2013

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2013

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2013:   2013 was Australia's hottest year on record, "1.20°C above the long-term average of 21.8°C, breaking the previous record set in 2005" [bom], [abc]. VW blew its reputation for reliability and customer care with gearbox and engine problems, and associated PR disaster (14/11, 12/6). Better Place (electric car recharging) folded (26/5). Thanks to Edward Snowden we discovered what was long suspected -- that the NSA and GCHQ listen to everything. The Liberals won the Federal election (7/9) and soon revealed their "non-core" promises - deficits were bad but can now be increased (e.g., cancelled Labor's tax measures), dropped their national broadband promises [www], and executed a double flip flop with twist on school funding - while they kept their core promises - dumped the car industry (6/11), and set about introducing a non means tested Paid Parental Leave scheme [abc], [17/12].

31 December 2013: Cyclone Christine [cat.3] brought torrential rain and destructive winds to Western Australia's Pilbara ..." -- [abc].

28 December 2013, Sat.: "Victoria is expecting some of the worst bushfire conditions in several years on Saturday. ..." -- [abc] (check [cfa]).

27 December 2013 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.38 (Perth] avg $1.57/l, min $1.43); oil us$99/b; au$1.00=us$0.89, £0.54, €0.65, ¥93

27 - 31 December 2013, Vic.: "Domain Tunnel closure 10pm-5am, 10pm 27th to 5am 31st, Westgate Inbound 11pm-7am, 11pm 27th to 7am 28th, and 11pm 28th to 7am 29th" for resurfacing -- [www].

27 December 2013: "A cyclone warning has been issued for coastal areas of WA ... expecting a tropical low off the coast of Broome to strengthen over the weekend into a category 3 storm ..." -- [abc].

25 December 2013: A Christmas message from Edward Snowden -- the G. [www], [abc], [bbc].

24 December 2013: "Forecasters are predicting a cyclone will form off Western Australia's northern Kimberley coast on Christmas Day. ..." -- [abc].

22 December 2013 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.50/l; min $1.38 (Perth] avg $1.52/l, min $1.42); oil us$98/b
...
20 December 2013 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.52/l; min $1.43 (Perth] avg $1.56/l, min $1.39); oil us$98/b; au$1.00=us$0.89, £0.54, €0.65, ¥93

20 December 2013: Lamborghini unveiled the 'Hurcan' LP 610-4, 5.2-litre V10 - the replacement for the Gallardo -- [www].

20 December 2013: "Daimler AG [~Mercedes] and Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. have signed an agreement for a significant technical partnership ... Mercedes-AMG and Aston Martin to develop bespoke V8 engines [for A.M.] ... Daimler will receive up to 5% non-voting shares in Aston Martin ..." -- D [www], AM [www].

20 December 2013: "Last Volkswagen [Kombi] camper vans are made in Brazil ..." -- the G. [www].

19 December 2013: "UK car manufacturing ... 2013 output set to pass 1.5 million units for first time in six years. ..." -- SMMT [www].

19 December 2013: "Australia's south-east sweltered today with more than a dozen fire bans in place across South Australia, Victoria [Melbourne 40°C] and Tasmania. ..." -- [www].

18 December 2013: Ford "revenue is projected to grow about 10%, with market share increases in all regions other than Europe ..." -- [www].

18 December 2013: Announcing a fund to "help create jobs in the states affected by the closure of Holden," Prime Minister Tony Abbott said "Some [workers] will find it difficult, but many of them will probably be liberated to pursue new opportunities and to get on with their lives" -- [www]; the G. [www].

17 December 2013 Tues Melb ULP avg au$1.57/l; min $1.43 (Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.39); oil us$97/b; au$1.00=us$0.89, £0.55, €0.65, ¥92

16 December 2013: "The final [Australian] soldiers to leave the base at Tarin Kot [Afghanistan] are currently en route back home to Australia. Around 400 Australian military personnel will remain in Afghanistan in training and support roles ..." -- [abc].

14 December 2013: "Prime Minister Tony Abbott has ruled out giving Toyota extra government assistance to remain in Australia. ..." -- [abc].

12 December 2013: PSA Peugeot noted "the sale by GM of its [7%] stake in the company" -- [www] -- and that Peugeot was "reviewing potential industrial and commercial development projects with various partners, including Dong Feng Motor [.cn]" -- [www].

12 December 2013 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.50/l; min $1.36 (Perth] avg $1.57/l, min $1.39); oil us$99/b; au$1.00=us$0.90, £0.55, €0.65, ¥93

11 December 2013: "Holden to cease manufacturing operations in Australia by 2017 ..." -- [abc] [2] [3], [bbc]; GM [www]. That will leave Toyota, or will Toyota leave?

10 December 2013: Holden chief executive "Mike Devereux told a Productivity Commission inquiry in Melbourne this morning that there is no timeframe for [GM's] decision on Holden's Australian operations." -- [abc].
9 December 2013: The US Government sold its last GM shares, bought in its 2009 rescue of GM. "GM Statement on U.S. Treasury Full Ownership Exit" -- [www] & [2]. The rescue cost the Government about us$10 billion -- [bbc].

9 December 2013: In F1, " [A cost cap] will be applied from January 2015. ... Drivers will be asked to choose their race number, between 2 and 99, for the duration of their career ... [there will be] five-second penalty for minor infringements ... Double drivers' and constructors' points will be awarded at the final race" -- FIA [www].

7 December 2013 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.50/l; min $1.42 (Perth] avg $1.53/l, min $1.39); oil us$98/b
6 Dec 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$0.91, £0.55, €0.66, ¥92

7 December 2013: "Move to cap [supermarket] fuel discounts ..." -- [abc]. See the ACCC [6/12].

6 December 2013: P.M. "Tony Abbott rules out more Holden assistance as ministers say carmaker will leave Australia in 2016 ..." -- [abc]. Also see 10 Dec. above, and Ford, 23 May below (and "Ford announced plans to hire 5,000 workers in the US and 6,000 workers in Asia in 2014 [and] open two new plants in Asia" -- [www][12/12]).

5 December 2013: "Dongfeng and Renault received ... (NDRC) approval for the Dongfeng Renault Automotive Company (DRAC) joint venture." -- [www], [bbc].

5 December 2013: Ford revealed its new 'Mustang' "available with three engines ... 5.0-liter V8, a 3.7-liter V6 and ... a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine" -- [www].

5 December 2013: The British Government will "create a £10m prize to fund a town or city to become a testing ground for autonomous vehicles. Milton Keynes is already experimenting with driverless pods. ..." -- [bbc].

4 December 2013: The WMRC published a revised F1 calendar of 19 races for 2014 16/03 Australia, 30/03 Malaysia, 06/04 Bahrain, 20/04 China, 11/05 Spain, 25/05 Monaco, 08/06 Canada, 22/06 Austria, 06/07 Great Britain, 20/07 Germany, 27/07 Hungary, 24/08 Belgium, 07/09 Italy, 21/09 Singapore, 05/10 Japan, 12/10 Russia, 02/11 USA (Austin), 09/11 Brazil, 23/11 Abu Dhabi -- FIA [www].

2 December 2013 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.51/l; min $1.30 (Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.38); oil us$93/b; au$1.00=us$0.92, £0.56, €0.67, ¥94

2 December 2013: "National Electric Vehicle [NEV] Sweden AB (.hk) has started the production of the Saab 9-3 Aero Sedan, with a petrol engine ..." -- [www]. Also see [bbc].

1 December 2013: The London Sale, Bonhams auction [www]. Including eight Ecurie Ecosse cars such as lot 5 a 1952 Jaguar C-type (sold £2,913,500), lot 7 a 1956 Jaguar D-Type short-nose (without the fin, sold £2,577,500) [www], and lot 32 1994 ex Michael Schumacher Benetton Cosworth Ford B194-05 F1 (sold £617,500).

 

27 November 2013: The European Union put back "the 100% implementation of a limit of 95 grams of CO2 per km for all new cars" from 2020 to 2021 -- The G [www]. (Fleet average of 130gm/km from 2015.)

27 November 2013 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.39/l; min $1.29 (Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.35); oil us$94/b; au$1.00=us$0.91, £0.56, €0.67, ¥93

25 November 2013, recall # 2013/13858 (34F4): "Audi A1 (8X), A3 (8P), A3 (8V) & TT (8J) ... 7-speed dual clutch gearbox (DSG) ... an electrical short circuit and the gearbox fuse could blow ... causing the vehicle to roll to a stop ..." -- [www].

24 November 2013 (19/19): Brazil F1 Grand Prix (start 4pm GMT, 2pm local).
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Mark Webber (Red Bull), 3. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari]. In the last F1 race of the 18,000rpm, 2.4-litre V8 era, Vettel was again dominant to claim his 9th straight win, equalling Ascari's record (1952-1953); he had already won the F1 Drivers' World Championship in India, October. Webber was a comfortable 2nd in his last F1 race [www] before joining Porsche in 2014. In the F1 Drivers' World Championship 1. Vettel (397pts), 2. Alonso (242pts), 3. Webber (199pts), and in the F1 Constructors' World Championship 1. Red Bull Racing - Renault (596pts), 2. Mercedes (360pts), 3. Ferrari (354pts). (Also see the FIA [www] & [bbc].)

