By on April 13, 2015

 

Sydney, Australia is looking to see what costs motorists are willing to bear in terms of road tolls before they decide the time savings isn’t worth it.

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21 Comments on “While You Were Sleeping: April 13th, 2015...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    Re: Maxima no options

    Paraphasing, “This will increase the odds customers will find the options they are looking for on the lots” huh? As long as I want those predetermined options that is, that statement doesn’t really fly, some people want all the options except X, and they absolutely don’t want X.

    Like to hear more about the oil, doesn’t mean price will follow, but predicting oil and fuel prices is similar to predicting the future.

    • 0 avatar
      Ooshley

      Consumers in smaller markets like my home Australia have been living with this set-menu approach for some time, esp. for commodity-level cars, your “fancy” à la carte ways being reserved for the overpriced European offering that’ll take months to order in. We get by. ;)

      There wasn’t a single option or accessory other than colour for my FoST. It was almost liberating to be freed from the tyranny of small decisions…

      • 0 avatar

        The options were annoying when I was looking at BMW and Mercedes-Benz not so long ago, especially because things that should have come standard (like proximity-key function) were part of expensive “packages”.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Not to be a total jack-rabbit, but as a car enthusiast, for me at least, options are what makes a vehicle mine.
        Gear ratio
        Engine option
        Transmission
        Leather/color
        Radio
        I know what I want option by option, having to deal with something is not acceptable when another manufacturer can provide what I want.

        • 0 avatar

          Fair enough. I don’t mind things like color and drivetrain options, but I don’t like being nickel-and-dimed. It’s annoying when I can blow past $70K on an X5 and still not have leather or heated seats…

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            I see cost of options and the ability to option as two different things, if BMW can actually get someone to fork over $70k for a minivan with front hinged rear doors, that’s a win for them as a company. Don’t expect that to change, if they can charge those prices, and consistently get those prices, that’s that. Getting rid of the options will just create 1 lower priced no options version, 1 mid pack version with “meh” options, and 3 expensive packages for the X5.

            If on the otherhand the Cherokee offers a V6 while the competition sticks you with 4s, that’s a win for Jeep.

  • avatar

    Regarding the Nissan Maxima, it’s a pretty design, but it most definitely fails at being a full-sized sedan that can actually compete with the likes of the Impala, Avalon and even the Taurus. In fact, I think Nissan is really positioning it against another mid-sized “semi-premium” sedan that shares roots with a plebeian sibling but offers upscale styling…the Volkswagen CC. Still, what the Maxima really needs is to offer some kind of performance advantage over the Altima 3.5 SE. Maybe Nissan should drop a DCT in or strap some turbos to Ye Olde VQ35DE. But as it stands, I don’t foresee it doing any better than the outgoing Maxima…

    Regarding the Bentley Bentayga, I suppose that makes sense. The Touareg and Cayenne are fully-assembled at the Bratislava, Slovakia plant, while the Cayenne has only its body assembled there, before being shipped to Leipzig for final assembly. Volkswagen Group could do the same for Bentley, building the body in Bratislava and then sending it to Crewe for “coachwork”. Plus, it’s not unprecedented at Bentley; the Continental GT and Flying Spur have their bodies built in Germany and shipped to Crewe…and indeed when the (Continental) Flying Spur first debuted, there was so much demand that entire units were completed at Volkswagen’s Transparent Glass factory in Germany, alongside the Phaeton.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Maxima has been in a tough spot ever since 2003, where it became instantly bound by the Altima 3.5 SE from below and the G35 above. Perhaps if the Q50 gets the Q60’s twin turbo V6 as an option, the Maxima will get a little room to breathe. A DCT and AWD would be nice too, kind of like a baby GT-R sedan. I know the Maxima’s market well though and they should keep making it. We are a loyal breed :)

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Here here on the Maxima. I havent really liked the car since the 2000 redesign, agreed the V-6 Altima just stole its thunder not long after, and Infiniti stopped F’ing around and got serious with their linup (going RWD), they became to go-to (instead of an passer by with the I30 being a slightly altered and expensive Maxi) for a serious premium performance sedan from a Japanese brand. Maxima hardy represents a value, its too compromised and edged out of its niche by better or cheaper cars (even both).

