News: Kombi comeback makes for happy hippies

Volkswagen California Ocean_2

While big bags of kale and buckets of marinated mung beans have probably replaced the original Kombi diet, there’s a worldwide base of customers that are grown-up, cashed-up and probably signed-up to get an early drive of the Kombi reboot – Volkswagen’s California Ocean.

The west coast mightn’t quite the idylic surf spot it was when the originals landed in sandy car parks full of long-hairs and topped with piles of surfboards up to 90-feet long.

The Ocean’s interior transforms into a four adult camper – a rear two-seater bench creates a double bed on the ‘first floor’ and the old-skool pop-up roof lifts to reveal a second spacious sleeping birth. Continue reading “Kombi comeback makes for happy hippies” »

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Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz: 2016 GLC 250d review

2016 GLC-Class 250d front

Mercedes-Benz, in New Zealand at least, was a little late to the compact luxury SUV market.

It’s mid-size luxury SUV the ML-Class is now called GLE-Class and the large luxury SUV the GL-Class which is now called GLS-Class, are two such model lines which have done well in their respective market segments. Continue reading “Mercedes-Benz: 2016 GLC 250d review” »

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News: Toyota calls time on FJ Cruiser

IMAGE - FJ Cruiser wading through the river

It looks like a giant Tonka toy, polarises car folk more than any other 4×4 and traces its ancestry to one of Toyota’s most famous off-road beasts.

It is, of course, the modern take on the mighty FJ40 – and its days are numbered.

Production of the FJ Cruiser will shut down permanently in August with Kiwis having bought 299 of them. Dealers have firm orders until close of play in a few months. Continue reading “Toyota calls time on FJ Cruiser” »

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News: Hyundai aiming for 300 Elantra sales in 2016

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Sales of small sedans have remained steady for the last six years, even though the small car market has declined overall according to Hyundai New Zealand, and it is confident of selling 300 new Elantra models this year.

Globally the Elantra sedan is Hyundai’s biggest selling vehicle with more than 10 million units sold worldwide, and the C-segment vehicle won the prestigious 2012 North American Car of the Year.

Locally Hyundai is benefitting from the markets appetite for SUV, year-to-date it has sold 682 Tucson models despite initial supply issues at launch last year, and the series two Santa Fe continues to find favour with New Zealand buyers, it is 8% ahead year-on-year with 700 units sold thus far. Continue reading “Hyundai aiming for 300 Elantra sales in 2016” »

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News: Marchionne: Who owns self-driving cars’ data?

‘FCA boss Sergio Marchionne says the company is in the dark over vehicle data ownership'

FCA boss Sergio Marchionne says the company is in the dark over vehicle data ownership

ferrari-Marchionne-x

Sergio Marchionne

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Google have yet to determine who would own data collected in their collaboration on self-driving vehicles, according to FCA chief Sergio Marchionne.

“That’s exactly what has to be determined,” Marchionne said in response to the issue of data ownership. “We need to get to a stage where the car is viable so we can discuss the spoils of that work. We’re not there.”

Earlier this week, FCA and Google announced they agreed to fit Google’s self-driving technology into 100 Chrysler Pacifica minivans, marking the first time a Silicon Valley firm has teamed up with a traditional carmaker to develop an autonomous vehicle. Continue reading “Marchionne: Who owns self-driving cars’ data?” »

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News: Ford faces angry mob over ‘unsafe’ transmission

fordfiesta

Ford is facing a public backlash in Australia and New Zealand as a specialist compensation lawyer whips up owners into a frenzy.

The ‘issue’ centres around claims made by ‘comp case’ specialists Bannister Law that the PowerShift transmission used in a number of popular Ford models makes them unsafe to drive.

Bannister Law specialises in personal injury and compensation claims, and currently taking class actions against both Volkswagen and Nurofen. Ford is potentially next. Continue reading “Ford faces angry mob over ‘unsafe’ transmission” »

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News: Volvo works team quits V8 Supercars

polestars

Volvo’s motorsport arm, Polestar, is not renewing its contract with V8 Supercars.

The pair of Volvo S60 racecars driven by Kiwi flyer Scott McLaughlin and Australian Robert Dahlgren will finish out the 2016 season, the factory team said in a statement.

Polestar entered the cars into the V8 Supercars series in 2014, and runs them alongside veteran professional campaigners Garry Rogers Motorsport, which will keep the young racers on board next season. And while the team is interested in the two S60s, Volvo Australia has indicated it may not be willing to sell. Continue reading “Volvo works team quits V8 Supercars” »

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News: Kiwi 3D firm snapped up by Delphi

puredepth

Delphi Automotive has paid NZ$21.7m to buy a Kiwi 3D firm that makes tricky dashboards and gauge clusters.

The auto parts behemoth is banking on PureDepth Inc, which counts slot machine graphics among its specialities, to help enhance its gauge offerings – picking a trend towards high-tech interiors.

Delphi’s PureDepth buy-up is the latest in a string of acquisitions that see the company – which earned NZ$617m for the first quarter – looking to reposition itself in the market. Continue reading “Kiwi 3D firm snapped up by Delphi” »

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