24 November 2013: Historic Commercial Vehicle Club (HCVC) 32nd Annual Display Day Rally, Sandown Racecource, Melbourne (Melways 80D8) [www].

23 November - 1 December: 43rd Tokyo Motor Show (preview 22nd) [www]. Including, Honda 'S660' concept (homage); Mazda next '3'; Mitsubishi 'GC-PHEV' 4x4 (?Pajero-ish?), 'XR-PHEV' & 'AR' concepts [www]; Nissan next 'X-Trail' & 'BladeGlider' (DeltaWing inspired, 'ZEOD RC' prototype) electric concept [www] [www]; Subaru 'Levorg' & 'Crossover 7' concepts [www]; Suzuki 'Crosshiker' crossover & 'X-Lander' 4x4 concepts [www]; Toyota open 'FT-86' concept [www], [www] & Lexus 'RC' coupe [www]; VW 'Up' diesel hybrid (8.6kWh) [www].

23 November 2013: Tropical Cyclone Alessia approached the WA/NT coast -- [abc].

23 November 2013: The 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of Doctor Who, 17:15 GMT, 23 November 1963 [bbc].

22 November 2013: The 50th anniversary of the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas by Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald was himself shot by Jack Ruby on the 24th.

22 November 2013 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.30 (Perth] avg $1.50/l, min $1.34); oil us$93/b; au$1.00=us$0.92, £0.57, €0.68, ¥93

22 November - 1 December 2013: Los Angeles Auto Show [www] (press 19-21 Nov.). Including BMW next 'Mini' [www] is even less mini; Ford 'Edge' concept SUV; GM Chevrolet next 'Silverado' [www]; Honda 'FCEV' fuel-cell concept; Jaguar 'F-Type' coupe (£51K 2014), 'C-X17' SUV concept [www]; Land Rover lwb Range Rover; Mercedes 'GLA 45 AMG' concept SUV; Nissan 'GT-R' Nismo [www]; Porsche 'Macan' SUV [www] [www]; Subaru 'Legacy' concept and next 'WRX' [www].

21 November 2013, .au: "The weather bureau says there is a high possibility of a cyclone forming in the Top End over the weekend. ... unusual to see this type of weather system so early in the wet season. ..." -- [abc].

21 November 2013: RM Auctions Art of the Automobile, New York, including lot 118 a 1997 F1 Ferrari F310B chassis #179 (passed in us$630K), lot 122 a 1938 Talbot-Lago T150-C SS teardrop cabriolet (Figoni et Falaschi, sold us$7,150,000), lot 135 a 1967 Toyota 2000GT chassis #MF10-10093 (sold us$968K!), lot 141 a 1964 Ferrari 250 LM "the last Ferrari [model] to win Le Mans" (sold us$14,300,000) [www].

19 November 2013: The Australian Best Car Awards included best Small Car <au$35K Hyundai i30, Medium Car <au$50K Mazda 6, Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) <au$45K Subaru Forester 2.5i, and All-Terrain 4WD <au$100K LandRover Discovery 4 3.0 TDV6 [www].

17 November 2013 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.48/l; min $1.34 (Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.35); oil us$94/b
15 Nov 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.58, €0.69, ¥94
17 November 2013 (18): USA F1 Grand Prix, Circuit of the Americas (start 7pm GMT, 1pm local).
1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Romain Grosjean [Lotus], 3. Mark Webber (Red Bull). It was Vettel all the way, bar a single pit stop. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

16-17 November 2013: Bendigo National Swap Meet [www].

14 November 2013: "Volkswagen has announced a recall of about 2.6 million cars worldwide ... affects a range of models that may have problems with lights, leaking fuel lines and the wrong type of engine oil. ..." -- [bbc]. Recall 2013/13835 (34F6) "a sudden loss of power at the wheels" is possible [www], and 2013/13836 (97Z9) "a fuse that protects some of the exterior vehicle lights may blow" [www][15/11].

13 November 2013: "WikiLeaks has released the draft text of a chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement ... [inc.] United States, Canada, Australia, ... proposals to increase the term of patents ..." -- The G. [www]. Also see TPP @ Wikileaks [www], and the OpenMedia Anti Internet Censorship petition [www].

November 2013, Pilbara, .au, Ancient Life?: N. Noffke et al, 'Microbially Induced Sedimentary Structures Recording an Ancient Ecosystem in the ca. 3.48 Billion-Year-Old Dresser Formation, Pilbara, Western Australia,' Astrobiology, 13(12), 2013 [www]. Also see [abc], and UWA [www].

November 2013: "2013 is currently on course to be among the top ten warmest years since modern records began in 1850 ... Jan. to Sept., tied with 2003 as the seventh warmest such period on record ... about 0.48°C (0.86°F) above the 1961-1990 average. ... the warmth in 2013 was most extreme in Australia. ..." -- #981 [www] @ WMO [www].

12 November 2013 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.34 (Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.34); oil us$95/b; au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.58, €0.70, ¥93

8-10 November 2013: Historic Sandown, Melbourne [www].

8 November 2013: "A total fire ban has been declared for all of the Greater Sydney region today. ... temperatures in parts of the city's west set to reach 37°C ..." -- [abc].

November 2013: "Average fossil fuel subsidies hit $112 per adult in rich countries ..." -- ODI [www] & report [www] @ [www]. And see [bbc].

7 November 2013 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.37 (Perth] avg $1.49/l, min $1.35); oil us$94/b; au$1.00=us$0.95, £0.59, €0.70, ¥93

6 November 2013: "... the cost to the South Australian economy of Holden's potential closure would be $1.24 billion and 13,200 jobs ..." -- [abc].

6 November 2013: "Forecast strong winds and high temperatures have led to declaration of a catastrophic danger rating for the West Coast fire district of South Australia ..." -- [abc].

5 November 2013 (Tue.): Melbourne Cup. Fiorente won.

4 November 2013: A "report ... compiled for the [FCAI] by the Allen Consulting Group and Monash University researchers. ... concluded the economy was au$21.5 billion better off because of government subsidies to the car industry and nearly 40,000 jobs would be lost if car makers pulled out of Australia this decade. ..." -- [abc]; also see the FCAI [www].

3 November 2013 (Sun.): London to Brighton Veteran Car Run [www], the G. [www].

3 November 2013 (17): Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix (start 1pm GMT, 5pm local).
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Mark Webber (Red Bull); 3. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes]. It was Vettel all the way with some action behind him for minor places. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

3 November 2013, NSW: "Two emergency warnings have been issued for bushfires ... [i] Laws Farm fire, which is burning out of control at Lower Portland on the Hawkesbury River ... [& ii] in the area around Old Hume Highway and Ovington Road at Alpine. ..." -- [abc].

2 November 2013 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.40 (Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.35); oil us$95/b
1 Nov 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$0.95, £0.59, €0.70, ¥93
 

30 October 2013: VW announced "sales revenue rises to €145.7 billion (€144.2 billion [2012]) for ... Jan. to Sept. Q3: €47.0 billion (€48.8 billion). Operating profit of €8.6 billion (euro;8.9 billion) after nine months. Q3: €2.8 billion (€2.3 billion) ..." -- [www].

28 October 2013: Land Rover announced a long wheelbase Range Rover (£140K±) heading to the LA [20/11] and Guangzhou [21/11] Motor Shows; "An additional 140mm to rear legroom has been achieved by lengthening the bodyshell in front of the rear wheels." -- Tata [www].

28 October 2013 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.35 (Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.36); oil us$98/b; au$1.00=us$0.96, £0.59, €0.70, ¥94
27 October 2013 (16): Indian F1 Grand Prix, Buddh Int. circuit (start 9.30am GMT, 3pm local).
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes], 3. Romain Grosjean (Lotus). Vettel clinched the drivers' world championship (his fourth in a row), and Red Bull the constructors, with three races to go. Mark Webber (Red Bull) was in a safe second place when forced to retire with an alternator problem on lap 39. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

25-27 October 2013: MotorClassica, Melbourne, Royal Exhibition Building [www]. The associated auction, Sat. 26th, includes lot 121 a 1913 Hispano Suiza Alfonso XIII, and lot 124 the "only existing Australian-made prototype of the first Holden 48 215" -- [www], [www].

25 October 2013: A Citroen C3, "The last car produced by PSA Peugeot Citroen's Aulnay-sous-Bois plant rolled off the assembly line ..." -- [www] -- part of cost cutting moves. Also see [bbc].

October 2013, .uk: The 'Which' car-reliability survey reports that the most reliable 4-8 year-old 4x4 is the petrol Toyota RAV4, the least the VW Touareg and Land Rover Discovery 3 -- [www].

24 October 2013: Yet another prototype flying car, the Aeromobil -- [www] and [bbc].

24 October 2013, .au: Recall #2013/13801 BMW Australia Ltd - BMW 1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, X1, X3 & Z4, 11/2012 - 7/2013, "Over time the [brake] vacuum pump may fail completely due to a lack of lubrication. ..." -- [www].

24 October 2013: The October 24 edition of 'Army' newspaper included a special section (p.18+) on the new MAN 4x4, 6x6 and 8x8 trucks under Land 121 Phase 2B [www].

