We publish a ton of car news stories during the working week (70-odd as a rule), and it can be tough to keep up with everything – which is the rationale behind this weekend list.
In short, here are some key articles from our news desk since Monday of this week summarised, just in case you missed them at the time.
New kids on the block, here soon
Car brands come and go. We’ve seen a few enter the bustling, highly fragmented Australian car market in recent times, and a few exit on the other side.
Premium players Genesis and Polestar come to mind as examples of the former; while Holden, Infiniti, Opel and Alpine fit the bill as examples of the latter.
There are more entrants coming in 2022 and 2023, capitalising on what they see as gaps in the market. Here we profile the next five.
FULL STORY: What new car brands are coming to Australia in the next 12 months?
Ute ready to ‘Rok and Roll
The brand new, second-generation Volkswagen Amarok dual-cab ute will commence production in October and arrive in Australian showrooms by March 2023.
The company this week detailed the model ‘walk’, without disclosing final pricing, which will comprise five specification levels with three diesel engine options, and one petrol.
As has been written exhaustively, the new Amarok is entirely based on the latest Ford Ranger, which launched last month, but has been made to look different both outside and in.
FULL STORY: 2023 Volkswagen Amarok, Australian range detailed
No more batches of these hot hatches
Prepare for some heartbreak, hot hatch enthusiasts. Ford Australia is killing off the beloved Fiesta ST and Focus ST pocket rockets, due in large part to ongoing supply headaches out of Europe where they’re built.
Since these were the only versions of each model offered it also means by extension the entire Fiesta and Focus nameplates are about to be retired in Australia.
While there are a few more small-volume shipments inbound before year’s end, most of these will go to existing order holders – with a tiny number to be made available to punters able to make it to a dealer in time.
FULL STORY: Ford Fiesta ST and Focus ST axed from Australian line-up
Dirty fuel’s doom accelerated
Australia’s dirty fuel is getting cleaner, sooner, and the Government says any price increase at the pump should be marginal.
The Albanese Labor Government has introduced legislation to bring forward the introduction of lower-sulfur petrol sold in Australia from 2027 to 2024.
By December 15, 2024, all petrol at Australian service stations will have a maximum sulfur level of 10 parts per million. This applies to 91 RON, 95 RON, 98 RON and E85 unleaded fuel.
FULL STORY: Australian petrol getting cleaner from 2024, legislation brought forward
Sales plateau, but demand strong
Australia’s monthly car sales (meaning deliveries) steadied in July, showing 0.4 per cent growth over the same month last year despite ongoing stock shortages and wait lists.
Industry database VFACTS reports 84,461 sales for the first month of the new financial year, against 84,161 in July of 2021. Given there was one fewer selling day this July than last July (26 days versus 27), the average daily sales increase was a tick over 131 units.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber said the flat result showed the market has yet to normalise since the beginning of the pandemic.
FULL STORY: VFACTS – July 2022 car sales figures
BYD finally here, with some celebrity help
We’ve been writing about the launch of BYD electric vehicles into Australia for what feels like forever, but the countdown clock is about to strike zero.
The Chinese company’s Australian distributor, EVDirect.com.au, says there are now three ships en route, loaded with BYD Atto 3 electric SUVs destined for customers.
The company claims to have more than 4000 sales banked, with deliveries to buyers scheduled to kick off in a matter of weeks.
FULL STORY: Thousands of BYD Atto 3 EVs due in Australia within weeks
Cut the crap around active safety terms
A coalition of American automotive industry bodies wants to make life easier for new car buyers by asking automakers to use clearer terminology for active safety and driver assist technology.
The coalition has released a set of expanded and updated recommendations for universal terms for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), such as autonomous emergency braking, and is calling on automakers, journalists, and regulators to use them.
Bodies involved include the American Automobile Association, itself a federation of different motor clubs in the US, as well as J.D. Power, Consumer Reports, the National Safety Council, and SAE International (formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers).
FULL STORY: Calls for carmakers to cut safety jargon continue
OPINION: 22 names for the same safety feature: How car brands confuse us
The General targets price gouging
General Motors in the US is penalising buyers of some of its more expensive, high-demand vehicles who quickly resell them.
More specifically, it’s targeting buyers who purchase a new Cadillac Escalade-V, Chevrolet Corvette Z06 or GMC Hummer EV, with purchase agreements shared online detailing the penalties for buyers who try to resell within the 12 months after taking delivery.
“GMSV is yet to release allocation or pricing for Z06, we anticipate doing this later this year, but we don’t have plans to implement a similar stipulation,” said a spokesperson for GMSV, which sells the Chevrolet Corvette and Silverado in Australia.
FULL STORY: General Motors cracking down on resellers of in-demand vehicles
Family SUV safety upgrade
The Hyundai Palisade three-row SUV has been re-evaluated by crash-tester ANCAP following some updates, and has now attained a five-star rating.
This result follows the four-star ANCAP safety rating that diesel variants of the pre-update Palisade received around two months ago, against the latest and harshest test protocols.
Part of the testing for the updated Palisade included Australian evaluation of some active safety equipment, and the new centre airbag. All the other changes were evaluated using data.
FULL STORY: 2023 Hyundai Palisade gets five-star ANCAP safety upgrade
Help, my eyes!
Porsche is currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first SUV, the Cayenne, and as such has brought an unconventional prototype out of storage.
It’s a convertible based on the first-generation Cayenne, that never made it to production – although one physical prototype was made. It was apparently “considered” shortly after the European launch of the first-generation Cayenne in December 2002.
Measuring in at roughly 4.8 metres long, this Cayenne convertible prototype isn’t road-going and is referred to by Porsche as a Package Function Model (PFM).
FULL STORY: The Porsche Cayenne convertible prototype that didn’t make it