4WD News April - June 2000
30 June 2000:
The GST comes into effect on 1 July.
It is quite likely that petrol prices will rise, a bit,
as the companies and the government face-off and try to make political
mileage out of the issue.
The Government claims prices should not rise, but that assumes a
1.5c/litre+/- saving from "other factors" which the
petrol companies dispute.
It is also the case that petrol prices often go up at weekends anyway.
29 June 2000: With a non-binding offer of $6.9 billion, Ford was selected as sole preferred bidder for Daewoo Motors beating GM and Daimler-Chrysler. After checks, the deal could be closed in late August.
26 June 2000:
Mercedes Benz will release the
S400 CDI sedan in Europe in July with a V8 diesel engine
(right, 184kW at 4000rpm, 560Nm at 1700rpm).
The diesel, has 4-valves per cylinder,
twin turbo-chargers, water-cooled intercooler,
water-cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR, reduces NOx formation),
common rail injection (per bank), aluminium heads and crankcase.
26 June 2000:
Daimler Chrysler is to take a 10% stake in
Motor Company for $A720 million.
50/50 commercial vehicle joint venture.
DaimlerChrysler, Hyundai Motor Co. & Mitsubishi Motor Co. will develop
& produce a range of world-class, high quality small cars in key
22 June 2000:
[trucks, British Columbia, Canada] has been laying-off guys for a few weeks
now. My neighbour was one. [The firm] got $2 million from BC (state)
Goverment. Intended to build new plant up the road.
The rumour then was that they were moving to the States (a new factory).
Two days ago, shares soared, then trading was suspended on the 19th.
Now it has leaked out that they have been trying to find a partner,
June 2000: There's trouble at t' mill in the UK where unions are deciding whether or not to strike in protest at Ford closing down its car assembly operations at Dagenham c2002. Ford wants to shift Fiesta production to Germany although Dagenham will specialise in diesel engines. There will be (further) significant job losses.
June 2000: The unofficial Scammell web site (it's in the links database) reports that the British Army has dropped Unipower and Foden from the short list to provide its new tank transporter, leaving Man and Oshkosh in the race [-M.R.].
June 2000: The Hyundai Santa Fe 4x4 went on sale in Korea. The Santa Fe has a V6 engine. Hyundai 4wd.sofcom.com --> hopes to sell 150,000 p.a. world-wide. [Thanks to Neil Linger]
19 June 2000:
We take a look at the G-Force
anti body 4wd.sofcom.com --> roll control suspension system by
the Auto Edge, Melbourne
17 - 18 June 2000: Only 4x2's but . . . the
24 hour race for sports cars takes place:
June 2000: Caltex (au) has a new ready-mixed, anti-corrosion radiator coolant said to give good protection against "highly mineralised water common in regional Australia"; South 4wd.sofcom.com --> Australia and Western Australia are singled out. The coolant is said to pass Australian and New Zealand standard AS/NZ 2108.1 1997 type B (wow!) for engine coolants.
June 2000: The RACV has produced its annual survey of running costs of various types of family transport to help you fill in your tax return - from next month onwards, joy! As usual, the RACV assumes a privately owned vehicle driven for 15,000km per year over five years. Costs include depreciation (the biggest item), interest, insurance, registration, RACV membership (!), fuel, tyres, service and repair. As you would expect, light cars are cheapest to run - from $93.09/week for the Hyundai Excel Sprint ($au). Large cars range from $153.92 per week for the Ford Falcon Forte to $164.06/week for the Toyota Camry Csi V6.a Large four wheel drives are represented by the Holden Jackaroo S $217.62/week, and the Mitsubishi Pajero GLX $209.83/week. The small 4WDs, Honda CRV, Subaru Forester, Suzuki Grand Vitara and Toyota RAV4, fall between medium and large cars in running costs. The big surprise is the people mover category, these vehicles costing approximately as much as the large 4WDs to run. It is always interesting how little part fuel plays in total running costs - usually about 20%.
