Sikkens Acoat® and AAMI sign for IBIS Australia

IBIS Australia 2008 has begun to attract top companies as major sponsors, with the first two being Sikkens Acoat® selected and the insurance giant AAMI. Sikkens Acoat® selected was the first of what is expected to be a string of significant company sponsors associated with the body repair industry in Australia, which are all in negotiation at the moment.


Holden Announces New Chairman & Managing Director

Mike Devereux, 44, has been named Chairman and Managing Director of GM Holden, effective immediately. Joining Holden from his previous position of President and Managing Director of GM Middle East Operations, based in Dubai, Devereux succeeds Alan Batey, 46, who has been appointed Vice-President of Sales and Service for Chevrolet in the United States

Joining Holden from his previous position of President and Managing Director of GM Middle East Operations, based in Dubai, Devereux succeeds Alan Batey, 46, who has been appointed Vice-President of Sales and Service for Chevrolet in the United States.

Tim Lee, President of GM International Operations, said Devereux’s diverse, global experience and passion for cars made him ideally suited to lead Holden in Australia and New Zealand.

“Recent leaders such as Mark Reuss and Alan Batey have set a very high benchmark in dedication to the people and products that define the famous Holden brand – and Mike will be no exception,” Lee said.

“Coupled with an absolute passion for cars, Mike brings rare experience across almost every area of the automotive business including manufacturing, product development and senior management roles in GM’s international operations, marketing, sales and aftersales including the then newly formed e-Business group.

“Mike’s most recent outstanding work in the Middle East, which has traditionally been an important export market for Holden, makes him a strong advocate for his new home and the historical brand even before he steps on Australian soil,” he said.

Devereux’s career with General Motors has spanned 26 years in Canada, United States and the Middle East. He first joined the company in 1984 as an engineering co-op student as part of the St. Catharines Engine and Foundry Complex within GM of Canada, in Ontario.

He joined GM’s Service Parts Operations International group in 1989 working in product development and sales, followed by the role of launch manager for the 2000 Cadillac DeVille and in subsequent director positions in e-Business and the Global Sales, Service and Marketing Organisation.

Born in Great Britain, Devereux moved to Toronto with his family as a child. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from the GMI Engineering & Management Institute and a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University.



Toyota Outsells GM Worldwide

TOKYO (Reuters) — Toyota Motor Corp. outsold General Motors by around 90,000 vehicles in the first quarter, moving a step closer to unseating its US rival as the world’s biggest automotive manufacturer.
Toyota has been widely expected to challenge 99-year-old GM this year for the top spot in global sales — a position the Detroit behemoth has held for 76 years — but the milestone came surprisingly early, industry watchers said.

Both companies reported record sales for January-March, but Japan’s top car manufacturer inched past GM as it ate into the US group’s market share on its home turf.
Toyota, manufacturer of the Camry sedan — the United States’ most popular car — said today its global vehicle sales rose nine per cent to 2.35 million units in the quarter. The tally includes cars sold under the Lexus luxury brand and the youth-oriented Scion badge, as well as vehicles from units Daihatsu and Hino.
GM, which sells cars and trucks under a dozen brands including Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Opel, Saab and Holden, sold 2.26 million units during the same period, for a three per cent rise.
Toyota has won fans around the world with affordable cars seen as reliable, durable and fuel-efficient, while GM continued to rely heavily on high-margin but gas-guzzling vehicles to pull it out of financial difficulties.
To keep up with soaring demand, Toyota is adding production capacity in almost every corner of the globe, from San Antonio, Texas, to St. Petersburg, Russia, with an internal goal of taking 15 per cent of the global car market by 2010.
GM estimated its share in the first quarter at 13 per cent, down one-tenth of a percentage point from a year ago.
This year, Toyota has plans to sell 9.34 million vehicles as a group, up six per cent from 2006. GM does not provide a global sales forecast.
The breakneck pace of growth, however, has presented some hiccups for Toyota in recent years as vehicle recalls climbed to record levels.
Last year Toyota recalled more than a million vehicles in Japan and 760,000 in the United States, raising concerns that the company was stretching itself too thin too fast.
After a series of high-profile recalls including a legal probe into past recall practices, President Katsuaki Watanabe publicly vowed last year to step up Toyota’s quality vigilance, assigning two executive vice presidents to oversee the effort.
While sales volume is the most common yardstick for a car manufacturer’s size, Toyota dwarfs its rival in almost every other measure. Its market capitalization, at $225 billion, is more than 12 times that of GM’s.
Toyota expects to post a net profit of US$13 billion (1.55 trillion yen) for the business year ended last month, probably more than any Japanese company, while GM is struggling to make money. It lost US$3 billion in 2006 and US$12 billion the year before.



Automechanika Asia Opens Thursday 29 March 2007

Automechanika Asia opens on Thursday, 29 March at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC), Malaysia’s most modern exhibition facility. Featuring over 150 exhibitors from 18 countries & regions, the fair will provide an overview of auto parts & components, accessories & tuning products, and repair & maintenance equipment available in the global marketplace. As the ASEAN region’s leading business forum for the automotive OE and aftermarket sector, Automechanika Asia has attracted some of the top names in the industry for 2007, including


Å koda Australian Launch Confirmed for 2007

After much speculation and with great anticipation, it is confirmed that the Å koda automotive brand is returning to Australia and will commence selling cars in the Australian Market in the latter part of 2007.


Hyundai Approves PPG For Its Refinish Programme

The Hyundai Motor Company has named PPG an approved aftermarket supplier for its new “Hyundai Global Body and Paint Programme.” As part of the agreement, PPG will provide its PPG and Nexa Autocolor refinish brands, including the popular Envirobase and Aquabase Waterborne Basecoat Systems Global, Deltron, and 2K lines, to Hyundai dealerships and their authorized repair partners.


Messe Frankfurt Launches Automechanika Roma

Automechanika Roma, Italy’s International Trade Fair for Automotive Parts, Equipment and Service Suppliers, will have its debut from 31 January to 3 February 2008. Thus, Messe Frankfurt is adding another automotive trade fair in Europe alongside the main fair in Germany as well as Automechanika Moscow, Auto+Automechanika St. Petersburg and Automechanika Istanbul.



Euro NCAP is delighted to release the results for its highest scoring car in adult occupant protection since Euro NCAP was established over 10 years ago. The Nissan Qashqai, (to be know in Australia as the Dualis) a small family car, received almost maximum points in Euro NCAP’s strict front, side impact and pole crash tests as well as a high performance score in the child occupant protection rating.


5-Star For Polo, 4-Star For Camry Hybrid & GWM SUV

While the new VW Polo scored the top ranking 5-star ANCAP rating in new results released yesterday, Australia’s newest hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Camry Hybrid, scored a 4-star safety rating as did the Great Wall Motors (GWM) X240 SUV.
ANCAP Chair, Lauchlan McIntosh, said “the 4-star result for Camry – which is the first of the environmentally-friendly vehicles to come off Toyota’s Australian production line – was the same result as the Camry tested by ANCAP in 2007”.