24 October 2013: Ford reported "Record third quarter pre-tax profit of $2.6 billion ... and a combined profit for regions outside N.America for first time since second quarter 2011; record third quarter profit for Asia Pacific Africa; profitable in South America; loss in Europe ..." -- [www].

23 October 2013: "... the third quarter of 2013 for the group PSA Peugeot Citroen was impacted by the pricing policy, the interruption in Citroen C3 production and pressure on market shares in Europe. ... expects automotive markets to decline by some 4% in Europe in 2013 ..." -- Peugeot-C. [www]. (See 25 Oct., above.)

23 October 2013 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.36 (Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.36); oil us$99/b; au$1.00=us$0.97, £0.60, €0.70, ¥94
22 October 2013: "There are currently 62 fires burning across New South Wales, with 13 uncontained. ..." -- [abc], [23/10] & [#2].
And, "The United Nations says the NSW bushfires are an example of 'the doom and gloom' the world may be facing without vigorous action on climate change. ..." -- [abc], & see [21/10].

17 October 2013: 'Toyota is recalling 885,000 vehicles ... problem that could cause a water leak from the air conditioning unit. ... could leak into the airbag control module, causing a short circuit ... In some cases airbags "could become disabled or could inadvertently deploy" and in limited cases the power steering function could be disabled ..." -- [bbc]; also see T. [www].

18 October 2013 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.42 (Perth] avg $1.50/l, min $1.36); oil us$101/b; au$1.00=us$0.96, £0.60, €0.70, ¥94

17 October 2013: Nissan unveiled its 'ZEOD RC' (Zero Emissions on Demand) hybrid 2014 Le Mans race car -- "the driver can switch between electric power and a small lightweight turbocharged internal combustion engine" -- [www].

17 October 2013: "Emergency warnings have been issued for four bushfires burning out of control near Lithgow, Mount Victoria, Wollongong and Newcastle. ..." -- [abc]. "Officials say hundreds of homes may have been lost as NSW suffers one of its worst bushfire days in recent memory. ..." -- [b]. '... "a scene of utter devastation" ...' -- [18th], [19th].

15 October 2013: "The German government has persuaded [the EU] to delay introducing new limits on CO2 emissions from cars. ... agreed to revise a deal, reached in July, that set a limit of 95g per km for the average car ... was to take effect in 2020. But Germany ... says the 95g limit should not take full effect until 2024. ..." -- [bbc].

14 October 2013: "Shares in Peugeot Citroen plunged 10% on Monday on reports that the company is considering raising funds by selling shares. ..." -- [bbc].

13 October 2013 (15): Japanese F1 Grand Prix, Suzuka (start 6pm GMT, 3pm local).
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Mark Webber (Red Bull), 3. Romain Grosjean (Lotus). Red Bull qualified 1 (Webber) and 2 (Vettel), but Grosjean got the drop on them at the start. In the closing stages, 2 tyre stops (Vettel) beat 3 (Webber). (Also see FIA [www] and [bbc].)
13 October 2013 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.51/l; min $1.39 (Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.37); oil us$102/b
11 Oct 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$0.95, £0.59, €0.70, ¥93

13 October 2013, .au: Bathurst 1000 [www]. 1. Mark Winterbottom and Paul Dumbrell (Ford) -- [abc].

13 October 2013: Autumn Motorsport Day, Brooklands Museum, .uk [www].

13 October 2013, .uk: Greenpower National Finals, Goodwood [www] @ [www].

10 October 2013: "Bushfire threat returns as NSW awaits scorcher ..." -- [abc].

10 Octorber 2013, .au: 'Army' magazine reported on soldiers testing prototype 'Hawkei' armoured 4x4 vehicles in north Queensland [www][10/10].

8 October 2013: "Aston Martin has abandoned its [move into] so-called city cars after selling fewer than 150 of its [Toyota iQ based] Cygnet model ..." -- the G. [www].

8 October 2013 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.42/l; min $1.37 (Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.38); oil us$104/b; au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.59, €0.70, ¥92

8 October 2013: "Firefighters are monitoring dozens of blazes burning across southern Queensland and are worried there could be more. ..." -- [abc].

6-13 October 2013: World Solar Challenge, Darwin - Adelaide [www]. Also see [abc][18/9], [6/10], [9/10].
10/10: "... The Dutch team, Nuon and its car Nuna7 [won, at] an average speed of 90.71km/h ..." -- [abc], and [www].
6 October 2013 (14): Korean F1 Grand Prix (start 6pm GMT, 3pm local).
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Kimi Raikkonen [Lotus], 3. Romain Grosjean (Lotus). The Red Bulls were clearly fastest, although Mark Webber started 13th with a 10-place penalty. He worked his way up into the points before his car was hit by Adrian Sutil (Force India) and caught fire on lap 36. Vettel was in a race of his own but there was plenty of action behind him. In the drivers' championship, 1. Sebastian Vettel (272pts), 2. Fernando Alonso (195). (Also see the FIA [www], and [bbc].)

6 October 2013 (Sun.), .au: Daylight Saving begins, "move your clock forward one hour at 2am (EST)".

4-5 October 2013, .au: Deniliquin Ute Muster [www], [abc].

4 October 2013 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.37 (Perth] avg $1.51/l, min $1.38); oil us$103/b; au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.58, €0.69, ¥92

4 October 2013: There were news reports that Land Rover would end production of the Defender in December 2015, as suggested in 2011 when the DC100 concept was shown.

3 October 2013, .au: "More faulty trucks have been impounded in Sydney and Newcastle by authorities investigating ... the fatal explosion of a petrol tanker on Sydney's northern beaches on Tuesday ... 12 more Cootes Transport trucks had been ordered off the road because of safety defects. ..." -- [abc], & [7/10].

1 October 2013: "Last month was easily Australia's warmest September on record ... [And] nationally-averaged rainfall was 20% below the long-term average ..." -- [Sept.] @ [bom] (IDCKGC1A00).

 

28 September 2013: "Toyota is calling back 615,000 Sienna minivans in the US to fix a lever problem that could cause vehicles to shift out of park mode ... [and] Nissan said it is recalling 908,900 vehicles globally due to a flaw in an accelerator sensor ..." -- [bbc]. In .au, recall 2013/13761 affects Nissan Y61 Patrol, sold 1st June 2006 - 30th July 2013 [www].

28 September 2013, .au: "NSW fire service urges caution with temperatures set to soar ..." -- [abc], rfs [www][28/9].

28 September 2013 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.54/l; min $1.49 (Perth] avg $1.49/l, min $1.40); oil us$103/b
27 September 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.58, €0.69, ¥92

28 September 2013: Morgan gathering, Thrill on the Hill, Shelsley Walsh, uk [www].

27 September 2013: The FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) released the provisional 2014 Formula One World Championship calendar of 22 races including America (New Jersey, June), Russia (Sochi, Oct.), Mexico (Nov.) -- [www]. The new Concorde Agreement for 2013-2020 between the FIA and the Formula 1 Group also came into force -- [www].

27 September 2013: The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), working group 1 "... 1983-2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years. ... Over the period 1901-2010, global mean sea level rose by 0.19 [0.17-0.21] m ...", report [www], [www], & [abc], [bbc], the G. [www][29/9].

23 September 2013: Chrysler Group announced "it has filed a registration statement [for] a proposed initial public offering of common shares. ..." -- [www].
Fiat "wants to acquire the 41.5% stake of Chrysler currently held by a healthcare trust but they have failed to agree on a valuation. ..." -- [bbc][23/9].

23 September 2013 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.38 (Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.42); oil us$105/b; au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.59, €0.70, ¥93

23 September 2013: "Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) is urging residents in the south west to be vigilant with heightened fire conditions predicted today and the next few days. ..." -- qld.[gov].au[23/9].

22 September 2013 (13): Singapore F1 Grand Prix (start noon GMT, 8pm local).
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari], 3. Kimi Raikkonen [Lotus]. Vettel was by the far the fastest. Behind him, the race was quite boring until the last 10 laps when tyre wear played a part. Mark Webber (Red Bull) looked a chance for 3rd but his Renault engine fell sick and finally expired on the last lap. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

21 September 2013: The French Government announced that in 2014 it would introduce a tax on fossil fuels based on their CO2 emissions -- [www].

21 September 2013: "Firefighters are working frantically to protect homes and properties from a large bushfire burning near Hervey Bay [Qld]. ..." -- [abc], qld.[gov][21/9].

21 September - 2 October 2013: Royal Melbourne Show [www].

20 September 2013, .au: "Tim Flannery defends Climate Commission after Government scrapping ..." -- [abc]. (But see [abc][24/9].)
Meanwhile, "Draft IPCC report predicts sea levels to rise a metre by end of century ..." -- [abc]. Also see Koska and Xie 'Recent global-warming hiatus tied to equatorial Pacific surface cooling' Nature, 501(7467), pp.403-407, [www] (and [bbc]), "... the multi-decadal warming trend is very likely to continue with greenhouse gas increase."

19 September 2013: "South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill says Holden will stop making cars in Australia from 2016 unless the Federal Government commits by Christmas to more taxpayer support. ..." -- [abc].

