Business as usual
IT’S business as usual at Chrysler Australia, despite the US parent company Chrysler LLC announcing a proposed strategic alliance with Fiat SpA and filing for protected restructuring, under Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy provisions.
But Chrysler Australia is continuing to provide motor vehicles, parts and services under the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Mopar parts brands through its current network of authorised dealers, including Irelands in Cairns.
“Australian customers can rest assured that it’s business as usual for Chrysler Australia. We are a solid, profitable business and here to stay,” Chrysler Australia managing director Gerry Jenkins said.
“Despite the global economic challenges and the downturn in vehicle sales in most countries, we are one of the top international markets for Chrysler and are the leading right-hand drive market in the world.”
The global strategic alliance announced with Fiat SpA will form a new company that allows both Chrysler and Fiat to fully optimise their respective manufacturing footprints and the global supplier base, while providing each with access to additional markets. Fiat powertrains and components will also be produced at Chrysler manufacturing sites.
In the future, the advantages of the new company will provide new motoring options for Australian consumers.
Mr Jenkins said Chrysler Australia did not expect to see any impact from the Chapter 11 proceedings.
“The term ‘bankruptcy’ means different things from country to country, and it’s important to understand that this Chapter 11 filing does not mean Chrysler is going to disappear. Rather, it is a positive step forward in the on-going improvement of the Chrysler organisation,” he said.
“I’m very excited about the opportunities provided by the strategic alliance with Fiat and the other changes within our business. I’ve been with Chrysler for 30 of its 80-year history, and the future has never looked brighter.”
MINI’S GREEN TINGE
A SPECIAL bookmark passed over my desk this week. So what, you may ask?
The people from Mini tell me that if I plant the bookmark, included in its latest Mini International magazine, from it will grow trees.
Yes, impregnated in the bookmark made from 100 per cent recycled paper, are Callistemon citrinus seeds (native lemon scented bottlebrush).
All I have to do is prepare a 50/50 sand and potting mix, soak the bookmark in water until soft then place on the seed mix, lightly cover with more mix, water and keep moist. Germination should take one to three weeks. So I better get planting. Now, I wonder where I put that bookmark?
RECORD FERRARI PRICE
FERRARI has set a new world record for a car sold at auction with a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa (pictured below) fetching $A16.22 million last weekend in an auction of Italian supercars organised by RM Auctions at Ferrari’s home, Maranello in Italy.
The previous world record for a car sold at auction was just last year and was also set by a Ferrari when UK radio host Chris Evans paid $A12.62 million for a black 1861 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California, previously owned by James Coburn.
Both cars were sold at the Ferrari Leggenda e Passione, an annual auction of the finest Ferrari and Maserati super cars organised by RM Auctions and held at Ferrari’s test track, Fiorano, in Maranello.
Unlike last year, this year’s top bidder was not at the auction, remaining anonymous and bidding over the telephone while competing against three other bidders.
The 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, one of just 22 similar models built at Maranello, has an important race history in north and south America. It debuted in the Buenos Aires 1000km in 1958 and came 4th overall before being sold to a US client who raced it extensively in the SCCA championship.
Although its bids reached a level higher than last year’s record setter at $A12.9 million, a rare Ferrari 330 P4 was passed in at the event.
MORE NISSAN GT-R RECORDS
The NISSAN GT-R, winner of the 2009 World Performance Car of the Year, improved its lap time at the renowned Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in late April in Germany to 7m26.70s.
That follows 7m27.56s on April 15, 2009, 7m29s in April, 2008 and 7m38s in September 2007
“This record demonstrates our commitment to the continuous evolution of the Nissan GT-R,” said Nissan spokesman Kazutoshi Mizuno.
“We would like to continue delivering the passion and pride of ownership to our customers by improving its performance every year.”
The R35 GT-R was launched in Australia last month. More than 170 GT-Rs have been ordered by Australian customers so far.
The Cairns Post