Chinese start-up poaches BMW’s electric experts

Mark Schneider | 19/07/2016 1:01:59 PM

In a sure sign that China is getting very serious indeed about the future of electric cars, Chinese electric vehicle startup Future Mobility has recruited the brains behind BMW’s electric i8 sports car. The Chinese company may be an unknown in the vehicle world, but it’s backed by some very big money - the curiously named Tencent Holdings and Foxconn. Tencent Holdings is an electronics, social media and online gaming giant worth over US$200 billion, while Foxconn, which manufa...

Ford's Australian Influence is Here to Stay

Mark Schneider | 15/07/2016 9:33:44 AM

The end of Ford Australia’s car production may be just months away but Ford Australia’s Research and Development and Product Development team will be playing a major role in developing new products world-wide. In doing so, the company will become Australia’s biggest automotive sector employer from next year, according to Ford. After its last cars have left the production line Ford’s Broadmeadows, Victoria plant will be transformed into its Asia-Pacific Product Deve...

When comprehensive insurance just isn't enough

Mark Schneider | 5/07/2016 10:02:49 AM

Sometimes life’s harshest lessons come at the worst possible time. I learnt a harsh lesson about insurance recently when I was involved in a car crash. Happily I was quite OK but my car was a write-off. The other driver was entirely at fault, his insurance paid out on my claim and I didn’t even have to pay the excess. But here’s the harsh bit – my car won’t be replaced, I won’t get any money for another one and I’m now looking at a bill for nearly...

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Has Tesla Killed Off Car Dealerships?

Nigel Malcolm | 30/06/2016 1:47:44 PM

With new technology comes disruption. And self-driving cars are attracting a lot of attention from a technology point of view: how do they work? Are they safe? Will they be affordable? Far less attention is being given to the way they will disrupt the motor industry. But the reality is that self-driving cars will not only revolutionise the way we move. The method by which cars have traditionally been distributed, sold and traded will be transformed in ways that most of us haven’t ev...

From Vacuum Cleaners to Cars

Mark Schneider | 17/06/2016 12:47:15 PM

The coming motoring revolution in electric cars and autonomous vehicles is producing some unlikely aspiring carmakers. Who would have guessed 10 years ago that Google, an internet search engine, and Apple, a computer and smartphone maker would be getting serious about making cars? Now there’s another unlikely starter on the blocks – Dyson. That’s right –Dyson, the company that manufactures vacuum cleaners that reputedly “never lose suction,” is developi...

Volvo is dead serious about death-free driving

Mark Schneider | 10/06/2016 12:03:38 PM

If you were to do a word association test and the word “Volvo” came up, then it’s a reasonable bet that the first word that popped into your head would be “safety”. Volvos have always been synonymous with safety. Long before safety equipment like airbags, head restraints and even seatbelts became compulsory, Volvo were building safety into their cars from the tyres up. Well lately they’ve been taking that commitment to a whole new level with a commi...

The fastest PR Job on Wheels

Mark Schneider | 31/05/2016 10:31:37 AM

You’ll need more than just money to buy Ford’s latest hero hypercar, the 2017 Ford GT. You’ll need influence, social media smarts, public relations skills, a personal history with Ford and quite a bit of luck. But you will need money – lots and lots of money - because the 2017 Ford GT will set you back somewhere north of US$400,000. Buying a Ford GT is nowhere near as simple as marching into your nearest Ford dealer and handing over a cheque for all that money. Wit...

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Every Extra Drink Makes You More Likely To Crash

Mark Schneider | 23/05/2016 10:30:15 AM

For most of us who’ve been driving for a few years it seems so natural that we might be tempted to think that we’re probably OK to drive when we’ve had a few drinks. Well the reality is very different. While it might seem like second nature, driving is always a complex task requiring coordination, reflexes, judgement and concentration and they’re the very things that are badly affected by alcohol. Your ability to drive is affected from the moment you start drin...

Holden Designs Find a Worldwide Market

Mark Schneider | 12/05/2016 10:29:37 AM

Australian-built Holden cars may be disappearing from the nation’s new car dealerships with the end of production in 2017, but cars designed by Holden’s Australian design team will be finding a global market well beyond that date. Holden’s design centre in Port Melbourne has been designing Holdens since the 1967 HR first hit Australia’s roads. Before then Holdens were designed in the US. The Port Melbourne studio is one of 10 GM design studios around the world. ...

Mitsubishi Cheating Fuel Consumption Figures

Mark Schneider | 9/05/2016 12:10:49 PM

Mitsubishi has now joined a growing list of car makers including VW, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Ford, Mini and Mazda who have all been caught out cheating emission standards and fuel consumption figures. It’s a reasonable bet that they won’t be the last. The Japanese manufacturer has put its hand up to falsifying fuel consumption figures for 157,000 of its eK wagons and eK Space light passenger cars, and for 468,000 Dayz and Dayz Roox vehicles it produced for Nissan i...

Tesla Model 3 "A Game Changer"

Mark Schneider | 28/04/2016 8:57:06 AM

It’s been described as “the fastest growing customer order book in the history of the automobile” and a “game changer” in the transition from the internal combustion engine to electric. Advance orders for Tesla’s Model 3, Tesla’s first affordable electric vehicle, soared past the 325,000 mark just days after release, representing a potential $US280 million and more in deposits alone to the Californian carmaker. If those orders all come to fruition tot...

Buying second hand cars for Novated Leases

Fleetcare Novated Lease Team and Rory Deegan | 13/04/2016 12:55:41 PM

Did you know that it is possible to salary sacrifice a second hand car with novated leasing? However, as with any new car or outright second hand purchase, it is important to do your research before salary packaging any vehicle. We have put together a second hand vehicle buying checklist along with a few other tips so you have peace of mind when leasing a second hand vehicle. The second hand checklist Do your research – Knowing what to expect from a vehicle is very im...

Toyota's Setsuna Concept Car Is Cutting Edge

Mark Schneider | 12/04/2016 11:31:26 AM

Concept cars have been around since the 1930s as a way to showcase carmakers' cutting edge style and technology. Well Toyota's latest effort, its Setsuna concept car, has just given cutting edge a whole new meaning. In Setsuna's case cutting edge involves saws and chisels. Take a look at it. If it looks like it's made of wood there's a very good reason for that - it is, and not just any old plank lying out in the backyard. The Toyota Setsuna has been lovingly handcraft...

A Better Way To Manage Your Vehicle Fleet

Mark Schneider | 6/04/2016 4:01:15 PM

If you run a business then it pays to take a careful systematic approach to fleet management, rather than doing things in an ad-hoc manner. After all, the cost in time and money of purchasing fuel, buying, selling and maintaining vehicles, registration, insurance, FBT compliance, and the many other concerns with running a fleet can be a major drain on your energy when you’re just trying to get on with business. Think about it: you’re not in business to run a vehicle fleet are you,...

The Five Per-Cent Transport Solution

Mark Schneider | 5/04/2016 10:39:23 AM

Here’s a question for you: what costs you at least $15,000 to buy (and probably more) and is only used for its intended purpose five per cent of the time? The answer is probably sitting in your driveway, garage or maybe the car park at work right now. That’s right, it’s your car, and ninety five per cent of the time it’s just sitting there parked, going nowhere. That’s the typical figure of car use according to University of California Los Angeles economist profe...

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