18 September 2013, .au: "... Treasury will also be told to prepare legislation to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation [for] managing $10 billion ... in renewable energy projects. ..." -- [abc].

18 September 2013 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.48/l; min $1.44 (Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.39); oil us$105/b; au$1.00=us$0.94, £0.59, €0.70, ¥93

17 September 2013: "Slumping car sales across the EU in August have underlined the fragility of the eurozone economy, with the cumulative figures for the year to date at a record low. ..." -- The G. [www].

17 September 2013: "Arctic sea ice extent as of Sept.16, 2013 was 5.1 million km2 (2.0 million miles2). ... substantially more ice than ... same date last year [but] quite low compared to the long-term 1981 to 2010 average ..." -- NSIDC [www].

September 2013: B. D. Santer et al, 'Human and natural influences on the changing thermal structure of the atmosphere', Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, [www] -- yes, global warming is our doing.

16 September 2013: "... Cape York indigenous leader Gerhardt Pearson and the Kalpowar people have signed [a] deal with ... Bounty Mining to develop the area's first [coal] mine ... [near] Lakefield National Park ..." -- -- [abc].

13 September 2013 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.55/l; min $1.48 (Perth] avg $1.56/l, min $1.42); oil us$109/b; au$1.00=us$0.92, £0.59, €0.70, ¥92
13-15 September 2013: Goodwood Revival [www].
14th: Bonhams auction [www]. Lot 202 1959 Land-Rover Series 2 4x4, reg. 'USK 875', chassis #141901773, sold £18,975; lot 235 1935-36 Alfa Romeo 8C-35 Grand Prix racing monoposto (ex-Scuderia Ferrari, Hans Ruesch, Dick Seaman) chassis #50013, engine #50013, sold £5,937,500 (au$10,165,644); lot 249 1931 Invicta 41/2-litre S-type "low chassis" Sports, chassis #S39, sold £953,500.

12-22 September 2013: 65th Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) [www] (trade 12-13th, public 14-22nd). Including Audi 'Sport Quattro' concept [www]; BMW 'i8', & 'X5 eDrive' hybrid concept [www]; Caterham 'Seven 165' (2014); Citroen 'Cactus' concept (poor name for .au); GM Opel/Vauxhall 'Monza' concept [bbc], 'Insignia OPC' [www] [www]; Jaguar 'C-X17' SUV concept [www]; Kia 'Niro' SUV hybrid concept (1.6+electric) [www]; Land Rover 'Range_e' diesel hybrid Range Rover, & Sport, for 2014 [www] [bbc]; Mazda's next '3'; Mercedes next 'S-class' coupe; Nissan next 'X-Trail' SUV [www]; Peugeot '308 R' concept [www] [www]; Porsche '918 hybrid', Panamera ser.2, [www] [www]; Smart 'Fourjoy' concept; Suzuki 'iV-4' SUV concept (production version ~2015?) [www]; Toyota several hybrids, and Lexus 'LF-NX' crossover concept [www]; Volkswagen 'Golf Sportsvan' (s/w) concept, electric 'e-Golf' & 'e-Up' (2014) [www], [www]; Volvo coupe concept [www]. (Also see [bbc].)

11 September 2013: "More than half of Queensland faces a very high fire danger ..." -- [abc].

10 September 2013: "... Bushfire emergency threatened homes west of Sydney ..." -- [abc].

10 September 2013: "Toyota is recalling 780,584 vehicles in the US for a second time ... a suspension defect that may not have been fixed after a recall last year. ..." -- [bbc].

9 September 2013: "A booze-stealing feral pig ... in the Pilbara has prompted a reminder for travellers at camp sites and rest stops to ensure their food and alcohol is secured. ... believed [to have] drunk up to 18 cans of beer at the DeGrey River rest area, east of Port Hedland, ..." -- [www].

8-9 September 2013: RM Auctions, London [www], including lot 249 a 1957 Maserati 250S chassis #2432, engine #2432-1, sold for £2,128,000; lot 203 a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12, chassis #SCEDT26T6BD004240, sold for £19,600; lot 243 the 1977 Lotus Esprit '007 Submarine', sold £550,000.

8 September 2013 (12): Italian F1 Grand Prix, Monza (start noon GMT, 2pm local).
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari], 3. Mark Webber (Red Bull). Vettel started on pole and led all the way apart from changes due to pit stops. There was however a real race for second place. Both Red Bulls apparently nursed gearbox problems towards the end. (Also see the FIA [www], and [bbc].)
7 September 2013 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.35 (Perth] avg $1.55/l, min $1.41); oil us$111/b
6 September 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$0.91, £0.59, €0.70, ¥91

7 September 2013, .au: Federal Election. The Liberal-National coalition, led by Tony Abbott, won. (And [abc][19/9].)

6-7 September 2013, .au: Birdsville Races [www].

5-7 September 2013: St James's Concours d'Elegance, London [www].

5 September 2013: "Full-pace, full-scope testing of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle [JLTV] prototypes began Sept. 3 and will last for 14 months. ..." -- .mil [www].

4-6 September 2013 (Wed.-Fri.): Salon Prive, Syon Park, London [www].

3 September 2013 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.38 (Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.42); oil us$108/b; au$1.00=us$0.90, £0.58, €0.69, ¥90

2 September 2013: "A new London skyscraper dubbed the 'Walkie Talkie' has been blamed for reflecting light which melted parts of a car parked on a nearby street. ..." -- [bbc], [2]!?

1 September 2013: "Petrol companies in New South Wales could face fines of up to $110,000 for failing to display the full price of fuel. ..." -- [abc].

1 September 2013: Spring.

 
29 August 2013 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.54/l; min $1.45 (Perth] avg $1.54/l, min $1.39); oil us$110/b; au$1.00=us$0.90, £0.58, €0.67, ¥88

26 August 2013: Ford collected together a gallery of Ford 'Mustang' concepts that never went into production, starting "From late 1961 into mid-1962, Ford designers tried out a wide range of themes for a sporty coupe based on the platform of the new Falcon compact. ... Avventura ... Avanti ... Allegro. The fastback design was originally sketched with a hatchback and rear-facing second row seat. ..." -- [www].

26 August 2013. .au: "A research pilot plant in Newcastle will trial world-first technology that turns carbon emissions into bricks and pavers ... The University of Newcastle, ... Orica and ... GreenMag Group have spent six years researching how to permanently and safely dispose of carbon dioxide. ..." -- [abc], and MCi [www].

26 Aug 2013 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.55/l; min $1.39 (Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.43); oil us$106/b; au$1.00=us$0.90, £0.58, €0.68, ¥89
25 August 2013 (11): Belgian F1 Grand Prix (start noon GMT, 2pm local).
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari], 3. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]. Hamilton started on pole but was passed by Vettel on the first lap and never had the race pace of the Red Bull. Alonso started 9th and was up to 5th after the first lap but never threatened Vettel. (Also see the FIA [www], and [bbc].)

24-25 August 2013: The Lotus Festival, Brands Hatch [www][10/12].

23-25 August 2013: National 4x4 Show, Melbourne Showgrounds [www].

23-25 August 2013, .uk: CarFest South, Laverstoke Pk Farm, Hampshire [www].

19 August 2013: VW Brazil announced a "final edition ... classic type 2 [rear engined] Kombi van ... in continuous production there since 1957" -- Daily T. [www].

19 Aug 2013 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.40 (Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.40); oil us$107/b; au$1.00=us$0.92, £0.59, €0.69, ¥90

18 August 2013: Pebble Beach Concours [www], including Porsche's production 918 Spyder and classics [www].

17 August 2013 (Sat.): Henley on Todd Regatta, Alice Springs, NT [www].

16-17 August 2013: RM Auctions Monterey auction [www], including lot 137 a 1955 Jaguar D-Type (sold us$3,905,000); lot 140 a 1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spider (sold us$9,075,000); lot 146 a 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Spider by Scaglietti, chassis #0530M, engine #0530M (sold us$4,070,000); lot 225 a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB4*S NART Spider, chassis #10709, engine #10709 (sold us$27,500,000); lot 242 a 1960 Maserati Tipo 61 'Birdcage', chassis #2461 (sold us$2,090,000); and lot 249 a 1986 Porsche 962, chassis #962-122; [www](Fri.), [www].

16 August 2013: The UK introduced new fixed penalty notices for careless driving such as "centre lane hogging", e.g., see the AA [www].

16 August 2013: The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering [www].
16 August 2013: Bonhams Quail Lodge auction [www], including the 1924 Grand Prix de Lyon Bugatti type 35 (not sold).
Lot 152, a 1931 Bentley 41/2-litre supercharged LeMans, chassis #MS3944, engine #MS3941, sold for us$4,647,500 -- [www].

14 August 2013: Recall 2013/13697 for MY 2012 & 2013 Freelander 2 and Range Rover Evoque 2.2, diesel leak "from the engine mounted injector spill rail spigot to spill return pipe" -- [www].

14 Aug 2013 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.57/l; min $1.45 (Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.40); oil us$107/b; au$1.00=us$0.91, £0.59, €0.69, ¥90

14 August 2013: "The New Zealand makers of a one-person jetpack hope to have it on sale by the middle of next year. ... [It] has now been issued with an experimental flight permit for development test flying ..." -- [abc]. And see Martin Jetpack [www].