June 2000: The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has a web page for input on their Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) management plan. Good page for off-roaders to check out. Might want to pass it along. - Alex Groza
June 2000: The new Porsche SUV (4x4), to be launched in 2002, will be called the Porsche Cayenne, i.e. it will be hot stuff? Porsche is hoping for annual world wide sales of over 25,000 units. The Cayenne "platform" is a joint development with VW.
June 2000: Honda Insight [small car with a hybrid engine] cracks UK fuel economy record. Honda's fuel-sipping Insight has broken a seven-year fuel economy record in the United Kingdom, achieving 2.75 litres per 100 kilometres or 102.65 miles per gallon [-Honda].
June 2000: The US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ranks vehicles in various categories by safety ratings: [www]. In the `mid-size utility vehicle' class, the 1999 - 2000 Mercedes Benz M-class is `a best pick' with `good' frontal offset crash test ratings for overall, structure, chest, leg/foot and restraint headings and `acceptable' for head/neck safety. The 1999 - 2000 (Toyota) Lexus RX300 (not available in .au) is also a best pick, with one `acceptable' heading, for structure, and the other frontal offset crash test headings `good'. The 1995 - 2000 Chevrolet Blazer / GMC Jimmy / Oldsmobile Bravada comes off badly with two `good', one `acceptable' and four `poor' headings. The 1967 - 1997 Toyota 4Runner and 1994 - 1998 Land Rover Discovery I come out best of the earlier designs.
10 June 2000: The Australian ski season officially opens, with snow! Drive carefully on the roads - the thought of the white stuff sometimes banishes common sense.
3 June 2000: Ski resorts in Victoria and New South Wales opened a week early - 4wd.sofcom.com --> with snow.
June 2000: Opposite Lock are opening a branch in Adelaide [more...].
June 2000: New on
Results / Ergebnisse MOHELNICE / CZ
TV-Dates on Eurosport 07/2000
30 May 2000: Most
seasonal 4x4 track closures,
in Victoria (au) that should have come into force on the
Thursday after the Queen's birthday weekend, i.e. 15 June 2000,
were brought forward as the bad weather blocked roads with snow and
fallen (c) ©
28 May 2000: Snow fell across the high,
and not so high, country in Victoria and New South Wales,
causing some traffic problems but bringing hopes of a good ski season.
28 May 2000: South Korea's Hyundai is still on shaky financial ground with the government issuing reassuring noises that H' won't fall in a heap (as Daewoo did) to try to calm investors.
May 2000: Ford will take control of Land Rover on 1 July. Bob Dover, currently chairman of Aston Martin Lagonda, will become chairman and chief executive. Land Rover will become part of Ford's `Premier Automotive Group' with Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lincoln and Volvo.
The 3rd London to Sydney Marathon rally starts on 3 June 2000.
Australian George Reynolds and Britain Andrew Garrod will be driving
a venerable 1968 Volvo 144S sedan in the 16,000km event.
The rally cars will be airlifted from Turkey to Thailand (too dangerous) and
from Malaysia to Darwin (too wet).
Reynolds competed in the original 1968 event and in the 25th anniversary
rally (1993). Reynolds, in the same car, finished the
1995 London-Mexico and 1997 Panama-Alaska rallies.
Five Volvos were entered in the 1968 London to Sydney rally - by
Bob Holden, Max Winkless, John Keran, Jack Forrest and Gerry Lister.
One crew of four women, led by Elsie Gadd won the ladies' trophy
in a Volvo 145S wagon.
Other Volvos entered in 2000 are
Andrew Gorrod (GB)/George Reynolds (Aus.), Volvo 144S,
Indey Singh-Milkhu (GB)/Jeet Singh-Milkhu (GB), Volvo 142S,
Jane James (GB)/Robert Stokoe (GB), Volvo 142S,
Ian North (GB)/Derek Parling (GB), Volvo 123GT,
Dennis Greenslade (GB)/Roger Bricknell (GB), Volvo 144S,
Christopher Yates (GB)/Tom Grace (GB),
26 May 2000: Truckies are blockading the Hume Highway, near Albury-Wadonga in their attempts to get improved minimum rates. police have been diverting traffic through back streets.
