Media post: Toyota Australia Reports Surprising Profit in Midst of 2017 Factory Shutdown

Toyota Camry

Image: Last “man” standing, what’s now for Toyota Australia?. Image credit:

Shortly after announcing the shutdown of its factory in Australia in 2017, Toyota Australia reported an after-tax profit of $194 million for the year. At first glance, the hefty profit makes a complete shutdown of production in The Land of Plenty seem like a questionable move on Toyota’s part, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. The reality is that most of the costs of the shutdown in 2017 were attributed to last year, a year in which Toyota reported a staggering after-tax loss of $437 million.

In addition to the tremendous loss last year, Toyota’s Australian manufacturing operation has ended up in the red in four of the previous six years. Despite significant government funding to keep the Toyota factory afloat, with the average taxpayer forking over $922 per car built, Toyota has lost nearly $2 billion in the last 10 years. And although factory executives have worked hard over the years to cut the manufacturing cost of each car by nearly $4,000, it’s still more cost-effective to import cars than produce them locally.


Government policy has also played a major role in the reduction of domestic car production. Where the Australian market used to be one of the most protected in the world, it is now one of the least protected. Import duties were reduced dramatically beginning in the 1980s and are currently at just 3.5%. Not only that, but a strong Australian dollar in recent years has made importing cars even cheaper. Another major driving force of Toyota’s inevitable demise is the high level of competition in the Australian car market, a market in which 60 brands compete for a little over 1 million sales.

Manufacturers throughout the Local industry are feeling the effects of this downward trend caused by high labour costs combined with the high level of market saturation, as Ford and Holden announced last year that they will close their factories as well. So after being a fixture in the Australian economy for over 100 years, vehicle manufacturing is on its way out the door.

The factory closure will put Toyota’s 2500 employees out of work, but the advanced warning gives them 2 years to retrain and learn new skills in another chosen field—something that Toyota is actively taking the initiative to help them do. The average employee at the Toyota facility, which is located in Altoona Victoria, has worked there for 15 years. And amazingly, the longest tenured employee has been working at the factory for 42 years.

Despite the crushing news they recently received, Toyota says that their workforce is determined to see it through and keep working until the closure. Australia was the first to manufacture Toyota vehicles outside of Japan in 1968, so the factory closure will mark the end of 49 years of local production. Although Australia is experiencing a rising standard of living, there is some concern that the country’s quickly vanishing car manufacturing industry combined with the rising cost of living will recessionary pressures and put more financial strain on the average family.

However, the optimistic view is that eliminating an uncompetitive local industry will benefit the economy and improve affordability in the long run. And since every cars will eventually be coming from overseas, more people may turn to alternative sourcing methods such as grey importing for possible better deals and more variant options, especially when it comes to rare cars that exceed the luxury tax threshold.

About the Author: Tim Marsh is an inborn entrepreneur with a strong passion to assist individuals and companies to secure the best outcome for their motor vehicle purchases. With over 9 years in the motor industry, he has helped thousands of clients to find their ideal cars and car insurance, saving them thousands of dollars in the process. Tim is also an avid blogger for his two websites and and other automotive websites. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter to check out his latest articles.

Media Post: Finding a Fixer-Upper – 5 Essential Lessons Before Buying a Project Car

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It is never-endingly useful to know about cars: You can diagnose your own car troubles, save money by self-servicing, and make mods that make you happy. Unfortunately, before you can know about cars, you have to learn about them, and that means you have to practice. Perhaps the best experience you can get is by working on your very own project car — but not everyone has a broken-down clunker in their backyard.

1. Know Your Budget

As with anything you buy, you must know for certain that you can afford your project car before you put down any money. The most fun fixer-upper cars cost between $1,000 and $4,000; anything less and you might never get your vehicle running, and anything more and you will be paying too much for a good paintjob.

Of course, a project car is much more expensive than the initial wheels and chassis: ideally it will need engine work, interior renewal, some paint, and a handful of aftermarket mods to make it satisfying to drive. Every car will have different needs, so when you find a few options you like, you should do some rough calculations to understand what you are likely to spend on the project. Undoubtedly, you will spend more when you encounter unexpected obstacles, but the initial estimate will restrict you to projects that are truly within your price range.

I’d love to say that improving a car is a good investment that will give you not only joy but financial rewards — but the truth is that project cars usually don’t provide much of a return. No matter how beautiful your fixer-upper looks and sounds when you finish your project, you will likely be its final owner, so you should go wild with personal touches you will enjoy.

2. Know Your Needs

Because you will ultimately be driving this car, you should primarily consider your transportation needs when you select a make and model to work on. Just as you would hesitate to purchase a brand-new car if it were too similar to the vehicles you already own — buying a second SUV usually doesn’t make sense, as does having more than one hybrid crossover — you should think twice about adding a possibly redundant project vehicle to your fleet. When your project car will serve a purpose, like a pick-up truck or a sports car, you will have more motivation to complete it and drive it with pride.

