The Week That Was: VW Speaks Out, New Rondo Arrives, Gen-F Reviewed Photo:
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Trevor Collett | Jun, 09 2013 | 0 Comments

What a week it was.

Volkswagen Australia broke its silence over a damaging media campaign regarding DSG transmission failures and unexplained deceleration.

In an open letter to its customers, Volkswagen said that it stood behind the quality of its cars and will offer free inspections.

But this may only be the beginning, as we await the outcome of a coroner’s inquest into the death of a 32 year-old Melbourne woman while behind the wheel of her Volkswagen Golf.

Not long after the Volkswagen news broke, we learned that the three remaining Australian carmakers (Holden, Ford and Toyota) were in talks with the Prime Minister, along with state and other federal government representatives, in a meeting to discuss the future of the industry.

Union officials and parts industry representatives were also present at the meeting, which lasted just over one hour.

Following the meeting, Federal Industry Minister Greg Combet called on state and federal governments to increase the volume of Australian-made cars in their fleets.

Kia’s all-new seven-seat Rondo went on-sale in Australia this week, priced from $29,990. The compact people-mover offers the choice of a 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine or a 1.7 litre four-cylinder diesel.

Kia is hoping to kick-start the compact people-mover market in Australia, and it believes the new Rondo might just be the car to do it. (See our review of the new Rondo.)

In other news, it won’t be available until 2014 but the much anticipated new Toyota Corolla sedan for Australia has been unveiled by Toyota only hours after the American version appeared online.

TMR spent a day sampling all of the new Gen-F HSV fleet (including the 430kW supercharged GTS, but more on that later) at the Phillip Island circuit this week.

The 2013 SsangYong Stavic people-mover is now on-sale in Australia, priced from $29,990 drive-away. Watch for TMR’s review of this car soon.

Lots of Fiat 500 news this week, with the entry-level Pop now starting from just $14,000 drive-away. If that's not your taste, you can also pick up a $60,000 Maserati version of the 500.

TMR drove the Fiat 500 Pop, “S” and Lounge models this week.

The 2014 Skoda Octavia RS was revealed this week, promising to be the quickest Octavia ever.

Opel’s Astra GTC will get a new 1.6 litre SIDI four-cylinder turbo engine and six-speed automatic transmission from July.

The Toyota Corolla not only topped the sales sheets for May, it is also now leading the overall sales race for 2013.

Jaguar’s XFR-S will be on-sale in Australia by the end of the year, with a handy $7400-plus price advantage over the BMW M5.

The University of Wollongong announced a breakthrough in lithium-ion battery technology, its new electric vehicle batteries capable of storing five times more energy than a ‘conventional’ lithium-ion battery.

Nissan's updated 2014 Micra light hatch has surfaced again, this week appearing in its new European-market guise.

Spy photos out of Europe this week included the 2014 BMW 1 Series update and the 2014 Opel Insignia update.

Porsche will celebrate the 50th birthday of its iconic 911 model with a new special edition, named the 50 Years Edition (what else).

And finally, TMR took the Nissan Patrol ST-L for a quick spin, impressed by its power and torque but less impressed with its epic thirst for fuel.

And that’s… the week that was.

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