Miner mat­ter

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

op­por­tu­nity. The cur­rent HiLux is one of the old­est utes in the mar­ket and doesn’t match the five-star safety of key com­peti­tors such as the Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50, Volk­swa­gen Amarok, Holden Colorado and Isuzu D-Max.

This could be a prob­lem on some sites, such as those owned by BHP Bil­li­ton, which says it wants em­ploy­ees to drive fives­tar safety ve­hi­cles.

Volk­swa­gen is boost­ing its HiLux chal­lenge with spe­cial ser­vice cen­tres in re­mote ar­eas of Queens­land and Western Aus­tralia near the big mines.

VWis es­pe­cially keen to get its Amarok ute into the mine fleets, given it has just launched a new work-friendly sin­gle cab ver­sion. It now wants to make ser­vic­ing the Amarok eas­ier for the min­ing fleets, which would have pre­vi­ously had to travel fur­ther to have the work car­ried out.

VW’s plan in­cludes ser­vice cen­tres in the mine-friendly towns of New­man, Kar­ratha and Broome in Western Aus­tralia as well as key lo­ca­tions in Queens­land, al­though the com­pany is not ready to dis­close when they will open.

The com­pany says it will be able to present a con­vinc­ing case to min­ing-fleet op­er­a­tors, mak­ing the point that ser­vice costs of the Amarok are not nec­es­sar­ily higher than those of its com­peti­tors.

The Aus­tralian-made tray has fold-down sides, in­ter­nal tie-down hooks and pro­tec­tors for the tail-lights. Some fleets pre­fer au­to­matic trans­mis­sions, though the Amarok sin­gle cab will be avail­able only with a sixspeed man­ual trans­mis­sion.

An eight-speed au­to­matic has just been made avail­able in the dual-cab vari­ant.

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