13 August 2013, .uk: "British Auto Legends Thoroughbreds" postage stamps -- E-type, MGB, Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, Morgan Plus 8, Aston Martin DB5, Lotus Esprit, £5.64 -- Royal Mail [www].

12 August 2013: "Team UOW Australia [was] announced as the winner of the Solar Decathlon China 2013" -- [www], UOW [www], [abc] -- Students from U. of Wollongong and TAFE Illawarra Institute took the plan of a 1960's fibro house and "retrofitted" it with modern cladding, insulation, double glazing, and a photovoltaic thermal system.

10-16 August 2013: Bonneville Speed Week, [www].

10-11 August 2013: Winton Festival of Speed [www].

9 Aug 2013 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.46/l; min $1.40 (Perth] avg $1.54/l, min $1.41); oil us$103/b; au$1.00=us$0.91, £0.59, €0.68, ¥88

8 August 2013: Recall PRE #2013/13691, BMW diesel 1 (E87), 5 (E60), 7 (F01, F02), X3 (E83), X5 (E70), X6 (E71), Aug.-Nov. 2009, "An internal short-circuit may occur in the area of the electric contacts of the diesel fuel filter heating unit. ... may lead to a vehicle fire. ..." -- [www].

7 August 2013: BMW released more information on its 'i8' plug-in hybrid, 2+2, sports car - to be at the Frankfurt Motor Show (12 Sept), and to go on sale in 2014 [www]. It has a 170kW 1.5-litre turbo-charged 3-cylinder petrol engine, and a 96kW electric motor, driving the rear and front wheels respectively. VALVETRONIC variable-lift valves do away with a throttle. BMW claims 35km range in all-electric mode.

7 August 2013: "Jaguar Land Rover Automotive ... wholesales and retails for the quarter ended June 30, 2013, grew 8.6% and 10.4% over corr. period [of 2012]" -- Tata [www].

5 August 2013: "BMW's China joint venture will recall more than 140,000 vehicles due to an electric power-steering system problem ..." -- The G. [www].

5 August 2013, .au: The Labor Government "announced a $200 million assistance package for the car industry" [abc] -- the day after it announced 7 September as the date of the Federal Election.

4 Aug 2013 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.41 (Perth] avg $1.51/l, min $1.46); oil us$107/b
2 Aug 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$0.89, £0.59, €0.67, ¥89

2-4 August 2013, .uk: CarFest North, Oulton Perk [www].

2 August 2013: "Holden offer[ed] workers pay freeze to keep Elizabeth car manufacturing plant open ..." -- [abc].

1 August 2013, .uk: Culture Minister Ed Vaizey placed a temporary export ban on the "single-seater Bentley racing car known as a 'Bentley Blower' ... owned and raced by Sir Henry Birkin" -- [www]. The car sold for £5million+, 29 June 2012.

August 2013: A prototype Terrafugia Transition flying car was demonstrated at the EAA AirVenture Expo (29/7-4/8), [www], [www].

 

30 July 2013, .au: "... traditional owners [the Martu] near Wiluna in WA's Goldfields have had their native title claims recognised. ... spanning almost 50,000 square kilometres in and around Wiluna ..." -- [abc].

30 July 2013 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.56/l; min $1.48 (Perth] avg $1.52/l, min $1.47); oil us$105/b; au$1.00=us$0.91, £0.59, €0.68, ¥89
29 July 2013: The AAA called "for action to ensure that excessive use of shopper docket discounting is not undermining competition in the retail fuel market. ..." -- RACV [www]. 
And the ACCC too had "concern about the escalating shopper docket petrol discounts ... [which] provide short term benefits to some consumers [but] likely harm to other fuel retailers and therefore to competition ..." -- [www].

29 July 2013: BMW revealed the production version of its electric 'i3' (125 kW, 22 kW-hr) for sale in .eu in November, and .us (us$43K), .cn, .jp in 2014. A 650cc "two-cylinder gasoline [range extender] engine (25 kW)" is an option, [www].

28 July 2013 (10): Hungarian F1 Grand Prix (start noon GMT, 2pm local).
Results: 1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes], 2. Kimi Raikkonen [Lotus], 3. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], Hamilton started on pole and, at last, Mercedes also had good race pace, although the engine of his team mate, Nico Rosberg, met a fiery end. In the drivers' championship, 1. S. Vettel 172pts, 2. K. Raikkonen 134pts, 3. F. Alonso 133pts. (Also see [bbc] and FIA [www].)

27 July 2013: "A British-based computer scientist has been banned from publishing an academic paper revealing the secret codes used to start luxury cars including Porsches, Audis, Bentleys and Lamborghinis ..." -- The G. [www], also [bbc].

27 July 2013, .uk: Warranty Direct's Reliability Index ranked cars 1. Honda Jazz (1.0), 2. Vauxhall Agila (7.0), 3. Mitsubish Lancer (7.0) (a low score is good), and manufacturers 1. Daihatsu, 2. Honda, 3. Suzuki, [www].
And, "German manufacturers amongst least reliable for engines ..." -- W.D. [www] 15/1/2013.

27 July 2013: 41 years of production of the Ford Transit van at Southampton ended. Production in Turkey continued.

26-28 July 2013: Silverstone Classic [www].

26-28 July 2013: Billing, Land Rover Festival [www].

25 July 2013: Aston Martin announced moves to "a technical partnership with Mercedes-AMG GmbH ... development of bespoke V8 powertrains and the use of certain components of electric/electronic (e/e) architecture. ..." -- [www]. Also see The G. [www].

25 July 2013 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.57/l; min $1.46 (Perth] avg $1.61/l, min $1.48); oil us$107/b; au$1.00=us$0.92, £0.60, €0.69, ¥92

24 July 2013: Contracts for parts of "Phase 3B of Project LAND 121 - 'Project Overlander' were signed by Rheinmetall MAN Military Vehicles Australia and Haulmark Trailers (Australia) ..." -- Defence [www]. (Also see 24 Oct. above.)

24 July 2013: The Birds, "... up to 4,000 galahs and cockatoos have been roosting in [Boulia, Qld] over the past 10 weeks. ... perch on powerlines ... can cause the wires to crash together leading to power outages and surges. ..." -- [abc].

July 2013, .au: "All Challenger models are powered by [a] 2.5-litre common rail, direct injection turbo-diesel engine. ... 131kW@@4000rpm ... 400Nm@@2000rpm ..." -- [www]. And, "All 14MY Pajero variants will come with ... [a] 3.2-litre common rail turbo diesel engine. ... 147kW@@2800rpm ... 441Nm@@2000rpm ... au$51K-$74K ..." -- Mitsubishi [www].

23 July 2013: "Bentley Motors today confirms that it will proceed with the development of the Bentley SUV, the company's fourth model line. The SUV will be made in Crewe and will go on sale in 2016. ..." -- Bentley. (It won't be pretty.)

23 July 2013: "Rio Tinto ... plans to build the Koodaideri [iron ore] mine about 110km west-northwest of Newman. ..." -- [abc]. The site is in the Hammersleys, WA, about 25km from Karijini National Park.

21 July 2013: "Four-hundred workers at Holden's Elizabeth car plant in Adelaide have taken voluntary redundancies ..." -- [abc].

21 July 2013 (10): ? A European F1 Grand Prix. (It didn't happen.)

20 July 2013 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.50/l; min $1.40 (Perth] avg $1.57/l, min $1.45); oil us$108/b
19 July 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$0.92, £0.60, €0.70, ¥92

19 July 2013, .uk: Petrol 135.78p per litre, diesel 140.24p -- the AA [www].

17-21 July 2013: The War and Peace Revival RAF Westenhanger - Folkestone Racecourse, Westenhanger, Hythe, Kent [www].

17 July 2013: 'Carwarp [nr Mildura] shines as Australia's largest concentrated solar plant opens ... 40 dish solar panel plant. ... [And] "the hundred megawatt power station that will follow this plant in a year or so is enough to power up to 40,000 average Australian homes when it's producing peak power."' -- [abc]. (But see 18 Aug 2014.)

15 July 2013 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.56/l; min $1.44 (Perth] avg $1.50/l, min $1.42); oil us$106/b; au$1.00=us$0.91, £0.60, €0.70, ¥90

12 July 2013: "Volkswagen Group China deliver[ed] more than 1.5 million vehicles in the first half of 2013 ..." -- [www].

11-14 July 2013 (Fri.-Sun.): Goodwood Festival of Speed [www], including Bluebird CN7 (403mph 1964), Campbell's Sunbeam V12, Bluebird V (277mph 1935), Seagrave's Sunbeam 1000bhp Tiger (1927).
12th: Bonhams auction [www] including lot 320 the Juan Manuel Fangio 1954 Formula 1 German and Swiss GP winning 21/2-litre Mercedes-Benz W196 chassis #00006/54 [www]. It sold for £19,601,500 inc. fees -- [www], and [bbc].
11th: Moving Motor Show, Thursday.
10 July 2013 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.37 (Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.40); oil us$105/b; au$1.00=us$0.92, £0.62, €0.72, ¥92

9 July 2013: "Following a pit lane incident at last weekend's German Grand Prix ... Access for approved media will be confined to the pit wall." -- FIA [www].