May 2000: Paynes Engineering of Witney, Oxfordshire, UK performs engine modification and reconditioning and has now developed an overdrive unit for Land Rover Discovery, and Defender 90 & 110 LT230T 5-speed transmissions; it bolts onto the back of the 'box. Fairey (~Superwinch) used to make similar gadgets for 4-speed "series" Rovers, and Toro(?) did also. The new overdrive "is powered by its own internal hydraulic system which is switched electrically". When engaged, it lowers road speed by 26%. An `enable' light comes on at a preset speed and the unit can be activated. It disengages automatically below this speed. A 16% to 18% improvement in fuel economy is claimed. Incidentally, Payne also makes overdrives for classic Rolls Royces and Bentleys.
24 May 2000:
is carrying out a promotional tour,
Odyssey 2000, around Australia.
"The Odyssey 2000 cavalcade comprises two Western Star
prime movers, one powered by a Cummins Signature 600hp engine,
the other featuring a Detroit Diesel at 500 hp.
Both vehicles will be available for driver evaluation by appointment."
20 May 2000: The US
de Sol road rally for electric and
other environmentally friendly forms of propulsion is over.
competed in the production class, one carrying off first place,
A General Motors' EV1 was second and
Daimler Chrysler EPIC minivans came in 8th and 9th.
The EPIC was the winner of the "Consumer Acceptability Award."
19 May 2000: The Land Rover Owner (LRO) (e)mailing list marks its 10th anniversary [more...]
May 2000: Global Gypsies
the Western Australian based 4wd travel company sends in
news of its current 4wd safari program.
The company runs tag-along and hire-4wd trips,
both self catering and fully catered throughout Australia.
7 day dolphin adventure (WA),
9 day Perth - Alice Springs,
7 day S.W. Forests,
20 day Perth to Sydney.
The company also runs African 4wd trips:
12 day Victoria Falls (au$1665 p/p twin-share + $2955 vehicle),
20 day Jahannesburg to Cape Town (au$ 3234 p/p twin-share, +$5275 vehicle):
May 2000: Subaru (au) have a limited edition of the RX Impreza (right) at au$28K (and it's black not yellow).
11th - 15th May 2000:
Blinman 2000 Land Rover Jamboree on this weekend.
Series One Convoy from Adelaide to Blinman (in the Flinders Ranges).
This event draws Land Rover owners and their vehicles
from every state and territory in Australia.
10 May 2000: Jeep (au) reports that Robert Emmins drove his Jeep Grand Cherokee (right) into first plce in the A1.2 standard production class of the Condo 750 (Condobolin) offroad race. Bronwyn Hymphrey was co-driver.
May 2000: The order [has been] confirmed for build No.FSV 201 the first production 6x6 Firebex, this vehicle will be a diesel. FSV 202 is expected to be confirmed mid June thereafter it is intended to schedule confirmation orders at intervals of one per month until January then increasing to two body shell orders per month. (Unless projected demand is more than initially expected). It is also anticipated that Build No.101 will only stay on demonstration and development for at the most 6 months before being replaced by a different variant - Mike Eastman
May 2000: Yamaha is rumoured to be on the verge of putting the world's second(?) production two wheel drive motor-cycle on sale (also see the US built Rokon 2x2 cross-country motor-cycle). The new 2x2 system could appear in a road bike or a trail bike.
1 May 2000: President Clinton announced that the US would stop the intentional degredation of Global Positioning System (GPS) signals available to the general public at midnight. GPS was originally a military system, the signals being slightly degraded, called selective availability (SA), so that civilians and "others" could not derive quite such accurate position fixes as the military. This had been rather overtaken by events - using multiple signals and a base station some civilian units could in fact undo the SA distortions. Also, the tremendous growth in numbers of civilian GPS units simply changed priorities. But note, "we have demonstrated the capability to selectively deny GPS signals on a regional basis when our [US] national security is threatened."