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3. Know Your Wants

Then again, utility is rarely the true inspiration for working on a fixer-upper; more often, gearheads pick up a clunker to transform it into the car of their dreams. You can actually build the car you’ve always wanted, so you should take advantage of this opportunity to make your car as loud, fast, and fearsome as you please — within reason. While you are creating your budget, you should research the automobile features you’ve always envied to discover what parts you need for your fantasy ride. If you are totally new to car mechanics, you might be surprised to learn how simple parts affect the entire system, like this TBO Sports exhaust elbow. Any car can be transformed to fit your dreams, as long as you know what you want.

4. Know Your Limits

A project car is incredibly daunting when you are unexperienced, and nearly every repair will seem unfathomably complex. However, before you buy a car, you should consider what tasks are too far out of a beginner’s reach. There are plenty of jobs that even the most veteran mechanics cannot or will not do; most of them are aesthetic concerns like paint and upholstery, but some issues are simply too insidious to tackle, such as holes in the engine block. Before you start, you should understand what you can and cannot fix to prevent undue frustration and help you budget for outside aid.

5. Know Your Mentors

Even armed with wrench and ratchet, you will not be able to make any progress on your project car unless you have guidance from a time-tested expert. Whether you watch car videos online, troll forums for helpful advice, or foster a relationship with a knowledgeable neighbor, you must have a resource for step-by-step instructions. Fortunately, most gearheads are overwhelmingly supportive and caring, so finding mentors you trust should be the easiest step of all.


Media post: Hyundai “Control the Light”

HTRAC is Hyundai’s intelligent all-wheel drive power management system, which dynamically distributes power to each wheel in order to optimise traction and safety. It is currently available exclusively on the 2015 3.8L V6 Genesis, shown in this video. HTRAC distributes power according to road surface traction, but also according to drive mode. Two drive modes exist, Normal and Sport. Normal mode distributes power to optimise torque traction, in order to achieve the best traction possible on any given road surface, including extreme snowy conditions. Sport mode is more about fun and performance, allocating all or most of the power to the rear wheels.
Unlike the mechanical four-wheel-drive systems already introduced by countless other brands, HTRAC variably controls the braking power of the left and right wheels. It can change the amount of power allowed when driving on ice or other road conditions, as well as the speed of the car, for a next-generation four-wheel-drive system that delivers stable driving on slippery roads and when cornering.

Media post: 4 Things to do When Purchasing a Car

Car purchase. Picture courtesy

Buying a car is usually an exciting event, especially if it’s your first. It’s easy to get caught up in the flurry of the occasion, though, and forget to cover all the essentials points. This could end in you getting a bad deal or ending up with a vehicle you can’t use.

Check these following things when you are buying a car to reduce the risk and get the most from your new vehicle.

Match the names and numbers

When you are considering purchasing a specific car, check that all the names and numbers are in order. Compare the name of the seller and the name on the registration of the vehicle, and make sure they relate to each other. Also check the identification numbers on the car and ensure they align with what’s on the registration. This will help you feel confident that the person is authorised to sell a vehicle that is, in fact, theirs to sell, and that the car you get is the one being transferred to your name.

Do a PPSR search

The Personal Properties Security Register (PPSR) is a helpful online tool. It lists properties and debts secured against them, so by checking this prior to handing over any money, you can rest assured there are no current debts that are using the car as security. If you’re looking for extra help with the register, companies like GlobalX Legal Solutions have helpful software to help users navigate it. Click here to find out more.


Don’t take the seller’s offer at face value. Despite your enthusiasm, do the research and feel confident in your knowledge of the true value of the car. If you’re already getting a good deal, great! Just be sure you get the relevant mechanical checks done. Otherwise, negotiate the price down to something that is fair. If you have put the effort in to the research, you can walk into the negotiation and stand firm on what you know is a suitable offer.

Check contracts, receipts and other documents

Look over all documentation with a critical eye, and enlist an extra pair of eyes if you can. Make sure that there’s no sneaky tricks in the contract, and look for signatures everywhere they are needed. Receipts should have your name, the date of purchase, the amount paid, the vehicle’s identifying numbers and the seller’s licence, name and signature.

There’s many other things that you should aware of – be sure to get hold of all keys for the vehicle, the service or log books and any extra device manuals.

Don’t let your good judgement be overcome by the stress or excitement of buying a car. Do your research, know what you want in a vehicle and stand firm when it comes time to negotiate, and you are much more likely to come out on the better side of the deal.

Have you recently bought a car? Did you encounter any challenges, or was it an easy process?

Media post: The Top 5 Secrets to Get a Cheaper Auto Insurance

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If you are planning to buy a new car and wondering about buying the right car insurance, you should know that there are multiple options available with a varied range of costing. While your age, gender and previous claims are factors that are out of your hands when it comes to influencing premium rates, there are many ways you can lower your premium and increase your savings. We bring you the top 5 secrets that will make you an informed customer and help you reduce your premium bills on motor insurance:

1. Compare Thoroughly

The policies and premium rates can vary by hundreds or even thousands of Dirhams. With the internet, it can become extremely easy to get multiple quotes from different insurance companies. The best way to lower your premium is to do a thorough research and comparison of various policies.

