Holden took the wraps off of the latest VF-Series Calais, the luxury version of the Commodoe. Expect some, but not all of the styling cues to carry over to the upcoming Chevrolet SS sports sedan. This is also likely the last hurrah for the big, rear-drive Holden. Slow sales have sealed the fate of the Commodore, with a 2016 death date scheduled.
The big, rear-drive Aussie sedans beloved by enthusiasts overseas aren’t gaining traction in the Australian marketplace, and the smart money is betting on the death of the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon.
With stiff competition coming from both Holden’s HSV sedans and the Ford Falcon FPV, Chrysler is looking to make the 300C SRT8 more competitive by offering a decontented version, that’s actually a bit quicker than the standard-spec car.
A struggling domestic auto industry long past its glory days of big rear-drive sedans is at an existential cross-roads. An upcoming election may decide the fate of thousands of jobs and decades of motoring history. Sound familiar? The madness of America’s election is over, but the same scenario is playing out in Australia.
Ford and Holden are laying off hundreds of workers at their Australian plants as sales of domestic brands continue to take a beating.
The demise of a large Australian auto parts supplier threatens to bring Australian units of Ford and GM to their knees as early as next week. Management is working feverishly on keeping the doors open, while complaining about “lack of support from key players in the industry,” Reuters says. Read More >
As dismissive as I tend to be of the internet product-planning brigade, their constant cries of “Bring rear-drive, V8 full-size Aussie sedans to America” may have some credibility – the market for these cars in Australia seems to be going teats up, with SUVs and small cars taking their place.
It used to be that car companies would kill to have their cars seen with stars. That seems to be changing if a frightening development in Melbourne is an indicator. The Melbourne F1 Grand Prix used to attract spectators and sponsors with a celebrity race. The celebs of course did not race their own cars. To make it a fair and even-handed race where only driving skill decides, they were handed cars supplied by a sponsor. This year, the luminary laps are a scratch. Oh, there is no shortage of stars. There just aren’t any cars. The organizers could not find a sponsor that was able to supply the more than 25 cars needed. Read More >
For more than two weeks, Saabhuggers have taken over GM’s Facebook page, plastering “Let Saab go!” all over the site. Yesterday, the occupation has been officially endorsed by Saab.
GM sources which requested anonymity, citing possible legal implications, mentioned to TTAC that the attacks have “all signs of a coordinated campaign.” That is putting it mildly. Read More >
China’s assault on the auto markets of the west may have been delayed another five years, but Australia is going to be the canary in the coal mine. The first mature Western-style market to see any significant imports of Chinese vehicles, led by the Chery J1, is adapting to a new era of low-cost, low-content cars. And it seems that the Chinese OEMs are right to be waiting for future generations of vehicles, as the J1 seems unlikely to make even the impact that Hyundai’s departed Excel made. One reason: safety. Or lack thereof. Hit the the jump to see what we’re on about.
Read More >
Opponents of red light cameras and speed cameras have had an impact on the bottom line of one of the world’s largest photo enforcement providers. Redflex Traffic Systems reported a “slowdown in the level of new contracts signed” that dragged the firm’s US traffic camera revenue down $2.4 million in the 2011 financial year. Redflex lost $1.5 million worth of US contracts this year.
Read More >