8 July 2013, .au: Recall PRA #2013/13658, Mitsubishi 13MY 'Outlander', including "Adaptive Cruise Control ... Forward Collision Mitigation" and "the Electronic Power Steering computer may fail" and "when driving in a tunnel with the Adaptive Cruise Control 'On', the system may judge the wall of the tunnel as an approaching vehicle and automatically operate the brakes" -- [www].

8 July 2013, .au: "Independent review announced into Holden manufacturing ..." -- [abc].

7 July 2013 (9): German F1 Grand Prix (start noon GMT, 2pm local).
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Kimi Raikkonen [Lotus], 3. Romain Grosjean (Lotus). Pirelli brought new rear tyres with Kevlar belts, instead of steel, and there were no more blowouts. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) started on pole but, due to high tyre wear, finished 5th. A wheel came off Mark Webber's Red Bull at a pit stop, hitting a cameraman who suffered a broken shoulder and ribs. Webber lost a lap but, aided by a safety car, finished 7th. Raikkonen might have won if the race were a lap longer. (Also see the FIA [www] and [bbc].)

July 2013: The RACV released its annual survey of car running costs and "the cheapest new car to own and operate is the Mitsubishi Mirage ES ... estimated on-road price of au$15,459 ... weekly running costs modest [of] au$112.81. ... [up to] the new Nissan Patrol ST-L ... drive-away price of au$88,488 ... au$397.84 a week ..." -- [www].

5 July 2013 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.35 (Perth] avg $1.52/l, min $1.40); oil us$102/b; au$1.00=us$0.91, £0.61, €0.71, ¥92

4 July 2013: Chrysler 'will recall nearly 840,000 vehicles. ... 490,000 vehicles which may have a potentially faulty component for head rests ... 282,000 minivans to fix software which is "inadvertently programmed" to deploy side airbags on the opposite side to that of an impact. ...' -- [bbc]. See [1], [2] and [3]@@C. (Also see 4 June.)

3 July 2013: "Cane toads have wiped out some populations of dwarf crocodiles in northern Australia. ..." -- [abc].

 

30 June 2013: 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb [www]. Inspection 24th, practice 25-28th, set-up 29th).  1. Sebastien Loeb (Peugeot), 8:13.878, 87.471mph (145kph). That was 48s(!) faster then Rhys Millen (2nd), who was 40s faster than Jean-Philippe Dayraut (3rd). The first four beat last year's (12 Aug.) record. Paving the road was completed in autumn 2011.

30 June 2013 (8): British F1 Grand Prix (start noon GMT, 1pm local).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes], 2. Mark Webber [Red Bull], 3. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari]. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) started on pole and led until his left rear tyre blew out; he finished 4th. There were five more failures of the Pirelli tyres during the race. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) then seemed in control until his garbox failed. on lap 41. (Also see [bbc] and FIA [www].) And, "In light of a number of significant tyre failures ... the FIA is determined to seek an urgent solution to the problem" -- [www].
29 June 2013 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.50/l; min $1.43 (Perth] avg $1.50/l, min $1.38); oil us$96/b
28 June 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.61, €0.71, ¥92

29-30 June 2013: Tankfest Bovington tank museum, .uk [www].

29 June 2013: The 2013 Peking to Paris Motor Challenge was won by Gerry Crown and Matt Bryson driving a Leyland P76 (237:30:10) in the pre-1975 category. The pre-1941 category was won by Phil Garratt and Kieron Brown in a Chevrolet Fangio Coupe (257:23:58) -- [www]. The event commemorates the 1907 race.

28 June 2013: A 6-litre V8 GM Holden VF SS V Redline Ute lapped the Nurburgring (Nordschleife 20.8km) in 8m 19.47s -- [www].

25 June 2013: The EU announced "a deal on the European Commission's car emissions proposal: the 95g CO2/km 2020 target is secured ... [and] more realistic test procedures ... at the earliest opportunity ..." -- [www]. The 2015 target is 130 gm/km. (But see 15 October above.)

25 June 2013 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.55/l; min $1.45 (Perth] avg $1.44/l, min $1.38); oil us$95/b; au$1.00=us$0.93, £0.60, €0.71, ¥90

25 June 2013: "A flood evacuation warning has been issued for some parts of Goulburn [NSW] ..." -- [abc].

24 June 2013: A VW Passat TDI set a "Guinness World Record for fuel economy around the 48 U.S. States - 78mpg or 3.02 liters per 100km ..." -- VW [www], [bbc].

24 June 2013: Defence announced "delivery of the 1000th Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen under Project LAND 121 Phase 3A. ..." -- [www].

23 June 2013, .au: The prime minister officially opened a new bypass at Holbrook, NSW, finally making the Hume highway dual carriageway from Melbourne to Sydney. The bypass will open to traffic in July -- [www].

22-23 June 2013: The Le Mans 24 Hour Race [www]. 1. Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish and Loic Duval, no.2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro (348 laps, 24.01.16); 2. Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Stephane Sarrazin, no.8 Toyota TS030 hybrid (347 laps); 3. Oliver Jarvis, Marc Gene and Lucas di Grassi, no.3 Audi (347 laps). It was Audi's 12th win, and Kristensen's 9th. And in LMP2, 1. Bertrand Baguette, Ricardo Ganzalez & Martin Plowman, no.35 Morgan-Nissan (329 laps). There were several downpours and 11 safety-car periods. Sadly, Allan Simonsen, driving an Aston Martin Vantage (GTE), was killed in an accident on lap 3.
Before the race, Nissan unveiled its ZEOD RC petrol/electric series hybrid car, resembling the 2012 DeltaWing, and being developed as a "garage 56" entry for the 2014 race [www], [www].

21 June 2013: Renault put the sounds of its 2014 F1 V6 engine online -- [www].

21 June 2013: The FIA announced that "1. Mercedes be reprimanded, 2. Mercedes be suspended from participating in the forthcoming 'three day young driver training test' [and] 3. Pirelli be reprimanded," over a disputed F1 tyre test in Barcelona -- [www]. (See 6 June.)

21 June 2013, .uk: "... a rise in the average price [of petrol] from 133.35p a litre in mid May to 134.61p in mid June ... [& diesel] 138.17p in mid May to 139.16p now ..." -- the AA [www].

21 June 2013: "Tourism Australia announces best job winners: Elisa Detrez (France): park ranger, Qld; Allan Dixon (Ireland): outback adventurer, NT; Andrew Smith (US): chief funster, NSW; Rich Keam (England): taste master, WA; Roberto Seba (Brazil): lifestyle photographer, Vic.; Greg Snell (Canada): wildlife caretaker, SA" -- [abc].

20 June 2013 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.34 (Perth] avg $1.52/l, min $1.35); oil us$98/b; au$1.00=us$0.92, £0.60, €0.70, ¥90

18 June 2013, .au: "Carmaker Holden is in discussions with staff and unions about cutting costs at its South Australian plant. ..." -- [abc]. (See 21 July above. And, on 23 May, Ford .au announced that it would stop local manufacturing in 2016.)

17-23 June 2013: Paris Air Show [www].

17 June 2013: To "2050 we can emit no more than 600 billion tonnes of CO2 to have a good chance of staying within the 2°C limit. ... emissions from using all the world's fossil fuel reserves would be around five times this budget. ..." -- Climate Commission [www]. And, the "Government says coal industry vital" -- [abc].

15 June 2013 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.41/l; min $1.35 (Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.33); oil us$98/b
14 June 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$0.96, £0.61, €0.72, ¥91

15-16 June 2013 (Sat.-Sun.): Brooklands Double Twelve Motorsport Festival (including the Napier Railton) [www].

14-16 June 2013: Cholmondeley Pageant of Power [www].

12 June 2013, .uk: MG (SAIC .cn) unveiled the small "MG3 at its Birmingham-based European Design Centre. ..." -- [www].

12 June 2013, .au: Finally after much bad publicity, Volkswagen (VW) "announced a recall of its Jetta, Golf, Polo, Passat and Caddy models manufactured between June 2008 and September 2011. ... The problem is reportedly in gearboxes, which will be replaced free of charge ..." -- [abc]. Some Skodas and Audis were also included...
PRA number 2013/13626: "... 7 speed direct shift gearbox (DSG) are being recalled due to possible electrolysis in the gearbox control unit that can lead to a short circuit and blow the gearbox fuse ..." -- .gov.au [www].
Also PRA # 2013/13635 "All Skoda Octavia and Superb vehicles manufactured between November 2008 and August 2011" -- [www], and PRA # 2013/13634 "Audi A1 and A3" (DSG, 7/2008-7/2011) -- [www].
(Also see 31 May below and 14 Nov. above. And see the VW emissions testing scandal of September 2015.)

11 June 2013: 'New South Wales Shooters MP Robert Borsak says there has been a culture war over gun control in Australia since the Port Arthur massacre, but people are starting to "get over it". ... Thirty-five people were killed when gunman Martin Bryant opened fire in the Tasmanian tourist site. ...' -- [abc]! * #!

