Split­ting lanes

Read­ers have their say about ev­ery­thing on wheels

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

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.

ON-ROAD WORRY

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?

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