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Mike Costello

Mike Costello

Comparisons Editor

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Skoda sales hit 1.24 million in 2019

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Skoda sales hit 1.24 million in 2019

Skoda is one brand that always seems to generate more interest among our readers than its modest sales would suggest, so it's worth jotting down the company's 2019 deliveries for the record. The Czech-based brand chalked up 1,242,800 sales, the sixth year in a row where it's clocked over a million sales...

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2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce review
Rating: 7.710 /10
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2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia Veloce review

We revisit this appealing Italian sports sedan, and still think that what it lacks in cutting-edge cabin tech, it makes up for with spirited dynamics and outsider charm.


Toyota is funding an electric aircraft company
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Toyota is funding an electric aircraft company

Toyota Motor Corporation has pumped more than half a billion dollars into Californian aerospace company Joby Aviation, which is developing and commercialising an all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. The world's biggest car-maker recently announced a $US394 million ($AUD570m) cash splash, making it the lead investor in Joby's third round of financing...


2020 BMW 318i returns to four-cylinder power
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2020 BMW 318i returns to four-cylinder power

BMW has offered a few details on its imminent range-opening 3 Series derivative, which will once agin wear the well-known 318i badge. Interestingly, the company has abandoned the strategy it used on the previous 318i iteration, which featured Mini's thrummy 100KW/220Nm three-cylinder turbo-petrol engine...


Hyundai and Kia working on joint electric van rollout
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Hyundai and Kia working on joint electric van rollout

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have co-invested 100 million euros (about $160m AUD) into UK electric-vehicle startup Arrival. A joint release says this venture will enable both companies to develop "competitively priced" small and mid-sized battery-powered vans for logistics, on-demand ride-sharing and shuttle service operators...


Lamborghini posts all-time sales record
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Lamborghini posts all-time sales record

Automobili Lamborghini sold a record 8205 cars in 2019, up 43 per cent. It's the ninth year of growth in succession for the Italy-based, Volkswagen Group-owned super-luxury brand. A release from the company this week said that all regions - it sells cars in 51 countries via 165 dealers - set new sales peaks, with the most rapid growth coming from the Asia Pacific region (up 66 per cent)...


Isuzu MU-X outsells direct rivals again
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Isuzu MU-X outsells direct rivals again

One of the most commonly asked questions accompnying each month's VFACTS sales report centres around which brand is winning the ute-based SUV sales race. These rugged body-on-frame, towing-ready offerings clearly have a dedicated following. For the sake of one argument, we do not include Toyota's pricier Prado in this sub-segment, but you could argue the case either way...


Kia plans 11 EVs by 2025, headlined by 500km-range crossover
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Kia plans 11 EVs by 2025, headlined by 500km-range crossover

Kia plans to have 11 battery-electric vehicles in its global stable by 2025, headlined by a dedicated EV crossover with a Porsche Taycan-matching 800V electrical architecture and 500km of driving range due next year. The ambitious company plans to sell 500,000 EVs around the world by 2026 (oddly, excluding China where it runs a joint-venture presumably with its own separate targets), equal to 6...


2020 Genesis GV80 SUV revealed in detail, due in Australia around July
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2020 Genesis GV80 SUV revealed in detail, due in Australia around July

The first Genesis SUV, called GV80, will arrive in Australia half way through 2020 with three engine options, a long list of brand-first technology, and market-specific suspension calibration. The luxury crossover will joint the G70 and G80 sedans, and mark the next phase for the fledgling Korean premium marque as it looks to pinch customers away from Lexus and Mercedes-Benz...


So, which car brands are growing in Australia?
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So, which car brands are growing in Australia?

As you can read in much more detail here, overall new vehicle sales fell nearly 8 per cent in Australia year to their lowest level since 2011. Just one of the top 10 car makers managed to grow its sales - that would be Kia - and some fell away by double digits. Moreover, almost every segment (passenger, SUV and commercial) went backwards...


2020 Honda Civic hatch updates detailed
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2020 Honda Civic hatch updates detailed

The Honda Civic hatch has been given an update for 2020, bringing it into line with the revised sedan version launched in 2019. These changes apply to the Thai-made mainstream versions, not the UK-sourced Type R mega-hatch. Chief item among the changes is the rollout of Honda Sensing active safety tech into the mid-range VTi-L and sporty RS (previously the province of the flagship VTi-LX)...


Ford beats Ram and Chevy in US pickup race
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Ford beats Ram and Chevy in US pickup race

Sales of utes in Australia are a regular point of discussion. About 210,000 of them found buyers last year, equating to makes share of 20 per cent, and the Toyota HiLux and Ford Ranger topped the overall sales charts once again. But that's nothing when compared to the USA's love of what it calls pickup trucks...


2019 Toyota HiAce v Peugeot Expert comparison
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2019 Toyota HiAce v Peugeot Expert comparison

2019 was a big year for the Australian mid-sized van market. The first all-new version of the top-selling Toyota HiAce in 14 years arrived, and through the sheer weight of its popularity had the biggest impact on the state of play. It moved away from its former ‘forward control’ layout, which put occupants ahead of the engine and front subframe, to a more typical bonneted design that pushes the engine forward and adds more crash space for occupants...


Porsche sales up 10 per cent in 2019
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Porsche sales up 10 per cent in 2019

Porsche posted sales growth of 10 per cent last year, recording 280,800 sales worldwide on the back of particularly strong form in Europe and Asia. Driving this in large part was the Cayenne and Cayenne Coupe with 92,055 sales, up 29 per cent over the previous year's tally. That's what a new-generation model will do for a brand..


2020 Volkswagen T-Cross pricing and specs
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2020 Volkswagen T-Cross pricing and specs

Volkswagen’s cheapest and smallest SUV, the T-Cross, has been confirmed for an April launch priced from $27,990 before on-road costs. The 4.1m long Polo-based crossover is pitched as a European-badged competitor to the likes of Mazda’s CX-3 sTouring and Hyundai’s Kona Elite...