10 June 2013 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.30 (Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.34); oil us$96/b; au$1.00=us$0.95, £0.61, €0.72, ¥92

10 June 2013 (Mon.): Queen's Birthday, Vic., .au.

9 June 2013 (7): Canadian F1 Grand Prix (start 6pm GMT, 2pm local).
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari], 3. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]. Drizzle spiced up qualifying very nicely but Vettel just scampered away in the dry race. Very sadly, a track marshall was killed in an accident with a crane recovering a crashed car. (Also see [bbc], and FIA [www].)

9 June 2013: There were reports that TVR might be revived. (We've been here before.)

8-10 June 2013: Finke Desert Race, Alice Springs NT [www].

7 June 2013: "Detroit's mountains of petroleum coke are 'dirtier than the dirtiest fuel.' Byproduct of tar sands production is piling up ..." -- The G. [www].

7 June 2013, .uk: The RAC Foundation reported that "Analysis of data for 551 fixed speed cameras in 9 areas shows that on average the number of fatal and serious collisions in their vicinity fell by more than a quarter (27%) after their installation. ... However the research also highlights 21 camera sites ... at which, or near which, the number of collisions appears to have risen enough to make the cameras worthy of investigation in case they have contributed to the increases." -- [www].

6 June 2013: "... the fact that the U.S. Treasury Department is selling its GM stock has been welcomed by other investors. ..." -- GM [www].

6 June 2013: The FIA decided "To bring the case concerning the tyre testing session carried out by Pirelli and Team Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 in Barcelona on 15-17 May 2013 before the FIA International Tribunal because it results from the inquiry that the conditions of this testing may constitute a breach of the applicable FIA rules." -- FIA [www]. (See 21 June.)

5 June 2013, .au: In 2012, renewable sources generated "13.4% of the nation's electricity ..." -- Clean Energy Council [www], [abc].

5 June 2013 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.33/l; min $1.28 (Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.34); oil us$94/b; au$1.00=us$0.96, £0.63, €0.73, ¥96
4 June 2013: "Chrysler is refusing a request by the US government to recall 2.7 million Jeeps. ..." -- [bbc]. The issue is the location of the fuel tank and its integrity in rear end collisions in 1993-2004 Grand Cherokees and 2002-07 Libertys.
Chrysler "does not agree with NHTSA's conclusions and does not intend to recall the vehicles cited in the investigation. The subject vehicles are safe and are not defective. ..." -- Chrysler [www].
But, 18 June: "Chrysler has agreed to recall 2.7 million Jeeps that could be at risk of fuel tank fires ..." -- [bbc]. Chrysler "will, if necessary, provide an upgrade to the rear structure of the vehicle" -- [www]. (Also see 4 July above.)

4 June 2013: Ford announced it would "recall 465,000 cars globally to fix a possible fuel leak. ..." -- [bbc]. Also see NHTSA (USA) campaign number 13V227000 [www][31/5].

 
31 May 2013 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.34/l; min $1.29 (Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.29); oil us$94/b; au$1.00=us$0.96, £0.63, €0.74, ¥97
31 May 2013: "Transport Dept to investigate complaints about Volkswagen engine failures ..." -- [abc]. There were also issues with diesel injectors, and with DSG gearboxes.
And "... Volkswagen Australia has defended the safety of its cars, saying there is no evidence to suggest 'vehicle fault was involved in [Melissa Ryan's] crash'. ..." -- [2]. Not a good look for VW.
... 7 June: Eventually, "Volkswagen has written an open letter to customers, offering free inspections ..." -- [3].
And then a recall, see 12 June above.

30 May 2013: Thales Australia delivered "six Hawkei prototypes and one trailer prototype under the latest stage of Project LAND 121 Phase 4 ..." -- [www].

29 May 2013: "Australia is the best place in the world to live and work, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD]. ..." -- The G. [www]. Also see OECD [www].

28 May - 29 June 2013: 5th Peking to Paris Motor Challenge [www]. The oldest car entered is a 1917 La France Tourer. Also see history 1907, and 29 June above.

28 May 2013: "Is the Tanami Road the worst highway in Australia? ..." -- [abc].

27 May 2013: "The Bland Shire in central western NSW ... in the early stages of investigating sister city relationships with Dull in Scotland and Boring in the United States. ..." -- [abc].-)

26-27 May 2013: Motorsport at the Palace, Crystal Palace, uk [www].

26 May 2013: "Better Place announce[d] that it [had] filed a motion with the Lod District Court today to ask for the dissolution of the company and the appointment of a temporary liquidator. ..." -- [www]. (Also [bbc].)

26 May 2013 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.30 (Perth] avg $1.41/l, min $1.30); oil us$94/b
24 May 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$0.97, £0.64, €0.75, ¥99
26 May 2013 (6): Monaco F1 Grand Prix (start noon GMT, 2pm local).
Results: 1. Nico Rosberg [Mercedes], 2. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 3. Mark Webber (Red Bull). The Mercedes started 1 and 2 but the Red Bulls passed Lewis Hamilton when the latter pitted during a safety car period. There were several "incidents," with two safety car periods and the race red flagged (paused) near half distance. Rosberg's father, Keke, won the race in 1983 driving a Williams. (Also see the FIA [www], [www], and [bbc].)

26 May 2013: 97th Indianapolis 500 [www]. 1. Tony Kanaan, KV Racing Technology, Chevrolet Dallara, 187.433mph a new record.

25 May - 7 June 2013: Isle of Man TT [www].

25-26 May 2013: Historic Winton, .au [www].

25 May 2013: Bonhams Spa Classic auction including lot 15 a factory restored 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 Coupe, chassis #3739, engine #2502 (sold €575,000), and lot 20 a 1964 Ferrari 275GTB Berlinetta chassis #06663, engine #06663 (sold €902,750) [www], [www].

24-26 May 2013: Concorso d'Eleganza, Villa d'Este, Lake Como [www], and RM Auctions Villa Erba sale [www] (25 May) including lot 130 a 1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Pinin Farina Berlinetta 'Competizione' chassis #0320AM, engine #0320AM, driven by Ascari, Farina and Hawthorn (sold €9,856,000), lot 132 a 2010 Ferrari 599XX chassis #ZFF69PXX000170895 (sold €918,400), lot 135 a 1964 Ferrari 250GT Lusso Berlinetta by Scaglietti chassis #5275GT & engine #5275GT (sold €974,400), and lot 126 a 1997 Ferrari F50 chassis #ZFFTA46B000106910 & engine #45670 (sold €560,000).

24 May 2013, .uk: In the JD Power Whatcar survey of car owner satisfaction 1. Jaguar, 2. Lexus, 3. Honda, and "Land Rover [moved] up six places to take sixth[!]" -- [www].

23 May 2013, then there were two: Ford Australia announced that it would "cease its local manufacturing operations in October 2016" -- [www]. This had been widely predicted ever since Ford decided (24 July 2009) not to build a small car, the Focus, in Australia, thus reversing its move of July 2007 [abc]. From then Ford allowed the Falcon, and Territory 4x4, to go stale. (Also see [abc], and 18 June above.)

23 May 2013: "Nissan ... plans to recall about 841,000 vehicles worldwide due to a faulty steering wheel. ..." -- [bbc].

21 May 2013 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.47/l; min $1.27 (Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.27); oil us$97/b; au$1.00=us$0.98, £0.64, €0.76, ¥101

20 May 2013: First day of regular production for new [Holden] VF Commodore at Elizabeth ..." -- [www].

20 May 2103: Turning 100, Aston Martin unveiled its 'CC100 Speedster' concept at the Nurburgring 24 hour event -- [www]. The car resembles the 2009 Mercedes-Benz McLaren SLR, Stirling Moss limited edition, rather more closely than its own DBR1. And, an Aston Martin 'Rapide S' fuelled with hydrogen or petrol, [www][29/4], completed the race (a V12 internal combustion engine).

18 May 2013: Bonhams Aston Martin works auction, Newport Pagnell, inc. lot 239, a unique 1960 Aston Martin Beretone DB4GT the "Jet" (sold £3,249,500) [www].

16 May 2013 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.23 (Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.22); oil us$94/b; au$1.00=us$0.99, £0.65, €0.77, ¥101

16 May 2013: McLaren F1 announced that it would use "Honda engines and energy recovery systems" from 2015 -- [www], & Honda [www].

16 May 2013, .au: Mt Hotham, Vic., "a few snow showers, max -1°C -- [bom].

15 May 2013, .uk: "The offices of several firms involved in the oil market [were] raided by European Commission officials. ... BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Norway's Statoil and the pricing agency Platts confirmed that they were working with the authorities ..." -- [bbc].

12 May 2013 (5): Spanish F1 Grand Prix, Barcelona (start noon GMT, 2pm local).
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Kimi Raikkonen [Lotus], 3. Filipe Massa (Ferrari). It seemed to be a case of driving on egg shells rather than tyres for many with wear being a problem -- Mercedes qualified 1st and 2nd but finished 6th and 12th. (Also see [bbc] and FIA [www].)
14 May: "Pirelli is to change the tyres ... from the Canadian GP next month. ... after complaints that their fragile nature ..." -- [bbc].
22 May: . . . but "the FIA, says this would break the rules ..." -- [bbc].
11 May 2013 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.25 (Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.22); oil us$96/b
10 May 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$1.01, £0.65, €0.77, ¥102

10 May 2013: J. Vrigham-Grette et al, 'Pliocene warmth, polar amplification, and stepped pleistocene cooling recorded in NE Arctic Russia,' Science, [www]. The sediment record "from Lake El'gygytgyn [Siberia, shows] a very warm Arctic when atmospheric CO2 levels were last at about 400 parts per million (ppm) ... 8°C [warmer] ... sea levels were up to 40m higher than today" -- The G. [www]. (Also see 30 April, NOAA [www], [bbc].)

