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GO AHEAD, TELL US WHAT YOU REALLY THINK

Brian Wood, email

But please, keep it tight (no more than 200 words) and do include your suburb if via email: wheels@wheelsmag.com.au You can also have your say on Facebook (search for Wheels Australia), Instagram or Twitter

LETTER OF THE MONTH

THE COMMODORE AND ASTRA ARE NOW PSA PRODUCTS

KNOW WHEN TO HOLDEN

I write with regards last month’s news item suggesting multinational automotive distributor Inchcape is looking take over importation of Holden to Australia from General Motors.

Even without direct knowledge of any Inchcape/GM/Holden machinations, I think we can put together some of the pieces and start to see a picture.

WIN!

LETTER OF THE MONTH PRIZE

To Brian for his considered wade through the GM/PSA mire, a one-year extension to his existing subscription of the new-look Wheels. Nice work.

Brian Wood, email

Inchcape is the Groupe PSA product importer for brands including Peugeot and Citroen. Opel is now owned by PSA. As a result, the Commodore (Insignia) and Astra are now PSA products. Future Opel products will be based on PSA platforms. Inchcape have an interest in being able to offer all PSA products to the markets it operates in. That may include those manufactured by PSA’s Opel division.

Are you with me so far?

It would be perfectly reasonable for Inchcape to explore their options, of which there are a number. One could be parallel importing. This would not be terribly attractive to GM and Holden if it included (possibly cheaper) Insignias and Astras.

Another option would be for Inchcape to take over Holden. They know a bit about vehicle importation and distribution, with operations in some 32 countries worldwide. GM has been divesting itself of divisions around the world, so handing over Holden without losing access for its own products to the Australian market could be very tempting. Inchcape and GM may not be talking about any of this, but I bet they are thinking about it.

SUCH WEIGHTY MATTERS

WHEELS’ REDESIGN IS lovely and the thicker February paper stock was a real standout. Sadly, it only lasted a month, due to March’s skinny-stock mishap, which enabled me to compare Feb’s beefy 468g v March’s anorexic 348g kerb weight.

By the way, that’s also allowing for the six extra pages we received in Feb (it’s 493g if we add them).

By my calculations, that makes the new paper stock some 34 percent heavier, meaning that even before the nicer visuals and text, the magazine is already at least a third more enjoyable than before. Obviously this all depends on the weighting (no pun intended) readers give to the enjoyment value of better paper stock.

Anthony Aspiridis, Thornbury, Vic

A genuine mistake at the print house saw our old paper stock go into the machines instead of the thicker stuff.

Force of habit, I guess. We’ll make amends to readers in due course – Ed

“ LET’S KEEP THE HEART OF THE MAG FOCUSED ON THE LATEST CARS

FOCUS, BOYS, FOCUS!

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL those involved in the transformation of Wheels to the new format. It’s a significant improvement and has successfully kept the title at the forefront of motoring publishing. While the changes to the design are fantastic, and the content remains of the highest standard, let’s make sure we maintain the correct strategic focus.

After reading the March edition I have a concern that the focus may have shifted: on page 29 I’m reading about Michael Stahl’s personal hoarding habits of old memorabilia; page 31 Robbo is reminiscing about the 1970s; and page 35 has an article about a car from the 1980s.

While enjoy articles that focus on yesteryear, it’s not why buy Wheels.

Let’s keep the heart of the magazine focused on the latest cars, technology and news, leaving the back section for nostalgic reminiscing.

Nick Psaltis, City Beach, WA

By and large we agree, but feedback from our reader survey kick started the Modern Classic section – Ed

ONE THING IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER

IF THE OLD ‘race on Sunday, sell on Monday’ mantra still holds, how does Ford think it can convince people to buy Mustangs, if the race car looks nothing like the road car?

I’m pretty sure the Supercars race series is all about marketing cars, but in this case the car Ford is marketing is not the car people are buying.

Peter Moore, email

Supercars always had a tenuous link to the showroom and Ford can see a branding win. No harm, no foul? – Ed

THANKS FOR THE LEGIBILITY

THANK YOU, GENTS, for the Wheels redesign. Not only does it look great, but my tired old fortysomething eyes can actually now read it!

The years of dark fonts on dark or camouflage backgrounds almost did me in. Who would have thought that black text on a white background is actually a good idea?

I’ve been reading Wheels for about 15 years, so I can now get back to ignoring your views on the importance of soft-touch plastics and continue to buy my cars based on your opinion of their dynamic ability. By the way, that list of cars that your roadtest coverage influenced me to purchase includes a Ford Fiesta, Opel Astra and a Ford Mondeo – all great cars, with the former, perhaps, still my overall favourite.

Lastly, I need to stand up for diesel cars. I live in the country and commute 150km a day, where my diesel’s all-important torque is essential for swiftly getting around meandering tourists and rumbling trucks – not to mention its superior fuel efficiency that still can’t be matched by a petrol-powered equivalent.

So keep on pumping out the good oil, keep putting it on a white background, and reckon you’ve got me for life.

Patrick Baume, Tarago, NSW

There’s a lot to be said for keeping things simple, Patrick – Ed

12 SUBLIME HOURS OF MOTORSPORT

THE MARCH ISSUE of Wheels has fired me up with hope for the future of motoring, but it was Editor Inwood’s Bathurst 12-Hour analysis in his column that made me put pen to paper. It was wonderful recognition of a superb race that had it all – top drivers, top cars, nail-biting tension – finally topped by a win for the former apprentice chippy from Warwick, who honed his skills on the Morgan Park circuit.

Well done, Alex. Keep it up and maybe Robbo really can retire.

Des White, Tugun, Qld

Thanks for the words of support, Des. And yes, masterful drive by Matt Campbell, who once drove on a Wheels comparo, so of course we claim him as our own – Ed

MAZDA 3: SO CLOSE, BUT...

MUST SAY THE new Mazda 3 sedan looks great. It’s also the right-sized compact sedan that will be buying this year. The range-topping variant is what I’ll be looking at, but I’m hoping Mazda addresses two glaring shortfalls with the current car: that is; lack of rear air-conditioning vents and a higher output engine, with a minimum of 140kW and 320Nm, like the 2.5litre turbo-petrol from the CX-5. Also, offering AWD would be a bonus. Any chance, Mazda?

Robert Ius, Haberfield, NSW

"Our cover might be blown, Geoff”

CADDY WHACK

CAMO WON’T WORK IN TRAFFIC

Mathew McLean shared with us this photo of a Cadillac CT6 stuck in Melbourne traffic. Snapped something a car company would prefer you hadn’ t? Send us a message on Facebook - it might just be the next big scoop!