May 2000: Mitsubishi recently announced 600 "voluntary" job losses at its South Australian factory. It is maintaining a stiff upper lip, saying that it will continue to build the Magna sedan in Australia. The real question mark hangs over the next model that will be required in a (very) few years and will take a big investment. Australia hardly justifies four car manufacturers - GM Holden, Ford, Toyota and Mitsubishi - and the GST, tarrif changes, growing "grey" imports etc. add uncertainty. Even Ford grumbles from time to time, usually at budget or election time, about the economics of special Australian models. Australians love big rear wheel drive cars (Commodore and Falcon) although the front wheel drive Magna would be the more likely market leader in almost any other country. The Magna is about to get squeezed by the Toyota Avalon (front wheel drive, bigger than the Camry) to go on sale soon. Hints of a manufacturer about to pull-out can also hurt sales because no one wants to own an orphan. Add to this possible changes brought about by Daimler Chrysler buying a controlling share of Mitsubishi. (Ironically Mitsubishi's S.A. plant used to be Chrysler's.) So Mitsubishi au is in limbo at the moment; it could turn out very well if the new Pajero is a hit and Daimler Chrysler & Mitsubishi do something imaginative with the S.A. plant, or it could all fade away.
May 2000: General Motors (GM), Ford and possibly other car makers are expected to enter bids for the Korean manufacturer, Daewoo, later this month.
28 April 2000:
FT.com reports that the magic has stopped working for
Alchemy which has dropped out of the running
to buy Rover from BMW.
27 April 2000: There is heavy flooding in north Queensland but the cyclone threat has eased and rivers are expected to start to fall tomorrow.
25 April 2000: AB Volvo will exchange 15% of its shares for 100% of Renault's truck business `Renault V.I. / Mack', forming the largest truck builder in Europe. Volvo sold its car division to Ford last year and had been in a buying mood attempting to buy Scania - blocked by the E.C..
April 2000: Suzuki Australia has taken control of marketing in New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Strange to say, Suzuki distribution was not nationally based and coordinated (still not sure about Qld?) with models often coming in at slightly different prices and slightly different spec's in different states.
2000: Ford may stop mass production of cars at Dagenham, UK. This would be a big blow to the country and to the Blair government, especially given the Rover mess. Is it a ploy?
25 April 2000: Anzac Day brought out record numbers for marches around Australia. The prime minister, John Howard, took part in a service at a new memorial at the site of the landings in Turkey.
April 2000: Renault SA of France has agreed to buy the Korean car maker Samsung.
April 2000: The Nissan GU Patrol gains a new 3-litre 4-cylinder turbo-charged & intercooled diesel engine and looses the 2.8 turbo' and 4.2 unboosted diesel options.
19 April 2000:
Tropical Cyclone Rosita crossed the coast of
near Broome bringing heavy rain to the N.W..
16 April 2000: The west-bound `Domain' tunnel of CityLink joining the Southern-Link toll-way cum Monash free-way with the Westgate free-way opened on Sunday (Melbourne, au). The tunnel will be free for a couple of weeks. The east-bound tunnel will not open for some months.
15 April 2000: Although Opec has increased production and crude prices have fallen from about US$34/barrel to below $28, Venezuela warns that Opec will cut production of the price drops to the low $20+something level. (At the start of last year, prices were as low as they had been for a long time at ~$12.)
14 April 2000: John Towers, a former Rover chief exec' has put in a bid for Rover (cars) to BMW, but Alchemy still has the front running. Towers also wants the new Mini, but BMW plans to keep that.
April 2000: The RACV reports on the results of crash tests
3 April 2000: Tropical cyclone Tessi crossed the Queensland coast near Townsville ... heavy rain, flooding.
1 April 2000: Although Opec has decided to raise oil production, some analysts believe that the increase is not enough to meet demand and that Australian petrol prices may yet reach $1.00/litre.
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