Babes in big

Aus­tralia claims the world stage with onema mo­tor show and 35 brands, writes Paul Gov

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Motor Show -

PRICE-fight­ers bat­tle with su­per­cars at the new-age Aus­tralian In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show. On one side of the glit­ter­ing $50 mil­lion dis­play at the Dar­ling Har­bour ex­hi­bi­tion cen­tre in Syd­ney is the $700,000 Lexus LFA— a sell­out speed ma­chine that can top 315km/h — and across the aisle is the lat­est $12,490 Holden Ba­rina Spark.

It’s a sign of the times that GM Holden, which stunned Aus­tralia when it re­vealed its Monaro con­cept car at Dar­ling Har­bour in 1998, has the Spark as its cen­tre­piece for 2010.

More than a decade ago the Holden stand was flooded by cheque­book-wav­ing fans who had to have a Monaro, but there is no re­peat this time with the Spark.

In­stead, the small­est Holden is go­ing up against an all-new $12,990 Nis­san Mi­cra un­veiled at the show and a Toy­ota Yaris that cops a price chop as sales chief Dave But­tner does open­ing-day du­ties for Aus­tralia’s favourite brand.

It takes more than four hours for each of the ma­jor mak­ers at the show — and there are more than 35 brands in to­tal— to make their pitch on open­ing morn­ing.

Each has some­thing to say, from Audi with its baby A1 through to Volvo with the first lo­cal ap­pear­ance of its new S60 sedan. But the biggest news of all is that Aus­tralia fi­nally has a sin­gle mo­tor show.

It took a walk­out by many of the ma­jor brands, and months of talks be­tween the Vic­to­rian Au­to­mo­bile Cham­ber of Com­merce, which con­trols Mel­bourne, and the Fed­eral Cham­ber of Au­to­mo­tive In­dus­tries for Syd­ney, to reach a com­pro­mise that means there is fi­nally a true Aus­tralian In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show.

Next year it flips to Mel­bourne, with the dates con­firmed as July 1-10, and there are big plans to make an im­pact on the world­wide mo­tor­ing cal­en­dar.

The foun­da­tions are be­ing laid this year with the world de­but of the T6

Pickup lines: the Ford Ranger made its world de­but at the Aus­tralian In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.