The Tribune (NZ) - - MO­TOR­ING -

Mini own­ers like to name their cars. The world’s firstMini cen­sus car­ried out by the or­gan­is­ers of July’sMini World Live at the Rockingham Mo­tor Speed­way in the UK, re­ceived re­sponses from Mini own­ers all over the globe, in­clud­ing New Zealand.

It re­vealed that 51 per cent of the world’s named Minis are boys, 35 per cent are fe­male and 14 per cent are gen­der neu­tral.

The youngest re­spon­dent was a 17-year old named Luke from Auck­land, who calls his Mini Cooper Shel­don, af­ter Shel­don Cooper from The Big Bang The­ory.

The old­est was 80-year old John from Ban­gor, NorthWales, who named his mini Mavis af­ter his late wife.

The most pop­u­lar male names are Marvin, Tommy (an­other Cooper ref­er­ence) and Jack, al­though Dave, Stu­art and Bob, made fa­mous by the an­i­mated movie char­ac­ters in The Min­ions, are also trend­ing.

Fe­male Minis tend to fol­low a more al­lit­er­a­tive tone, with Min­nie, Mol­lie and Mil­lie be­ing the top three.

Some of the more un­usual names in­clude Pingu (white with a black roof), Tet­ley (more holes than a tea bag), Mojo Jojo ( the evil mon­key in The Pow­er­puff Girls), and Leigh Half­penny, af­ter the Welsh rugby in­ter­na­tional (small­ish, gor­geous and pow­er­ful).


Jaguar Land Rover is su­ing Chi­nese au­tomaker Jian­gling Mo­tor for al­legedly copy­ing the Bri­tish firm’s Range Rover Evoque.

The suit re­lates to Jian­gling’s 2014 Land­wind X7 sport util­ity ve­hi­cle which has a sim­i­lar shape, iden­ti­cal tail lights and char­ac­ter lines.

The X7 costs a third less than an Evoque, and is be­hind in tech­nol­ogy and per­for­mance, but the slight de­sign dif­fer­ences can be vir­tu­ally elim­i­nated us­ing widely avail­able Range Rover grilles, lo­gos and badges kits for an X7.

On Alibaba’s Taobao shop­ping web­site, the­sesell for around 128 yuan (NZ$28).

De­spite wide­spread and of­ten bla­tant copy­ing, global car­mak­ers gen­er­ally don’t take le­gal ac­tion in China as they feel the odds of win­ning against lo­cal firms are low.

If JLR wins its case, it could prompt other au­tomak­ers to take le­gal ac­tion, speed­ing up a shift to stronger en­force­ment of in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights.

How­ever, it took Honda 12 years to win a case in China against a lit­tle-known lo­cal au­tomaker for copy­ing its best-sell­ing CR-V SUV. Even then, Honda was awarded only 16 mil­lion yuan (NZ$3.51 mil­lion) in com­pen­sa­tion. It had sought 300 mil­lion yuan (NZ$65.9m).


All set to drive in treach­er­ous win­ter road con­di­tions? A new sur­vey by in­surer IAG shows that many of us aren’t.

Al­most 75 per cent of mo­torists don’t carry ad­di­tional sur­vival items such as cloth­ing and food, close to 62 per cent don’t check their car’s bat­tery be­fore the cold weather ar­rives, and 62 per cent don’t keep a small bot­tle of wa­ter in the boot to top-up the wiper fluid bot­tle.

More than half don’t carry a set of jumper ca­bles; al­most half don’t bother to check ra­di­a­tor wa­ter lev­els; al­most half don’t check the brakes when the wet and win­try weather ar­rives, and more than 40 per cent don’t carry emer­gency items such as a torch and first-aid kit.

So-called baby boomers – driv­ers aged 50 and 59 – are best pre­pared for driv­ing in win­ter con­di­tions, with nine out of 10 hav­ing checked the tread on their tyres in the last six months in prepa­ra­tion for the colder weather.


The ANZ Truck­ome­ter as a barom­e­ter of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity touched the brakes in­May.

Both the Heavy Traf­fic In­dex (HTI) and the Light Traf­fic In­dex (LTI) fell dur­ing the month, and the up­ward trend is no longer as con­clu­sive as it was.

The HTI fell 1.7 per cent in May on top of a larger fall in April, even though an­nual growth was lit­tle changed at 4.8 per cent.

More sig­nif­i­cantly the LTI fell 1.3 per cent, though again an­nual growth re­mains strong. The feel­ing is that growth fu­elled by debt is less sus­tain­able than growth backed by solid in­come growth.

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