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Home  /  January 2023  /  Comment

Next week there are elections on Cocos Islands (nomination deposit of $80, cash preferred). On March 25, there is the NSW election and in October, elections in our seventh state (the one across the Tasman).

You know our motto here is “we report, you decide” but this year it’s critical to make your vote count. Whoever you vote for, a politician will get in; the big problem in elections is that someone will win and if voting changed anything they’d make it illegal.

That’s why, no matter where you’re voting and how many times you’re voting, we’re begging you to write in Senator Jim Anderson, a US Republican from Casper in Wyoming, on your ballot paper.

Jim is the person we need. When do we need him? Now! Why do we need him? Jimbo has just introduced a resolution that calls for the sale of new electric vehicles to be phased out of Wyoming by 2035.

Look I’m open-minded about this. Some of my best friends drive EVs to the local Aperol bar. They don’t mind their virtue signalling machines are built and powered using coal, that charging takes too long, that chargers are hard to find, particularly when you’re 10km outside a major capital city – and because of that the batteries have to be gigantic and that when the batteries catch fire, they are almost impossible to put out.

Anyway, there were so many complaints about my review of the Chinese Volvo Polestar that this week, courtesy of our friends at Hertz, I rented a Tesla Model Y and paid full freight as usual. Let’s just say – and not because Australia’s best motoring public relations person, Laurissa Mirabelli, is the only person to offer me a test drive of any car – but in her case a Polestar (which I of course refused), that the Tesla makes the Polestar look like a Rolls Royce.

Rated 8/10 by every motoring writer in the world, the Model Y has a giant iPad in the middle of the car and nothing in front of the driver. Want to know how much over Victoria’s maximum speed limits you are? Look left. Want to work out any control? Reach left. Want to watch more than 50 sports live on Foxtel? Reach left. Want a shoddy piece of imitation wood where the gauges and controls should be? Buy a Model Y for $80k.

Maybe it all doesn’t matter. At least in NSW, where the two major political parties (the fascists and the communists) are battling to offer motorists more bargains than Andy O’Keefe on Deal or No Deal, right now the Fascists are offering around half a million Sydney drivers the ability to claim 40 per cent of their toll spend up to $750 a year.

Soon the communists will announce their policy, which will probably be the nationalising of all toll roads and confiscation of all profits.

Of course, there’s more. Current NSW Premier Dom Perrottet has just announced a re-elected Liberal and Nationals government would waive the fines on a range of minor driving offences for motorists who have a three-year clean driving record.

Upcoming premier, commissar Chris Minns promises drivers across the state who don’t incur any infringements during the year would have one demerit point wiped from their records. I’m betting by the March 25, both parties will have committed to subsidise fines incurred by privately owned mobile speed cameras and rightfully increase returns to their shareholders.

In other news, that great UK paper, The Times, says: “Aston Martin hits the skids as cash runs dry.”

The blog Simply Wall Street, explains: “ … only the myopic could ignore the astounding decline over three years. In that time the share price has melted like a snowball in the desert, down 98 per cent.”

What does all this mean? Well in the first nine months of the financial year, the UK’s only listed car maker lost the equivalent of about a billion dollars due to supply issues. Sales were down in most markets except China.

Like every other product in the luxury goods market, Aston Martin still aims for margins of 40 per cent-plus. Nice to know when you’re negotiating with the dealer.

Our friend the Hamster is also doing it tough. Lou has been chatting to Merc boss Toto Wolff about a contract extension till Hamo turns the big 50. At the moment, his paycheck, including overtime but not super or sponsorships, is only $40m a year. Still, if he gets the deal that’s a handy $650m in his skyrocket.

Toto can’t be too tough on the world former numero uno, given even Mr Wolff doesn’t believe his Merc race cars will be much better this season. But let’s have a poll. Do we think Hamo is getting cheugy?

And some interesting points from auction land. Online auction sales are equalling physical sales: Mazda MX-5s are becoming impossible to buy, early Beemer and Porkers are super strong and the buy of 2022 was the 2011 Ford Fiesta ST of the late Ken Block for $370k. Block died on January 2 in a snowmobile accident at his ranch in Utah. His Fiesta would be great for shopping and doing doughnuts; the Swedish racing team Olsbergs converted the humble hatchback into an acrobatic monster, moving power from 134kW to 447kW and enabling a handy 0 to 100km time of two seconds which is faster than a multimillion-dollar Feezer, Bugatti, Lambo or Holden SS Ute.

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