flagship Trax urban SUV complements the existing 12-month old LS and LTZ versions powered by the carryover 1...


Australians are shunning the market's cheapest cars
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Australians are shunning the market's cheapest cars

After a sustained period of progressive growth, 2014 has been a flat year for new vehicle sales in Australia — and nowhere has the market been hit harder that at the cheapest end.  To the end of July, the Micro and Light vehicle segments are both down at a rate far in excess of the contraction of the market overall, having fallen by 31.7 per cent and 9...


The blurred lines between premium and mainstream
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The blurred lines between premium and mainstream

The notion of blurred lines does not only apply to a certain morally ambiguous pop hit that took over the airwaves last year. No, it applies to Australia's new vehicle market as well. Specifically in the area of luxury cars, the definition of which is an arbitrary concept to even those who aspire to it...


2015 Fiat Abarth 595: Pricing and specifications
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2015 Fiat Abarth 595: Pricing and specifications

Fiat may have upped the price of its 500 city car, but the racy 2015 Fiat Abarth 595 spinoffs are now cheaper than ever, with a starting price of $33,500 plus on-road costs.  Now called the 595 Turismo and 595 Competizione, the new hot-shoe Italians replace the Esseesse models that were priced from $34,990 plus on-roads, meaning the new price of entry is $1490 cheaper than before...


2015 Fiat 500: Pricing and specifications
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2015 Fiat 500: Pricing and specifications

The updated ‘Series 3’ 2015 Fiat 500 city car has arrived in Australia with some cosmetic tweaks and a gleaming new TFT digital instrument display, but you’ll pay more for the privilege.  Now starting at $17,000 driveaway for the entry Pop variant (pictured below), the retro bubble car is $3000 pricier than it was when it was re-launched here 14 months ago by new factory distributor Fiat Chrysler Australia at $14k, and $2000 more than its revised $15k price announced in April this year...


2015 BMW X1 to go front-drive and spawn a new X2 'coupe' derivative
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2015 BMW X1 to go front-drive and spawn a new X2 'coupe' derivative

The next-generation 2015 BMW X1 compact SUV will be joined by a new coupe-like X2 derivation in 2016/17, both of which will be spun off the same front- and all-wheel-drive UKL architecture as the new 2 Series Active Tourer and the Mini...


BMW 3 Series three-cylinder has potential, but questions remain over rollout
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BMW 3 Series three-cylinder has potential, but questions remain over rollout

Three-cylinder versions of the BMW 3 Series are technically plausible, but the company has “question marks” over whether such a driveline would be accepted by the market despite a wide range of potential benefits, according to company corporate communications manager and powertrain specialist Manfred Poschenrieder...


2015 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Review
Rating: 7.510 /10
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2015 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer Review

BMW's new era of front-wheel-drive compact cars begins with the family-friendly and generally well-executed 2 Series Active Tourer.

Priced At
$44,400 - $54,900

BMW 2 Series Active Tourer front-drive MPV priced from $44,400
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BMW 2 Series Active Tourer front-drive MPV priced from $44,400

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer MPV will kick off from $44,400 plus on-road costs when it arrives in Australian showrooms from November this year.  The local starting price, which reflects our report last week, means the first front-wheel-drive BMW sits $3500 over and above its Mercedes-Benz B-Class B180 arch rival, though the Bavarian brand makes up for it with specification and what it boldly claims to be a sportier drive...


BMW could in time offer as many as 12 front-drive cars, and Mini a further 10
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BMW could in time offer as many as 12 front-drive cars, and Mini a further 10

BMW says its front-wheel-drive UKL platform could underpin as many as 12 new compact models in coming years, including the next 1 Series and X1, as well as up to 10 spinoffs for its Mini sub-brand.  In time, the company claims front-wheel or all-wheel-drive models based on the UKL — BMW’s version of the Mercedes-Benz MFA or Volkswagen MQB modular architecture — will comprise as much as 40 per cent of the Group’s total global sales, though rear-drive remains its pillar...


Rear-drive made "no sense" for 2 Series Active Tourer, says once-skeptical BMW engineer
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Rear-drive made "no sense" for 2 Series Active Tourer, says once-skeptical BMW engineer

One of the chief chassis development managers for the controversial BMW 2 Series Active Tourer, Martin Schuster, admits he felt a sense of skepticism at the prospect of pulling off a front-wheel drive BMW when he joined the project about five years ago.  But while a traditional (for BMW) rear-drive layout was considered for the car in 2009, it was swiftly binned because it “made no sense” in a family-friendly MPV, says Schuster...


Suzuki Grand Vitara replacement still a few years away
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Suzuki Grand Vitara replacement still a few years away

A replacement for the nine-year-old Suzuki Grand Vitara remains several years away from launch, according to the general manager of the company’s local operations.  The company remains confident, however, that the model’s renowned off-road prowess — widely regarded among the best in segment — and loyal clientele should see it continue to pick up sales into its 10th year on sale and well beyond...


Market fragmentation and brands that fall through the cracks
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Market fragmentation and brands that fall through the cracks

You’ve quite probably read this tidbit somewhere before, but it is worth repeating: Australia is among the most remarkably competitive new vehicle markets in the world.  Statistics confirming as much are bandied about with some regularity, but the only ones that really matter when you bore down to the crux of it are that 60-odd car and truck brands fight tooth and nail to get their cut of Australia’s relatively minute 1...