2. Choose a Low-Risk Car

While it may be really tempting to buy the latest fancy model in town, think about the additional costs associated with it. Insurance companies will charge you premiums based on previous claims made for the car’s model. If the car is more likely to be stolen or is highly accident prone, you might end up spending a lot more money than expected.

3. Opt For an Anti-Theft Device

Vehicles with an anti-theft device are less likely to be stolen and in worse case, can be found easily. Many car companies offer an alarm system along with your car. If not, choose to set up your own device for the safety of your car. This will also help in reducing your premium amounts as insurance companies will consider this as a safety net for your vehicle.

4. Consolidate All Your Policies with One Company

If you own more than one car, you can get a multiple-car discount with an insurance company. Also, it helps if you buy all your policies including home, health, life and car with a single company as you can get a multi-line discount in your premiums.

5. Drop Your Collision Coverage If It Is an Old Car

If your car is getting older, you might want to think about dropping the collision coverage in your policy. However, this should be a well-thought decision wherein you weigh the value of your car with the cost of the coverage and deductibles. If the deductible is as much as the value of your car, the coverage won’t be worth anything, and it will only add to your expenses.

The right knowledge and information can actually help you save a lot of money on your auto insurance premiums. Before you buy your car, make sure you check all the possible options of insurance so that you can save as much as possible.

Drive Safe!

Media post: 3 simple steps to avoid car-value depreciation


It is not unknown that cars lose value from the moment they are driven out of the showroom. Depreciation is a phenomenon that every car undergoes and is a number that varies with an array of factors ranging from age to maintenance of the vehicle. On an average however, cars are believed to lose about 60% of their value over a period of 3 years that boils down to 20% on an annual basis. Typically, the rate of depreciation reduces with age but is largely dependent on the make and model of the vehicle. Whether you intend to buy a used car or are simply looking to limit value loss of your car on account of depreciation, here are a few pointers how you can do it.

1. Good Maintenance

One of the best ways of minimizing depreciation of your vehicle is keeping it in good health. This loosely translates into ensuring that your car is looked after on a regular basis. It is essential that a car is serviced according to prescribed company timelines and repairs are undertaken without undue delay. A fully accountable dealer service history commands much more value than you think. Maintaining the exterior of the vehicle is just as important in creating indemnity against loss of value. The existence of scars, dents and worn off paint is sure to pull down the value of your vehicle irrespective of how well the vehicle has been serviced and taken care of.

2. Go for a Used Car

A marvel strategy, usually adopted by many dealerships is to pick out cars that are barely a year old. Being relatively new, these cars lose their highest rate and a good amount of depreciation within a year of purchase and usually come with fully serviced records. It is quite improbable that the car would have travelled a large distance within such a short span of time and therefore, qualifies as one of the best strategies in reducing the rate of depreciation of a vehicle. With the limited disadvantage of not driving away in a brand new car, you can sure get yourself a deal like none other.

3. Keep it simple

Simplicity is often the best way to go and cars are no exception to this rule. Technology is fast growing and in as far as automobiles are concerned, the more classic and simple the vehicle, the better the price it commands. Accessorising your car with state-of-the-art technology does not guarantee indemnity against loss of value. You may have bought a car two years back and installed an advanced navigation system – an accessory that cost you a good amount of money. Today however, most vehicles come with an in-built navigation system causing you to lose out on your rather expensive investment. Therefore, installing advanced music systems, trays and holders and even painting your car with an unusual colour may not help in protecting your asset against depreciation.

Full Year 2014: Four markets updated with more data

Lexus NX300h Italy 2014. Picture courtesy of largus.frItaly has now been updated with a Top 285 ranking, revealing the Lexus NX at #183.

* See Full Year 2014 Reports for 133 markets worldwide here *

Four European markets have now been updated with a lot more detailed models data. The direct links to the articles are below:

Austria has now been updated with the Top 300 models (replacing the Top 20)

Austria Full Year 2014: VW Golf leads, Hyundai i20 on podium

Italy has been updated with the Top 285 models (replacing the Top 150):

Italy Full Year 2014: Podium 100% Fiat for the 2nd time in 15 years

Poland has been updated with the Top 305 model (replacing the Top 50):

Poland Full Year 2014: Skoda Octavia reclaims top spot

Slovenia has been updated with the Top 265 models (replacing the Top 100):

Slovenia Full Year 2014: Renault Clio leads, Captur up to #5

Media Post: Car Giant celebrates BMW infographic

Cargiant BMW Infographic - Section 1

BMW, the German can manufacturer that was founded all the way back in 1916, has grown into a monumental brand name that is recognisable almost anywhere in the world. BMW are most renowned for the creation of high performance cars and motorbikes, but most people might not realise that they also build jet engines as well as designing the interiors of airplanes!

Nowadays, BMW have created new hybrid cars that they see as a big part of the future of car manufacturing, this emphasis on electric cars is echoed in their achievement in becoming official vehicle partners of the FIA Formula E Championship. For the near future, BMW have taken aspects from their i3 and i8 brands and implanted them into their 2016 BMW 7 Series to even further prove their commitment to cleaner energy.

Take a look at this infographic below that Cargiant, the world’s largest used car supermarket, created on the history of BMW.