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...

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...

Americans can't get enough of their big utes

Mark Schneider | 24/03/2016 9:07:14 AM

Everything’s big in America – especially those utes. One of the myths about the collapse of the American auto industry in the global financial crisis is that it was largely brought about by manufacturers sticking to huge gas-guzzling dinosaurs that no one wanted. The sales figures for 2015 should go a long way to dispelling that idea. The top three places are filled by the Ford F-Series, the Chevrolet Silverado and Dodge’s Ram 1500-3500. They’re all crew-cab utes (or p...

Petrol Prices Down World Wide

Mark Schneider | 22/03/2016 9:17:25 AM

The falling price of oil may have the world’s oil producers all hot and bothered but it’s a fair bet you’re smiling a little more at the pump each week with petrol prices dropping below $1 in some parts of Australia early this year. It’s a similar story all around the world with falling prices for petrol and diesel, with at least one notable exception: in Venezuela the price of petrol has gone up dramatically! By 6000 per cent, no less, and it’s all to do with th...

Biofuels' Environmental Promise Falls Well Short

Mark Schneider | 16/03/2016 2:09:51 PM

Biofuels promised plenty of environmental benefits when their use became common in the US, Europe and elsewhere, but so far that promise has fallen well short of the reality. The idea of a carbon-neutral fuel that could be readily produced from plants, partially replacing non-renewable liquid fuels, spurred the Europeans to make a percentage of biofuel mandatory at filling stations throughout the continent. The EU wasn’t alone, with many other nations, including the US, mandating that a...

Self-driving cars may be a boon for older drivers

Mark Schneider | 15/03/2016 8:00:00 AM

The conventional wisdom that young people are the early adopters of new technology while older folk struggle to come to grips with it may be turned on its head when it comes to self-driving cars. Tech giant Google, a leader in self-driving cars, believes the technology will be a godsend for older drivers who can no longer drive or who lack the confidence to get behind the wheel in city or suburban streets. The oldest person so far to travel in one of Google’s cars is 94 year-ol...

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