Friday, 11 December 2009


PEUGEOT SAYS: On 25 November 2009, the Euro NCAP car safety performance assessment programme awarded its maximum five-star overall rating to six PSA Peugeot Citroën vehicles for the most recent reporting period.

The all-new Peugeot 5008 and Citroën DS3 were both tested for the first time.

Other models include the Citroën C5 and C4 Picasso and the Peugeot 308 and 308 CC. Euro NCAP based its findings on test results published in previous years while also taking into account the integration of electronic stability and speed limitation systems, which are included in the programme’s new protocol. The Euro NCAP rating confirms the superior performance of Peugeot and Citroën vehicles since these four vehicles still receive the maximum five stars despite the introduction of a stricter protocol in 2009.

This outstanding accomplishment attests to the ongoing commitment of PSA Peugeot Citroën teams to cleaner, safer, more responsible mobility.

Thursday, 10 December 2009


MAHWAH, N.J., December 8, 2009 – Jaguar Land Rover North America announced today that Jaguar and Land Rover brands has achieved the 1st and 5th highest scores respectively in the industry for customer sales satisfaction in J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) StudySM. 

Jaguar is the highest scoring brand in the study for the second consecutive year, and the recipient of the inaugural Luxury brand award. Land Rover is ranked fifth among luxury brands in the study.

The study is a comprehensive analysis of the new-vehicle purchase experience and is based on responses from over 48,000 owners and lessees of new vehicles registered in May and June of 2009. Overall customer satisfaction is measured based on five factors: dealership facility; salesperson; paperwork/finance process; delivery process; and vehicle price.

"Jaguar and Land Rover dealers deserve individual and collective praise for delivering such a superb shopping and buying process for our customers," said Gary Temple, President, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC. "The top goals of this organization are to deliver world class quality products to our customers with a world class dealership sales and service experience. These high rankings out of 37 brands in the industry coupled with recent dependability and customer service accolades show all of our efforts towards these goals are paying off."

Wednesday, 9 December 2009


Europe’s biggest car manufacturer Volkswagen has bought itself a 19.9% stake in Suzuki Motors of Japan. At the same time Suzuki will use up to half of the money received from VW to buy up VW shares. The German automaker said in a statement that synergies between the two companies were apparent and that the deal is a long-term strategic one.

VW and Suzuki while being different, also have overlapping products. These include the Tiguan and Grand Vitara, Jetta and the new Kizashi, and the Polo with the Swift. Suzuki has a great foothold in the fast-growing India market where, through its Maruti Suzuki venture, it commands a 50% market share. Of course cars are not its only forte; it also makes motorbikes, marine auto solutions and all-terrain-vehicles (ATVs).

The industry seems to be winding down and pretty soon we should see a few major giants. Recent marriages include Fiat / Chrysler, VW/ Porsche, while Mitsubishi Motors and PSA Peugeot Citroën are also talking courtship. The longest-lasting so far is the Renault/ Nissan alliance forged back in 1999.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne says history can repeat itself as far as he is concerned. He was speaking to the Council for the United States and Italy in Washington where he said him turning Chrysler around would be no miracle but simply a commitment “to the execution of a few strong and precise choices that will trigger rapid change.” Three years ago he saved Fiat from a certain industry death.

Marchionne, who is also CEO of Fiat, will attempt to do what Renault/ Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn did which is to turn around two near-bankruptcy companies. Chrysler was already gone through all that and now needs extensive work to make things tick again. The charismatic Italian reckons him and his team are up to the task.

Under his belt are the brands Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep among others. I agree with Serge “Houdini”; Chrysler CAN be cured. But the only way to do it is to turn the company into a Mercedes-Benz. Laugh if you want but a high-quality premium Chrysler would make serious money. Think of it as a Lexus trying to be a BMW. Audi was in the same space 15 years ago and look where they are today. Jeep needs to go the Land Rover route, that is to say improve design, quality and customer service. Sceptics might argue that Alfa Romeo, Fiat’s premium brand, is still not competitive with the Germans so how can Chrysler? It’s a valid question but the main difference is that Alfa is largely niche and concentrated in Europe whereas Chrysler is a true international brand. More importantly Chrysler is American which gives it a major head start in terms of a sales footprint. Unfortunately Dodge doesn’t have much of a future unless it turns itself into a Volkswagen by going mass-market. Again, new high quality products would be needed, and fast.

Chrysler needs new, premium and great quality cars to compete head-on with the Germans. Anything less will not work, regardless of what Serdini says.


Let the games begin and never end! The all-new, long awaited Pajero Sport has just officially been released in South Africa, and whether you’re cruising through the city, or trying to get out of it, you can rest assured that this stylishly adventurous set of wheels has you covered!

And who ever said you couldn’t have it all? The Pajero Sport has no problem combining beautiful style and refined practicality, going above and beyond the ability to go anywhere and do anything, no matter where your journey may take you. Tested on the world’s toughest rally route, Dakar, the technology used to design the Pajero Sport is strong enough to keep on going no matter how rough the treatment. Whilst this rugged set of wheels is always game for even the toughest of adventures, its luxurious interior and spacious design guarantees that every journey is reassuringly comfortable.

Looking for more power and improved fuel efficiency? With a 3.2L diesel engine, the Pajero Sport delivers an impressive 120Kw at 3500-rpm output. Moving from tarmac to dust at 100km/h is as easy as changing gear; due to its unique Super Select 4WD with powerful 4-speed automatic transmission. In fact, the Pajero Sport GLS even makes tricky manoeuvring easy, thanks to an incredibly tight 5.6m turning radius.

But best of all, safety is always first… Behind the wheel of this sporty sensation, the world is your playing field, with all the safety gear to keep you and everyone joining you on your adventure in good hands. In addition to all the regular features like airbags, ABS and EBD (electronic brake-force distribution) to ensure fast, skid-free stops, this vehicle also offers RISE, a built-in safety system which stands for Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution. High tensile steel in key locations, combined with an extra-rigid frame of beams and supports, all of which directs impact away from the interior in the event of an accident.

With a design geared to leave you breathless, and toughness destined to conquer any terrain, it is safe to say that the new generation of 4X4 thinking has arrived… Will you be part of it?

Monday, 7 December 2009


On a very different note…
Gone is the chopped-off rear end and in is the new more rounded look at the back. I quite liked the old look actually, unorthodox as it was, it gave the Megane character that rivals just didn’t have. Of course it wasn’t everyone’s cuppa but it certainly was mine.