A substantial car industry was created in Australia in the 20th century through the opening of Australian plants by international manufacturers. The first major carmaker was Ford Australia and the first Australian-designed mass production car was manufactured by Holden in 1948. Australian manufacture of cars rose to a maximum of almost half a million in the 1970s (10th place in the World) and still exceeded 400,000 in 2004. Australia was best known for the design and production of 'large' sized passenger vehicles. By 2009 total production had fallen to around 175,000 and the Australian market was dominated by cars imported from Asia and Europe.
As of 2015, Australian-designed cars were manufactured by General Motors subsidiary Holden, and Ford Australia, while Toyota Australia manufactured local variants of its international models, particularly the Camry. However, the Ford Australia engine and vehicle plants closed in October 2016 and the Holden and Toyota Australia factories closed in late 2017. Both Ford and Holden's design and development facilities remain in operation and are expanding, leaving Australia as one of 13 countries with the capabilities to design and develop mass market cars from scratch.
The Holden VE Commodore is the fourteenth and current model of the Holden Commodore, a full-size car produced by Holden, the Australian subsidiary of General Motors. Full-scale production commenced on July 13, 2006, and the official unveiling took place at a media launch in Melbourne on July 16, 2006. The VE is the first Commodore model designed entirely in Australia, with previous generations based on Opel-sourced platforms that had been adapted both mechanically and in size for the local market. To date the annualised sales of the VE have failed to match those of the record-breaking VT Commodore from 1997.(more...)
Peter Geoffrey BrockAM (26 February 1945 – 8 September 2006) otherwise known as Peter Perfect, The King of the Mountain or simply as Brocky was one of Australia's best-known and most successful motor racing drivers. Brock was most often associated with Holden for almost 40 years, although he raced vehicles of other manufacturers including BMW, Ford, Volvo, Porsche and Peugeot. He won the Bathurst 1000 endurance race nine times, the Sandown 500 touring car race nine times and the Australian Touring Car Championship three times. Brock's business activities included the Holden Dealer Team (HDT) that produced Brock's racing machines as well as a number of modified high-performance road versions of his racing cars.
In the news
SatNav System to Slow Down Speeders
The NSW Government are trialling new speed detection systems in GPS units that can override a vehicle's acceleration if breaking the speeding limit; in hope that the units will decrease road fatalities. The device has every speed limit of every road in the region, and has the ability to slow down a vehicle when breaking the speed limit.
The trial is part of a million dollar project established by the NSW Government last year. Speeding is a known factor in 40% of all fatal crashes in NSW, and took the lives of 139 people last year. The Police Minister David Campbell has said that "Aside from lowering the risk of a speeding-related crash, the other direct benefit of the technology is helping motorists avoid speeding fines."
Last year 445 people died on NSW roads, which is 10% less than the previous year. The reduction has been credited to better quality roads, increased safety features in vehicles such as ABS and air bags, and other reasons.