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The Mercury Cars Guide : June 13th 2009
16— Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, June 13, 2009 Industry humming over future of GM ‘orphans’ T HE two orphans of the GM Holden portfolio are safe, for now. According to GM Holden chairman and managing director Mark Reuss, the Saab and Hummer are two of the poorest performing brands locally, but the company will keep tabs on what’s happening overseas regarding the future of the pair. ‘‘Those two brands are for sale right now and we’ll work with whoever the buyer is of those brands here in Australia.’’ However, Carsguide understands a consultant has been brought into GM Holden specifically to see how Saab and Hummer fit into the company’s future ‘‘fit and mix’’ operations. Local sales for both brands have slowed to a trickle this year on the back of the speculation over their fates Penske Automotive Group, the second-largest car retailer in the US. The agreement will save more than SAAB and the woes of General Motors, which is cleaning out more than half of its brands. Last week it signed a tentative deal to sellHummerto a Chinese company, Sichuan Tengzhong Heavy Industrial Machinery Co and announced Magna as the preferred bidder for Opel/ Vauxhall with the giant Italian car group Fiat also in the running. Pontiac will close down by the end of next year and Saab is on the blocks. Perfect vehicle for the long road trip Winnebagois trying to appeal toa the senior marketandits latest addition isavaluable option for people looking to travelbyroad. MarkHinchliffe reports Esperance range. Winnebago sales and mar- W keting manager Max Mayo said the Esperance was launched in February to cater to people aged over 55 who have a home base but want to travel up to three months at a time. There are 10 layouts in the range with prices from $144,000 to $160,000. One has a garage for a scooter or motorcycle while another features a bed that drops down from the ceiling electrically. ‘‘It’s a value-for-money prod- uct,’’ Mr Mayo said. ‘‘We expect to sell a few hundred and as a model range it will be our top seller.’’ The Esperance range can be driven on an open licence and sits on an Iveco chassis with a three-litre, four-cylinder, INNEBAGO is targeting the mid-range mar- ket with its new turbo-diesel engine. It is available in manual or auto transmission with a host of standard features such as cruise control, aircondition- ing, furnace heater, external shower, external barbecue fit- ting, LCD TV and DVD, toilet, gas/240V hot water system, reversing camera and satellite navigation. Sleeping options include an island bed, electronic roll- down bed or single beds. Solar panels are also avail- able as an option. Mr Mayo said their single best seller remained the Long- reach with prices from $229,990 to $259,990. ‘‘This is for long-range mo- torhoming, you can disappear for ages,’’ he said. ‘‘These are people who have reached an age where the kids have left the house and they have downsized their home and put the balance of their money into a motorhome. ‘‘They are always coming VALUE FOR MONEY: The Winnebago Esperance motorhome is aimed at the mid-range market. to the $615,990 Classic with an eight-litre, six-cylinder diesel engine in a Spartan truck chassis. ‘‘Our market tends to be older people because retirees have time to travel,’’ he said. ‘‘With concerns about the share market and superannu- ation the market wentdownin August but there are a lot of positives around in the econo- my now. ‘‘This financial year will be our second biggest in 45 years.’’ The industry calculates there are 300,000 RVs in Aus- tralia and 75,000 of themare on the road at any one time on extended trips. LUXURY: Winnebago’s Esperance model allows its owners to travel in style. back home to catch up with family and friends every few months.’’ Mr Mayo said Winnebago was a Sydney-based Australian-owned company that started in 1965. ‘‘A lot of people confuse us with the US company,’’ he said. ‘‘Bruce Binns and his wife Ruth started the company in 1965 in his garage at home.’’ The Winnebago range goes from the $113,990 Birdsville up Mr Mayo said recreational vehicle owners were good for the rural economy. ‘‘They spendonaverage $600 a week . . . that’s $45 million a week nationally, so we are a way of sharing the wealth around.’’ HUMMER IndyCar team owner and Detroit businessman Roger Penske reached agreement last Friday withGMto buy Saturn and the deal could be finalised within three months. GM established Saturn in 1985, aiming the brand at customers who would have chosen low-cost European or Japanese cars. Under the deal GM will continue to build the Saturn Aura, the Vue and the Outlook on a contract basis for 350 car dealers and 13,000 jobs at Saturn, GM said. Although details have not been revealed GM is believed to have sold off the brand for between $US100 and $US200 million. Penske also sells the Smart cars in North America. The two bidders for Saab are be- lieved to be Swedish sportscar maker Koenigsegg and US group Renco. A decision on that deal is likely within two weeks. After the halcyon days of the 1990s, Saab sales have largely tanked be- cause ofalack ofnewmodelsandclear identity of how the Swedish carmaker fitted into the GM empire. Locally, Saab dealers sold just 1158 cars last year and in the first five months of this year they sold just 186 cars, a massive 60 percent slump over the same period last year. Hummer’slocal sales too have taken a battering because of the ongoingGM woes. Dealers have sold 271 Hummers this year, 54 percent down on the same period last year. Many Saab and Hummer dealers are multi-franchised Holden dealers, but industry analyst Tony Robinson believes dealers will be nervous. ‘‘If I was GM Holden I would be looking at focusing on the core strengths of the company,’’ he said. NEIL McDONALD DRIVEAWAYNO MORE TO PAY! $15.25 per day† $14.50 per day† $8.25 per day† www.djmotors.com.au email@example.com Easy finance available with DJ Financial Services 04 NISSAN Patrol Turbo Diesel 3.0 litre, 7-seat, 2.5 tonne towing capacity, air conditioning, CD player, cruise control. Stock No. 321555 $27, 990 DRIVE AWAY 07 HONDA Civic Hybrid 1.3 litre IMA, continuously variable transmission with integrated motor assist. Stock No. 321636 $26, 490 DRIVE AWAY †To approved business clients only, with a $2,500 deposit over five years with a 30% residual payment. Interest rate 10.50%. 08 MITSUBISHI Colt ES Hatch 1.5 litre automatic, only 12,000km, power steering, air conditioning. Stock No. 321565 $15, 990 DRIVE AWAY Hobart 1a Brisbane Street,Hobart Phone: 6213 3300 Warren Amos 0417 544 829 Luke Mitchell 0408 545 146 Glenorchy 275 Main Road,Glenorchy Phone: 6213 3315 Brian Anning 0418 531 853 Chris Wakefield 0400 635 446 Allan Gebel 0428 729 659
June 6th 2009
June 20th 2009