Ford Step Ahead, Posting a $A2.2b Profit for Q1 2010

Bowan Spanbroek | 29/04/2010 2:25:55 PM

The A$2.2billion profit for Q1 represents a full year out of the red for Ford, quite an achievement compared to the Detroit based companies neighbours GM & Chrysler. No doubt the solid financials are the effects of their competition being flawed for most of 2009, with GM & Chrysler needing government bailouts & Toyota being snowed under by a mountain of negative press. As a result of the stronger than average 2009 their market share rose by 3% in North America, with a US$1...

Hasta Lavista Hummer

Bowan Spanbroek | 22/04/2010 2:27:40 PM

After a March sales figure of 14 it seems the Hummer H3’s place on Australian roads is truly done & dusted. The doom was hanging heavy in the clouds with GM announcing earlier this year that Hummer would wind down production. But why did it never really take off in Australia? It’s fuel economy actually matchs the likes of pajero & patrol, the price is reasonable and by most reports it is a great off-roader. However despite looking good on paper the H3 just can’t ...

5 Ways Small Business Can Benefit from Outsourcing Their Fleet Management

Bowan Spanbroek | 15/04/2010 2:50:02 PM

If your business has over 2 vehicles you could now consider it a fleet and get the benefits that come along with owning a fleet. Over the past decade fleet management companies have uncovered the small business market as a valuable prospect, creating innovative solutions that help small businesses cut down on their overheads and administration time. These days you don’t need 1000+ vehicles to benefit from outsourcing fleet management. Here are five ways small business can benefit fr...

March New Car Sales Increase by a Record Breaking 25.2%

Bowan Spanbroek | 8/04/2010 2:58:42 PM

In December 2009 the car sales figure dubbed ' the magic million'  seemed like a far off prospect left back in 2007/08. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industry  chief Andrew Mckellar predictied 2011 as the year Australia would return to pre-GFC sales levels.  However the outstanding March new car sales figure of 94,744 was enough to change Mr Mckellar’s somber tune from last year, “This is an outstanding March result and provides further evidence that...

Ford Say Goodbye to an Old Fleet Favourite the Falcon Wagon

Bowan Spanbroek | 31/03/2010 3:15:20 PM

Ford recently announced the deletion of the Ford Falcon Wagon by June, a fleet institution for large corporations such as Telstra. With no demand in the consumer market it’s been kept afloat by fleet sales since it’s the BA/BF models where released. Last year it only accounted for 2500 of the 31000 falcons sold in 2009 the majority of which came from business and government fleets. Fleet buyers loved this car because of its large boot space, safety and drivability. Anyone coul...

Holden Caltex and the Victorian Government Create Alternative Fuel Consortium to Introduce E85 Fuel Network

Bowan Spanbroek | 25/03/2010 3:23:15 PM

The bio-fuel cars of tomorrow could be closer than we think with the Victorian government recently announcing the formation of a consortium including, Caltex, Holden, & Coskata. The group will investigate the viability of creating an ethanol production plant in Victoria. This plant could produce up to 200 million litres of ethanol annually for cars powered on the ethanol based bio-fuel E85. This alternative fuel consists of 85% ethanol and 15% regular petrol and has various positive effec...

The Move Towards a 0.02 Alcohol Limit for Australian Drivers

Bowan Spanbroek | 18/03/2010 3:33:10 PM

The recent suggestion of a 0.02 blood alcohol limit in Queensland has ignited a nation wide debate, splitting academics and the media down the middle. It has stemmed from a submission to the Government of Queensland giving numerous options for combating drink driving, a 0.02 limit being one of them. Professor Daube from Curtin University in Western Australia says the move is ‘inevitable’. “We can wait forever for yet more evidence or we can decide as a nation that we...

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Categories: Government News

The Australian Camry Hybrid Distraction or Innovation?

