LASTWORD

with Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Readers Say -

CLUNKER CON­CERN

I AM an au­to­mo­tive dis­man­tler with more than 10 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ju­lia Gil­lard’s ‘‘cash for clunkers’’ scheme con­cerns me in re­la­tion to the po­ten­tial dam­age to my in­dus­try and other as­so­ci­ated trades.

Trade-in cars will go straight to the scrap­yard, which takes the auto dis­man­tler straight out of the equa­tion cost­ing us po­ten­tial in­come. Fur­ther­more the scrap yards, who I might add have al­ready de­stroyed our in­dus­try sell­ing cheap il­le­gal parts, will be rub­bing their hands to­gether on this if La­bor gets in.

Sec­ond, the mar­ket we trade in for older cars also be­comes di­min­ished, again cost­ing auto dis­man­tlers, me­chan­ics, auto elec­tri­cal re­pair­ers, panel shops and many smaller car yards and whole­salers their in­comes. It would be in­ter­est­ing to see La­bor Party statis­tics on how many jobs this scheme will cost.

Third, if you have a pre-1995 model car and you trade it in for, let’s say $5000 plus the $2000 from the govern­ment, that leaves $8000 to come from some­where.

Most peo­ple driv­ing older cars do so be­cause that’s all they can af­ford, so the money for the new car is likely to be fi­nanced. This how­ever cre­ates an­other prob­lem as our coun­try’s na­tional debt con­tin­ues to rise, in­fla­tion then rises and this, in turn, puts prea­sure on in­ter­est rates — and this helps no­body.

Michael Kirk­wood, email

CO CHAL­LENGE

IT HAS been sug­gested elim­i­nat­ing older ve­hi­cles will re­duce our car­bon diox­ide pro­duc­tion, thus mak­ing the in­sin­u­a­tion that older cars are linked to in­creased petrol con­sump­tion. A glance back through time chal­lenges such as as­sump­tion. About a cen­tury ago the Model T Ford had fuel con­sump­tion of 9.42 litres/ 100km, and 20 years later a Citroen used 9.45 litres/100km. I have driven a 1950 Holden at 8.89 litres/100km and a 1998 Holden Calais re­turned iden­ti­cal fuel con­sump­tion. Though both Hold­ens cov­ered the same cir­cuit (400km) at the same speed, the small and crude car­bu­ret­tor of the 1950 model was re­placed in the 1998 model by a com­puter-con­trolled elec­tronic fuel in­jec­tion sys­tem, plus cruise con­trol etc. The fuel con­sump­tion for both cars was iden­ti­cal. There­fore the same quan­tity of CO was pro­duced on both oc­ca­sions. As­ton­ish­ingly, af­ter nearly 100 years of devel­op­ment, there is lit­tle dif­fer­ence in the re­sults of all of the above four tests. And small cars ap­pear to be much the same. So old bangers are def­i­nitely not petrol guz­zlers.

John Tucker, email

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