Corolla gains benefit of ESP
FAR too late, the Toyota Corolla has finally picked up electronic stability control in Australia. It took more than 18 months to get ESP — called Vehicle Stability Control at Toyota — into the full range of Japanese compacts. SUZUKI is rushing to rebuild supplies of tyres for its baby Alto. It ran out of spares in Australia during the change to a new eco tyre — which promises better fuel economy — but is expecting a big shipment on Wednesday. PRODUCTION of Australia’s newest hero car, the Hybrid Camry, has also just begun in China at a joint-ventury factory owned by Guangzhou Toyota Motor. The car is now built at Altona and in China, Thailand, Japan, Kentucky in the US, and China. THE Ford Fiesta has just overtaken the Volkswagen Golf as Europe’s favourite car. Through the first quarter of 2010 the sales of Fiesta have reached 140,496 — and 68,630last month alone, up by 25.8 per cent on a year earlier — against 135,048 for the Golf. AUSTRALIA’S first service station dedicated to Compressed National Gas — owned by OES CNG and pumping what it calls SmartGas — will open in Melbourne at the end of the month. OES will also be promoting CNG conversions with free fuel for a year to the first 100 customer conversions, a saving it says is worth $4500. THE charitable work of the late Paul Newman — actor, racer and car buff — continues with a series of grants open to Australian organisations. Grants will be given up to $75,000 for vehicles and general project purposes under the Newman’s Own Foundation support in 2010, with applications open until May 28 through www.paulnewmansown.com.au HONDA Australia has a new boss. He is Satoshi Matsuzawa, who became managing director and CEO on April 1 as the successor to Yasuhide Mizuno, who is now the president of Honda’s joint venture in China — Dongfeng Honda Automobile — in Wuhan Province.