Bowan Spanbroek | 11/03/2010 3:47:43 PM

The new hybrid Camry is a welcome distraction for Toyota Australia amidst the Prius media storm. With the recall extending to Australia the local confidence in their hybrid range has undoubtedly wavered. With a total of 2378 Prius vehicles being recalled early this year consumer and fleet buyers alike may be hesitant about the new hybrid Camry. However Toyota issued in its press release that ‘the locally made Hybrid Camry launched this week in Australia is not affected (by the prius...

Mercedes Benz Sprinter NGT 2010: Workhorse on a green diet

Bowan Spanbroek | 3/03/2010 3:51:59 PM

The new Mercedes sprinter has been put on a greener leaner diet for 2010. Mercedes is revamping their efforts to introduce a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) version of their Sprinter to fleet customers, nine years after their previous attempt at CNG failed. The new Sprinter range comes in the traditional diesel and petrol version but now with the added option of a petrol CNG hybrid. Unlike Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) CNG is not dependant on oil, making it a viable fuel alternative for the fut...

Toyota Drifts to the Dark Side. Oh what a feeling….

Bowan Spanbroek | 15/02/2010 3:53:30 PM

Every day seems to bring more bad news for the automotive giant Toyota with 4.5 million vehicles recalled internationally, a class action law suit, a congressional hearing starting in America and an award for energy efficiency being stripped in Japan. Their main woes are coming from the US, also Toyota’s region of highest growth. But it seems the US is the source of the underlying problem, and where Toyota began to lose their way. Toyota has been a benchmark for quality and reliabil...

How to hold on to Your Employees During the Upcoming Boom in WA

Bowan Spanbroek | 8/02/2010 3:56:09 PM

If you live in WA you will know three things about the resources industry. It’s hard work, it pays well and there is always someone hiring. All three facts contributed to the skills shortage of 07, putting the power in the employee’s court. Job hopping became rife with miners and tradespeople picking and choosing positions that suited them and skilled labourers making a mass exodus from the eastern states. Anyone in upper management knows that when you lose an experienced empl...

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Categories: Environmental News

Geely enters the market low but aims high

Bowan Spanbroek | 29/01/2010 3:58:28 PM

This year we will see the introduction of the third Chinese Automotive brand to the Australian market. Geely is set to bring 3 models into Australia via John Hughes ‘Chinese Automotive Distributors’ Company. Initially it will be WA that receives the first 1.5 litre MK models, with dealerships in North Perth and Mandurah releasing possibly in May.Hughes is currently recruiting dealerships over east to distribute the new brand nationally. The aggressive pricing of the MK and Pan...

Survival of the Fittest: The competitive environment after the GFC

Bowan Spanbroek | 25/01/2010 4:00:56 PM

Darwin’s law of Natural Selection came into play in the Auto industry this year, with the GFC testing all manufacturers flight or fight responses. If a companies value proposition didn’t add up in 2009 then they were subject to the laws of nature, with only a handful posting positive sales.The down turn really showed the underlying demand for brands. Those who where not thriving in 2008 where left behind to be eaten by this new economic threat.   Top of the food chain ...

Car production takes a dive

Bowan Spanbroek | 11/01/2010 4:04:05 PM

Australian car production has slumped to a low of 225,713 vehicles produced in 2009, a staggering 100,000 fewer cars than 2008. The high Australian dollar has hindered the already diminished demand from foreign importers in the US and Middle East. On top of this local producers are hurting from the recent tariff cut that has lowered foreign importers costs considerably. These combined factors mean local producers will be relying heavily on tax-payer funded assistance in the coming year, w...

December 2009 hits an all-time record for car sales! Pity about the rest of the year…

Bowan Spanbroek | 7/01/2010 4:07:12 PM

A last minute rush from business owners seeking the investment allowance resulted in a record December, with 88,708 vehicles sold (15.9% up on last December). The main contributors were vans, 4x2 and 4x4, all receiving significant growth in sales. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industry (FCAI) forecasted 880’000 vehicles being sold for 2009, however December pushed the auto industry well past the line with 937,328 new cars sold, a positive result in the context of a recession! ...

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