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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Friday, March 14, 2014

March 14: Strange but true

Strange but true. The weird looking animal to your right is the duck billed platypus. I mean, why call it "duck billed"? Are there any others around without this bill? Strange, but this isn't the only unusual species from down under, i.e. the kangaroo and probably others. Now that we have the nature talk out of the way, let's look at the Aussie cars and have a minute of silence out of respect for a dying breed (read on).............

Australia is rather small in terms of people at approximately 24M and in terms of their car market, I believe it is less than 1.5M new cars sold annually. So my question is, how have they been able to develop their own unique vehicles and sell them basically only on their island, with a few going to the middle east? Products which are more than just a slight sheet metal change (they have them as well). Take this classic Aussie ute for example......


You'll never see this vehicle anywhere else and it is based on the completely unique Australian Falcon.........


This is Ford's big car down under and as such, its top model, the XR8, is a tough muscle machine with the graphics and big motor to match. Nothing else in Ford's worldwide portfolio resembles this car.

So the question is again, how do they do it? And the answer is that they can't anymore. Both Ford of Australia and GM's Holden brand have indicated that they will stop making vehicles in Australia by 2017. Sad news for their home grown products. Or does this mean they'll just be built somewhere else? Not clear at this time, but with such a limited market and in today's economy, something will have to give.

Let's take a look at what Holden has been doing..........


This is their big rear wheel drive Caprice sedan. In order to justify its continued production, other markets had to be found. So far one of those markets is the USA, where this car is sold only as a dedicated police car. Still rather limited to maybe 20 thousand vehicles yearly. Hardly enough to keep it around and the US won't need to sell it to civilians, since they already have the remarkably good Impala.

Or what about the Holden Commodore, which also uses the Caprice platform......

 Great looking, but where will it go? To help the costs, GM uses this chassis to underpin the current Camaro (but not the next generation) and if you read this blog regularly, you'll know that this car's performance model is being sold around the world under different names........Vauxhall and Chevrolet. But is this enough?

I think that the kangaroo and platypus (the duck billed model) are safe for now, but don't hold your breath that those basically only Aussie cars will make the cut. So now for that minute of silence.........

Until next time.......



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