Readers have their say about everything on wheels
DRIVING AT 10
REGARDING the carsGuide story about learning to drive early: it worked for me, too, and I’ve been singing this song for some time. I learned to drive in a paddock at 10, towing a tandem trailer in a manual XD Falcon ute with no power steering. I’ve now been driving on the road for 16 years accident free. You make a lot of sense— now make the powers that be do something about it.
Glenn Pettitt, email
SAD TALE AT FORD
AS SOMEONE who’s always had an interest in Fords, I can only shake my head at the way the company is run in Australia. Bad customer service, advertising that’s sterile and unremarkable, products that don’t cover the competition and a revolving door of presidents have surely put Ford on a downward spiral. A front-wheel drive Falcon or rebadged Taurus will be more nails in the coffin. If only we could resurrect Geoff Polites and restore some passion. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d swap my blue hat for a red one, but I sense it’s coming.
R. Spooner, email We agree. Ford has some great products but struggles to win buyers.
ODD KIWI NAMES
I HAVE just spent some time in New Zealand and was surprised to find many of the cars we have here have different model names over there. Why do manufacturers do this? I’d have thought the cars in NZ would have come from here in the first place.
Patricia Woolcock, Viewbank MOST of the cars you saw would have been second-hand Japanese imports, not new cars. Japanese makers often have two names for a model — such as Kluger and Highlander at Toyota — but Aust- ralians usually see the one that is likely to work best in our showrooms.
WHAT are your thoughts on price gouging with on-road costs. I see a car in carsGuide at $39,660 drive away, yet the list price is $35,990. That’s $3670 for on-road costs. Another is $31,990 drive away. The list price is $28,990. That’s $3000 for on-road costs. Where is the industry code of practice that prevents people being fleeced? I’m fortunate to know the difference, but many aren’t and don’t have the time available. Surely manufacturers don’t wish to have their product viewed in a poor light because of a few greedy rogue dealers.
Christopher James, email Consumer protection laws mean manufacturers cannot set a price for on-road costs, so it’s down to individual dealers. There is often more to ‘‘dealer delivery’’ costs than a wash and clean. Hi-tech cars can spend hours having software updated. But some dealers do charge too much. That’s why many dealers are prepared to negotiate on this part of the deal, not only the sticker price.
Name game: Kluger or Highlander?