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Automotive industry news round-up


Exclusive Jaguars arrived in New Zealand


Three on the tree

New Zealand has been able to get three of 150 Jaguar XKR Portfolio series cars and the importer considers itself lucky to get that many.

“These cars are very exclusive models with limited worldwide availability,” said Wallis Dumper, MD of Motorcorp Distributors.

The Jaguar XKR Portfolios come in time for Christmas buying in Celestial Black, with polished aluminium body power vents, 20 inch polished Cremona alloy wheels, a high performance braking system with 400mm front discs and 350mm rear discs.

Two cars have engine-spun alloy interiors with warm charcoal leather upholstery while the other has a more traditional Satin American Walnut veneer interior with ivory leather upholstery.

If you have to ask the price you can’t afford it, but try $254,990.

Get on with life, says MTA

It’s time to kiss, make up and get on with the job suggests The Motor Trade Association (MTA) as the Vehicle Emissions Rule continues to be attacked.

Says chief executive Stephen Matthews: “It is now time to move away from agonizing over the inevitable passing of older diesel imports, and to focus on furthering responsible environmental initiatives such as in-service emissions testing, corrective action via vehicle servicing and maintenance, and the culling of older polluting vehicles from the national vehicle fleet.”

He said that the industry consultation process conducted for the new regulations was robust and productive. “It was inevitable that new standards would be applied.”

Kitty will give you a call

Chevrolet says it has the answer for everyone who forgets just where they parked the car. KITTY (Key Innovation That Talks to You) is a handbag-sized remote-controlled talking alert that lets your car shout a personalised message to its forgetful owner. It has a range of nearly 200m and is being real-life tested right now.

Dodge would keep on truckin

Chrysler is said to be considering grouping all of its passenger cars under the Chrysler name. Dodge would only offer trucks, Jeep dealers would carry on as before. The move would simplify the lineup, but could mean elimination of up to 1000 North American dealers.

It’s being considered as part of owner Cerberus’ determination to return to profitability by 2009.

US gains its own ground

Japanese brands accounted for nearly half the models in the US Consumer Reports magazine’s latest roster of vehicles winning the highest praise from their owners.

Toyota was tops, with 10 of the 39 vehicles whose owners said in overwhelming numbers that they would buy the same model again. However, US-made vehicles gained ground for the first time in five years in the important family car category, where the V6 Ford Fusion and Saturn Aura won high marks.

Auto Trader New Zealand