Tag: Australia

By on August 18, 2020

There’s still quite a bit of bad blood between General Motors and the now-defunct Holden brand’s Australian dealers, with the retailers seeking compensation for the automaker’s February pull-out.

As that saga plays out, GM announced that it will remain in the Aussie market, offering right-hand-drive specialty models grouped under the new GMSV brand. The brand officially rolls out in the fourth quarter of this year, with a former partner once again handling the conversions of select models for a country that drives on the wrong side of the road. (Read More…)

By on July 20, 2020

Though North Americans were offered a few car-turned-truck vehicles like the Ford Ranchero and Chevrolet El Camino between the 1950s and 1980s, domestic appetites for ute-type vehicles never approached that of Australia. Down Under, interest in such vehicles persisted for over 80 years.

Let’s take a look at one of the most popular types, the Ford Falcon.

(Read More…)

By on March 20, 2020

We featured the predecessor to Mitsubishi’s American flagship last year — a little Sigma sedan that happened to one of the cheapest Rare Rides ever shown. Today we take a look at the car that came after Sigma: the Diamante.

And it’s the rare wagon version.

(Read More…)

By on March 12, 2020

It will not have escaped your notice that The General has deep-sixed the Holden brand in Australia. To the gearhead Aussies within your author’s circle of friends, this amounts to a treasonous action, especially since Holden is as much part of the Oz fabric as kangaroos and Crocodile Dundee. I’m sure it all makes business sense; matters of the heart are rarely cheap on the wallet.

The binning of a brand usually means one thing: deals. This is situation is no different, so let’s see what equipment one finds in a base model Commodore.

(Read More…)

By on February 19, 2020

Image: FCA

One of the most fervent wishes of late Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne was to see Jeeps enter the garages of consumers in as many countries as possible. The brand’s expansion in past years has been considerable, but not every model is having an easy time, and not all markets have proven receptive.

This week, residents of a country mourning the impending loss of a home-grown brand learned that a Jeep model will soon be no more. Don’t expect an outpouring of angst, however, as they’d already given up on it. Even the Ford EcoSport sells better. (Read More…)

By on February 17, 2020

2016 Holden Commodore

A car brand that emerged from a saddlery company in 1908 will disappear from the Australian and New Zealand markets, General Motors announced late Sunday.

Parent of the Holden brand since 1931, GM said production would cease by the end of 2020, spelling the end of a marque that once fielded the powerful rear-drive Commodore sedan and Ute — the ANZAC version of the El Camino. (Read More…)

By on December 2, 2019

Australia put up the first phone-detecting cameras in New South Wales over the weekend. The move is part of a broader plan to reduce roadway fatalities by 30 percent by 2021 — especially as new technologies continue to exacerbate the issue of distracted driving. “It’s a system to change the culture,” NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy told Australian media las week.

There’s nothing incredibly new about the cameras themselves. But they’re networked to an artificial intelligence that determines whether or not someone behind the wheel is using their phone. Suspect images are then forwarded to authorized personnel to be verified as truly criminal.  (Read More…)

By on October 22, 2019

If you’re like this writer, you might be surprised to learn that snails, the subject of this piece, are loosely related to the octopus. Learning doesn’t have to end when you leave school.

Snails, also known by more scientific names, are fun to step on, but can cause quite a bit of consternation and unexpected expense when they inhabit premium German automobiles. Especially ones that just took a very long boat ride. (Read More…)

By on May 28, 2019

Months after promising a $35,000 base Model 3 in the United States, Tesla appears to have only just recently begun offering the “Standard Range” variant to the public. The vehicle comes with locked features and a 10-percent reduction in maximum range. However, most of the models milling around on public roads appear to be Standard Range Plus variants waiting on an over-the-air update to convert them into a normal SR.

Meanwhile, Tesla is looking at the Chinese market and calculating what the Model 3 will be worth there. It’s even asking Asian customers to hazard a guess as to what its base MSRP will be, claiming it has a big announcement scheduled for May 31st.  (Read More…)

By on May 28, 2019

The Rare Rides series has featured two Capri-adjacent vehicles in past: This car’s immediate predecessor, the ASC McLaren Capri, and its contemporary competitor, the Lotus Elan. Let’s find out how much better the final Capri was than either of those two (or not).

(Read More…)

By on December 8, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS Australia - Image: Chevrolet

The bowtie badge is heading Down Under. As General Motors revamps its overseas presence — pulling out of some countries, ditching its Opel and Vauxhall subsidiaries — Australians can look forward to visiting a GM dealership with more than just the Holden brand on the sign.

Holden Special Vehicles (HSV), a performance sub-brand of GM’s Holden subsidiary, has struck a deal to convert and market left-hand-drive Chevrolet Camaros and Silverado Heavy Dutys for consumers suddenly starved of hot, rear-wheel-drive GM products.

These buyers should give thanks to Ford. (Read More…)

By on October 23, 2017

2018 Chrysler 300 Limited - Image: FCA

On the surface, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Jeep brand is everything a modern-day brand should be. SUVs and crossovers, a looming pickup truck, and no cars. This is what the world wants.

On the opposite side of the coin, Chrysler is the brand seemingly no one, save for North American minivan buyers and a shrinking pool of traditional luxury sedan devotees, wants. Year-to-date, sales of the brand’s two-model U.S. lineup is down nearly 10 percent.

Overseas reports claiming FCA has ended production of right-hand-drive models at its Ontario, Canada assembly plants paint an even grimmer picture, even though the core RHD Chrysler model — the rear-drive 300 — is not, apparently, extinct. (Read More…)

By on October 20, 2017

2016 Holden Commodore

Maybe the dingo ate your industry? No, that cruel joke doesn’t hold a grain of truth — Australia’s domestic auto industry simply fell victim to the harsh realities of economics and globalization.

No longer a captive market, no longer a country with steep walls built of tariffs, the land Down Under found it could no longer sustain its own vehicle manufacturing presence. Because of this, today marks the end of it all. Workers will leave the Holden assembly plant in Elizabeth, South Australia, closing the door on the GM subsidiary’s 69-year Aussie car-building history.

It seems the final vehicle to leave the plant was fittingly badass. (Read More…)

By on October 13, 2017

2018 Honda CR-V - Image: Honda AustraliaIf Australia is an effective test bed for American tastes — and it most definitely isn’t — then the three-row version of the fifth-generation Honda CR-V would be a hit stateside.

We told you way back in April that there were plans afoot at American Honda for a utility vehicle to slot in between Honda’s two-row CR-V and three-row Pilot. We then watched, intrigued, at the level of interest among TTAC readers when we showed you images in July of Honda Australia’s three-row CR-V. Could this be the SUV Honda plans to squeeze between the CR-V and Pilot? At the time, Honda told TTAC, “We can’t make comments about any future possibilities.”

So you’re telling me there’s a possibility.

There likely is only the most limited sort of possibility. The third row can’t be linked with all-wheel drive, for starters. It’s obviously snug. And American Honda already has the Pilot, which Honda does not offer in Australia.

Nevertheless, if the Australian test bed is looked upon as a case study, American Honda would discover a three-row, seven-seat CR-V that turns out to be more popular than expected.
(Read More…)

By on October 10, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Camaro Holden badge - Image: ChevroletGeneral Motors’ Australian outpost is losing all of its domestic production, but that doesn’t mean Holden is shutting down all of its Australian development operations.

Late last month, we told you the Chevrolet Camaro was going to become a right-hand-drive model five years earlier than originally planned because of special rebuilds by GM’s Holden division.

But once the Chevrolet Camaro goes on sale Down Under, it will not wear the local GM badge. (Read More…)

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