Busi­ness as usual

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

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

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