Europe sales go clunk
THE end of ‘‘cash for clunkers’’ schemes in Europe have plunged car sales below last years trough.
There was a 17.4 per cent fall in new car sales in July after ‘‘scrappage’’ schemes ended in Britain, France, Italy and Germany.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has promised a similar incentive scheme which provides $2000 for people cashing in cars at least 15 years old for new, more economical and environmentally friendly vehicles.
The Labor Party scheme is not as generous as most of the European schemes which also included equal incentives from car companies.
Volkswagen remained the best performer in Europe last month despite a 12.9 per cent drop, ahead of Renault, Ford and Peugeot.
VWs Polo is one of the few cars bucking the downward trend, posting sales gains in all major markets.
It was up 40 per cent in Germany in July, against an overall market drop of 30.2 per cent.
Renault’s refreshed Megane is also improving sales, up 15.4 per cent.
Top models in Europe VWGolf .. .. -25.4% VWPolo .. .. +33.7% Ford Fiesta .. -28% Renault Clio .. -6.4% Renault Megane +15.4% THE thumping Mercedes gullwing SLS, supercar Lexus LFA and gorgeous Aston Martin Rapide head the field for the 2011 judging of the World Car of the Year award.
A total of 37 cars are up for the award, which was won for 2010 by the Volkswagen Golf.
The final list runs alphabetically from the Alfa Romeo Giulietta to the Volkswagen Touareg, and takes in everything from the Honda CR-Z hybrid to the Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV.
There are three subcategories in the World COTY contest, with 13 cars short-listed for Performance Car honours, another 13 for Green Car and 50 for the Design of the year. The winners will be named at the New York Motor Show. SYDNEY could become the Ford show in October.
A global reveal is set to go as the blue oval brand spends more than $2 million to claim the high ground for the first running of the Australian International Motor Show.
It will also have revamped Falcons and most likely a preview of the next Territory for 2011, set for showrooms in February, as Australia finally drives out of the secondstring shows on the Ford program.
‘‘Australia has been elevated to the status of a global motor show,’’ spokesperson for Ford Australia Sinead McAlary said.
‘‘In Ford-speak, we now treat it with the same level of attention as Detroit, Paris and Geneva.
‘‘In the past there were too many motor shows in Australia, but now there is just one it can be treated appropriately.
‘‘Once we started working on a global reveal the show had to have more importance.’’
McAlary refuses to discuss Ford’s big show surprise — which could be anything from the T6 pickup under de- velopment at Broadmeadows to an electric-powered concept car — but admits it will have significance beyond Australia.
‘‘You’ll have to wait much closer to show day to find out what’s happening,’’ she said.
Ford is also spreading its multi-million dollar spending beyond the opening of the show, inviting key executives and hosting a major media event early in the week of the show — which opens on October 15.
‘‘We’re taking a look at our presence as a whole, not just the vehicles,’’ McAlary said.
‘‘We’re also putting a lot of effort into the non-vehicle aspects of the show, things like interactive activities for kids.’’
‘‘So we’ll showcase vehicles that are available to buy, including the 50th anniversary Falcons.’’
THE AIMS is already a sellout that’s short on space.
More than 30 carmakers have snapped up all the space at the Darling Harbour exhibition centre in Sydney, which will be hosting the event for the first and last time.
It moves to Melbourne in the middle of 2011.