Full throt­tle

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News - Paul Gover

THIS year looks like a boomer in Aussie mo­tor­ing. All the signs are pos­i­tive af­ter a strong run through 2010 on ev­ery­thing from new mod­els and new technology to the price of cars and petrol and even motorsport.

Last year pro­duced a mil­lion-plus re­sult in show­rooms, only the third on record and a huge turnover in a coun­try with a pop­u­la­tion of 22 mil­lion peo­ple. And the sales to­tal for 2011 is likely to be even big­ger.

The fuel for the sales growth will come, as usual, from the im­por­tance of cars in Aus­tralia and the in­cred­i­ble num­ber of new mod­els that hit show­rooms each year.

No one can un­der­es­ti­mate the sense of free­dom that Aus­tralians tap with their cars, or the needs of peo­ple who rely on cars for ev­ery­thing from dayto-day com­mut­ing to long-dis­tance travel.

Car com­pa­nies are do­ing all they can to clear their back­log of 2010 stock in readi­ness for the first ar­rivals of 2011, which means great buy­ing for at least an­other month.

Cars are like horses— they all get a year older on the same day, and any­thing in a show­room now with a 2010 build date is out of date.

But there is noth­ing out of date about the line-up for the first ma­jor mo­tor­ing event of the year, the North Amer­i­can Auto Show in Detroit.

It opens next week with the un­veil­ing of ev­ery­thing from a Hyundai Veloster and the next Honda Civic to a new Porsche su­per­car.

There will be lots of news from Detroit, per­haps in­clud­ing Holden’s plans to re­vive Com­modore ex­ports to the US and the po­ten­tial fu­ture of the Ford Fal­con.

Chrysler will show its new 300C, which will take more than a year to reach Aus­tralia, and Chi­nese brands are promis­ing an­other new wave of technology and small cars.

Chi­nese cars will be one of the big sto­ries in Aus­tralia in 2011, with Chery, Geely and Great Wall all plan­ning to start pas­sen­ger car sales Down Un­der.

Great Wall is al­ready do­ing well with its val­uepriced utes and SUVs, but it’s Chery that is look­ing for the big break­through with baby cars that un­der­cut the Korean price lead­ers.

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