Category: Australia

By on August 26, 2015

Trans-Pacific Partnership Circa 2010

The head of the AFL-CIO in the United States is criticizing the current presidential administration for its pursuit of a trade zone in the Pacific that could open up Asian markets to America and vice versa, the Detroit News is reporting.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote the administration a letter saying that a free-trade agreement with countries such as Japan jeopardizes American jobs because those countries may be able to source cheaper parts from outside the negotiated area, according to the report.

“I hope it is not the case that the Canadian and Mexican negotiators are actually holding a harder line than our own government on this issue. But due to the unaccountable lack of transparency from USTR, absolutely critical decisions are being made without our input or voice. Thousands of good American jobs and an iconic American industry are at risk, and we don’t even know what our government’s negotiating position is.”

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By on August 21, 2015

James Courtney

V8 Supercar racer James Courtney was injured when an Australian Navy helicopter fly-over dislodged debris near pitlane, which struck and injured the racer, media in Australia is reporting.

Courtney was transported to a local hospital with relatively minor injuries, but is expected to remain there for several days, effectively ending his race weekend. Courtney is currently fifth in the championship standings with five races to follow this weekend’s Sydney Motorsports Park SuperSprint. Courtney’s missed weekend effectively ends his championship run.

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By on August 17, 2015

Toyota Land Cruiser

Toyota announced its updated Land Cruiser in Japan today, with a starting price of $38,000 (!?) for the off-roading legend.

The seven-seater over there serves as the base for our Lexus LX over here, which was unveiled over the weekend in California alongside the turbo’d Lexus GS, and our version has all the grille.

Based on initial reception of the LX, when will we get the new Land Cruiser?

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By on August 16, 2015

Audi R8 V10

You’d be forgiven if you thought Audi’s performance division was called “RS”. After all, the Germans have a history of using letters to describe their more powerful offerings, such as BMW M and Mercedes-AMG.

In Audi’s case, it’s a bit more complex. While the cars themselves wear S and RS badging, the performance division is actually called quattro GmbH (without the capital Q, because Audi), which is the name of the all-wheel drive system that made the brand so popular with Group B rally fans. It’s compounded by the fact normal Audi’s wear the quattro nameplate when they sport all-wheel drive, so it’s not that exclusive of a name.

In Australia, Audi is looking to fix this organizational and marketing nightmare. Enter Audi Sport.

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By on August 2, 2015

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The court case against former FCA Australia executive Clyde Campbell is turning into a veritable who’s-who of decision makers at the company, reports The Age.

Campbell, who is charged with misappropriation of $30 million AUD of company funds, claims he had verbal permission from recently departed FCA executive John Kett, current company hotshot Mike Manley, and head of FCA Sergio Marchionne.

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By on July 24, 2015

John KettThe head of the Asia Pacific region for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles abruptly left his position Thursday, only a few days before the former head of FCA in Australia is expected to file a defense against allegations that he misused money, Drive in Australia is reporting.

FCA Asian-Pacific chief John Kett left the company “to pursue other business interests,” according to the automaker. His resignation is effective immediately.

Former managing director of FCA in Australia Clyde Campbell is accused by the automaker of swindling more than $30 million from the company to pay for extravagant parties and gifts.  Read More >

By on July 11, 2015

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Next year’s Formula 1 season may have 21 races, including the first in Azerbaijan and a race in Germany after this year’s planned event was cancelled.

The provisional calendar for F1 was released Friday with 21 races scheduled, the same number of races on last year’s provisional calendar. The race on the streets in Baku, Azerbaijan this year would be dubbed the European Grand Prix and could be held in July.

The 2016 season would begin in Australia in April and end in Abu Dhabi in November.

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By on July 10, 2015

V8S2015-BRAND-Gen-2-Infographic-Banner-1200x6281

Guidelines for the new Australian V8 Supercar series outline specifications for its new cars, including an option to use smaller engines for the manufacturers who compete.

According to the racing series, the new platform “allows more flexibility in terms of body style and engine configuration, provided they comply with the regulations. The V8 engine, which has been mandated for more than 20 years, is also expected to continue as the dominant power plant of the sport.”

The guidelines allow for 4-, 6- or 8-cylinder engines, as long as they meet power specifications. The plans also call for a minimum noise limit of 85 to 95 dB. Take that, Bernie.

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By on June 24, 2015

2015-jeep-wrangler

Under the leadership of stellar executives Clyde Campbell and Veronica Johns, FCA Australia loaned out “hundreds” of vehicles, all of which the company would like returned.

That’s too bad as FCA doesn’t know exactly where they all are.

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By on June 6, 2015

Chrysler 300 (Aus)

As we reported earlier, Clyde Campbell and a number of his associates, including his successor Veronica Johns and former boss Ernst Lieb by way of his Motorworld dealerships, are being named in a misappropriation case claiming $30 million AUD was funnelled out of company coffers.

This weekend, more details have come to light, including how Campbell was able to pilfer FCA funds without raising red flags in Detroit.

The story verges on conspiracy and includes the wife of Campbell, his successor, a formerly disgraced Daimler executive, a casino, a boat and extravagant homes paid for by FCA without its knowing. Even Campbell’s wife’s hairdresser received a free Jeep as part of the brand’s “ambassador” program.

Mark Hawthorne of The Sydney Morning Herald remarked, “It has all the makings of a Hollywood script. In Elizabeth Hurley, it even has the presence of a Hollywood star.”

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