      It has nothing in the way of performance to compete with FCA’s V-8 RWDs, the Taurus SHO or Chevy’s SS.

      It looks remarkably better in the front than Ava-amry, but that’s not a big hurdle to jump. I do admit I find the Maxi’s face a bit of a looker (esp. compared to 2000-present), it seems to evoke the Datsun 810 a little (IDx, ?).

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Slovakia? How luxurious.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Right? But when a mainstream manufacturer chooses to build a cheap vehicle in a 3rd world country (i.e. global trucks assembled in Taiwan, econo/mid sizers in Mexico, etc), theyre blasted for it.

      Youd think with the profit margin on this thing, that they could afford to build it (body and all) on the North Pole if they wanted, just to use it as an advertisement of its winter capabilities.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @ John Taurus
        Slovakia is not the 3rd World, Thailand is. Slovakia is not far from the major European manufacturing areas. The country does a lot of manufacturing for other European Countries

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    I may be wrong but most of the tunnels built to move traffic in Australia were built by the same German company which built the ones in Europe. They Certainly used the same machines. But,as in Germany,the companies set up to run the tunnels went broke very quickly,citing lack of patronage. The powers that be in Sydney thought it was a great idea to route traffic so it was forced to use the tunnels.
    In Brisbane we have a few of these edifices to capitalism and shisterism and the toll companies also went broke . Unless it is a tax scam I cannot think how a billion dollar concern in the 21st century could get it so wrong.
    So ,they resort to the time honoured and failed idea of failing traders…” if business is slowing down,increase the cost of goods so the profit level stays up” . It has never worked and OZ motorists are sick of getting it up the date by money grubbing entities such as toll road owners.

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    As for tolls, we here in the Norfolk, VA area just had tolls reintroduced ($2 with easypass, 6.50 without) for travel to and from Portsmouth through the tunnels. We tend to use them as little as possible. When necessary, we drive around – the time spent isn’t much more than using the tunnels anyway.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Based on the article about tolls in and around Sydney, I’d have moved long ago. Where I live here in the US, I have one Toll road within 5 miles of my home, two toll bridges south of me, another farther east and a 30-40 mile long toll highway running down the peninsula. The average toll at each location is roughly $4. Now, fortunately for me, I don’t have the need to pass through multiple tolls on a daily basis, but for some they pay a minimum of $8/ day or $40/week just for the convenience of avoiding much slower traffic on other highways to bypass the tolls–a detour that can easily add 10 minutes or more to the commute. Others have to cross one of those toll bridges south of me, adding another $4/day, raising their weekly commute to $60, though trying to bypass that toll now adds another 15 minutes or more not even counting the fact that you’re forced through the bottleneck of 2-lane highways and slower speed limits along with the congestion and increased accident risk. Personally, I avoid all the tolls unless time itself is important.

    You know, it’s probably cheaper to use local transit systems in Sydney than to drive there–especially after the new toll roads are completed.

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      Here in Chicagoland you don’t have good options to avoid tolls. It’s either drive thru the heart of Chicago for free or pay tolls to bypass. They are keeping the tolls in line with convenience, but it still chaps my @ss that those outside of the metro area don’t have to pay to use the expressways the way we do. The interesting case is the Skyway (I-90) to Indiana. Once Daley leased the road to a private concern, the toll jumped up significantly. While cars heading to the IN casinos were still willing to pay, most of the truckers avoid the exorbitant tolls by taking I-80/94 to the same point. This makes for a curious split, I-90 handling mostly cars while I-80/94 is an incredible wall of moving freight mixed with daredevil cars.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Highdesetcat,
      Yes it is cheaper to use local transport and many cases faster. The problem is travelling in from Suburbs, which are further out but not served by frequent Public Transport, as you would get closer to the City

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    @Derek Kreindler
    That is a shot of the Ford HQ in Melbourne, not Sydney

  • avatar

    Are we going to read an article at TTAC about the crash that resulted in the death Gary Terry? I expect Jack is qualified to write something useful about it. BTW, last time I went to those “racing driver for a day” attractions, I ended wrecking the car as well. Fortunately, I didn’t have a passenger, so I didn’t kill anyone.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Is it just me, or does the Slovakian Bentley
    look an awful lot like a British taxicab?

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