A COTY industry
AS sure as the turning of the Earth and the metronomic thunk as new/faclifted/renewed/ revived/repurposed models arrive, Car of the Year looms.
Carsguide has selected its top 10 for 2013, not 100 because we see little purpose in such categories as best small-medium warm hatch between $25,900 and $25,990.
Our top 10 are all affordable because we live in the real world. All are autos because that’s what you buy. All have been released since last December because Carsguide judges the best of the year, not its first nine months.
Our finalists are listed today, the winner on Friday week.
THE BLEEDING OBVIOUS
As our inboxes are clogged with surveys from companies telling us what most of us take as received wisdom, it was only a matter of time before one of them told us Australian cars are no longer popular.
This, I suppose, is news to those for whom “survey finds that exercise and diet equals a healthy waistline” is a revelation. Yet this is the sort of unsolicited crap I’m sent most days, with the unvarying result that another PR firm makes the blocked senders list.
“News” that 36 per cent of young Australians would buy an Australian-made car is high on the “duhh” index.
I’d hardly presume to tell Roy Morgan how to tell me what I’ve known for a decade but even I will allow surprise at the finding that the people who generally author Hansonesque pro-Strayan car missives have become so equivocal about the wares of the three foreign makers with factories here.
About half no longer consider them even as used prospects, where Commodores and Falcons tend to be sensational value.
Market researcher Barry Urquhart of Marketing Focus says Roy Morgan’s survey — showing an average of 45.3 per cent of Australia’s 15.6 million motorists prefer a local cars — could be highly optimistic.
“When asked a very general question such as ‘would you buy Australian?’ there is a 78 per cent response in the affirmative,” he says. “But come to the point of buying, that plunges to 45 per cent.” Well, quite. And can anyone blame us? There are no locally made compact SUVs, which — dislike them or just plain loathe them — are the growth segment.
The only small car is the Cruze. Good as that is, it ain’t class-leading. Toyota Australia makes taxis.
There’s no point to hey-trueblue posts about the quality of the Commodore or even the essentially as-old-as-thecentury Falcon. You know their worth. So do I. The lamentable fact is, however, Australian makers don’t make cars Australians want, haven’t for years and aren’t about to.
That ‘70s showpiece: Nostalgia for the likes of the 1978 Holden VB Commodore isn’t enough to sustain an industry