10 May 2013, .au: An "annular" eclipse of the Sun, central Australia & N. Qld -- [abc][10/11/'12], [abc][9/5/'13], NASA [www][2/5/'13]. "... Tennant Creek, the prime location to view the eclipse. The eclipse got underway just before 7:00am (CST) and the sun was due to be almost totally obscured just after 8:00am. ..." -- [abc].

9 May 2013: "[VW] is recalling about 91,000 cars in Japan ... potential gearbox problems that have already caused a recall in China ..." -- Reuters [www]. (Also see 20 March below, and wikip on DSG [www].)

9 May 2013: A 'Red List' of "ecosystems on the brink of extinction" includes "the Coorong lagoons, Karst rising springs (Mt Gambier), coastal sandstone upland swamps (Wollongong), marshes and lakes in the Murray-Darling Basin (Warren)" as critically endangered, and "the seagrass meadows (Spencer Gulf), the Coolibah-black box woodland (Walgett) and the semi-evergreen vine thicket (Inverell)" as endangered -- [abc].

8 May 2013: "Toyota's profit more than doubled in the three months to March [due to] a weakening yen and improved sales ..." -- [bbc].

8 May 2013: GM Holden "announced its 2012 financial results, recording a net loss of au$152.8 million. ..." -- [www]. And reduced production in "South Australia from the current 400 cars per day down to 335." -- [www]. Also see [abc].

7 May 2013: "SMR Automotive has confirmed up to 90 jobs will go from its Lonsdale plant in S. Adelaide, as some production [of car parts] is moved to Thailand. ..." -- [abc].

6 May 2013 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.42/l; min $1.26 (Perth] avg $1.35/l, min $1.23); oil us$96/b; au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.66, €0.78, ¥102

4-5 May 2013 (Sat.-Sun.): Clunes Booktown Festival, Vic., .au [www].

4 May 2013 (Sat.), .uk: Warren Concours d'Elegance, Woodham Walter, Essex [www].

3-5 May 2013 (Fri.-Sun.): Donington Historic Festival [www], including a tribute to the late Ayrton Senna [www].

3 May 2013: Porsche released details of its next 911 Turbo and Turbo S models [www].

3 May 2013: GM "announced first quarter net income attributable to common stockholders of us$0.9 billion", including losses in Europe of "us$(0.2) billion, compared with us$(0.3) billion" last year -- [www]. And [bbc].

1 May 2013 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.23 (Perth] avg $1.29/l, min $1.24); oil us$93/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.67, €0.79, ¥101

1 May 2013: "The Victorian Government will spend an extra au$170 million over three years to fix the state's roads. ..." -- [abc], RACV [www]. (Also see 21 January.)

 

April 2013, .au: "Testing of the prototype [Spartan] has finally finished ... Work is underway on the production car ... engine choice now to Honda K20A Type-R with power of 250hp ... 500kg ..." -- [www]. Also see [bbc].

30 April 2013, .au: "... country motorists are paying up to 30c more for petrol and gas than Melbourne motorists ... Yarrawonga [ULP] at 155.9cpl ... Hamilton ... 155cpl from 12 Feb., Colac ... 153cpl for all of March ..." -- RACV [www].

30 April 2013, .au: Tropical Cyclone Zane, 760km E. of Lockhart River, is likely to strengthen to category two before it crosses the far N. Queensland coast -- [abc].

30 April 2013: CO2 levels measured at the Earth System Research Lab., Mauna Loa [www][21/4], stood at 398.68ppm. (The level between the years 1000 and 1800 is estimated to have been 280ppm. Also see 10 May.)

29 April 2013: Chrysler reported that "net income in the 1st quarter of 2013 was us$166 million, versus $473 million a year ago" [www].

29 April 2013: Bonhams auction, Hendon, RAF museum, including lot 329 a 2004 Ferrari Enzo, chassis #ZFFCZ56B000136073 (passed in) [www].

29 April 2013, .au: Recall PRA #2013/13549, Honda 2001-2003 YM CIVIC, 2002-2003 YM CR-V and 2003 YM Jazz "front passenger air bag inflator may have been assembled with improperly manufactured propellant wafers" [www].  Similarly PRA #2013/13545 Toyota Lexus "Passenger-side front airbag fitted to Lexus SC430 model vehicles" [www] and PRA #2013/13544 Toyota Corolla ZZE122 and Avensis Verso ACM20 [www].  Also PRA #2013/13542 Nissan N16 Pulsar, D22 Navara, Y61 Patrol, X-Trail "airbag inflator" [www].

26 Apr 2013 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.27/l; min $1.25 (Perth] avg $1.38/l, min $1.26); oil us$93/b; au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.67, €0.79, ¥102

25 April 2013 (Thu.): Anzac Day.

24 April 2013: Mitsubishi "announced findings of investigations into incidents involving lithium-ion batteries used in its Outlander PHEV, i-MiEV, and MINICAB-MiEV ..." -- [www], [www].

24 April 2013: The Skoda 'Yeti' was revealed as Britain's favourite car in the 2013 Auto Express Driver Power car satisfaction survey [www]: 1. Skoda Yeti, 2. Skoda Superb, 3. Jaguar XF!

24 April 2013: Ford reported "first quarter pre-tax profit of us$2.1 billion" including in "North America ... a record us$2.4 billion", but in Europe a loss of us$462 million -- [www].

24 April 2013: PSA Peugeot reported that "first quarter of 2013 saw demand decline by a steep 10% in Europe ... €13 billion in consolidated revenues, down 6.5% [v.] 1st-quarter 2012" -- [www].

22 April 2013: T. P. Howard et al, 'Synthesis of customized petroleum-replica fuel molecules by targeted modification of free fatty acid pools in Escherichia coli,' Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA) 2013, [www]. Candidates for making renewable petrol, diesel, or equivalent fuels include algae, and bacteria such as E. coli. Scaling up is the big challenge. (Also see [bbc].)

23 April 2013: The ABS [www] estimated that the Australian population had reached 23 million.

22 April 2013: "Australian rock legend Chrissy Amphlett, best known as the singer of the Divinyls, has died in New York aged 53." -- [abc].

21-29 April 2013: AutoShanghai, the 15th Shanghai Motor Show [www]. Including BMW 'i8' hybrid concept, 'X4' concept [www]; Chang'an (.cn) 'R95' SUV concept; Cherry 'Ant 2.0' electric concept; Ford "Escort" (.cn only); Maserati 'Ghilbi' 4-door; Mercedes-Benz 'GLA' concept (compact SUV); MG 'MG3' & 'CS' SUV concept; Nissan 'Friend-ME' concept [www] [www]; Porsche 'Panamera' LWB; [bbc].

21 Apr 2013 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.30/l; min $1.24 (Perth] avg $1.36/l, min $1.30); oil us$88/b
19 Apr 2013 Fri Melb au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.68, €0.79, ¥102
21 April 2013 (4): Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, start 3pm local (noon GMT).
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Kimi Raikkonen [Lotus], 3. Romain Grosjean (Lotus). It was an exciting race with a lot of overtaking, although Vettel was very comfortable in the lead after early dices with Rosberg (Mercedes) and Alonso (Ferrari). The top three were the same as in 2012. (Also see the [bbc] and FIA [www].)

19 April 2013: Daimler gave details of the new Unimog range, including a new "look", and Euro VI compliant engines [www].

16 Apr 2013 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.38/l; min $1.29 (Perth] avg $1.37/l, min $1.31); oil us$87/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.67, €0.79, ¥102

15 April 2013, .uk: "... After accounting for indirect emissions, biodiesel from edible oils is no longer a rational [CO2] mitigation strategy; abatement costs for ethanol are in the range of $330-$8,500 per tonne of CO2e, depending on the feedstock used. ..." -- Chatham House, ER PP 2013/01 pdf@@[www]; also see [bbc].

12 Apr 2013 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.42/l; min $1.31 (Perth] avg $1.43/l, min $1.31); oil us$93/b; au$1.00=us$1.06, £0.69, €0.80, ¥105

14 April 2013 (3): Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Shangai, start 3pm local (7am GMT). Results: 1. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari], 2. Kimi Raikkonen [Lotus], 3. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes]. Hamilton qualified fastest with Raikkonen second, the latter making a poor start. Tyre choice and preservation were big factors in the race. (Also see the [bbc] and FIA [www].)

13 April 2013: "The FIA Formula E Championship [held a] forum at Silverstone ... [the series] makes its debut in 2014 ..." -- FIA [www].

12 April 2013, .au: "Minister for Defence Materiel Dr Mike Kelly today opened the LAND 121 Maintenance Training Facility at Gaza Ridge Barracks near Bandiana in N.Victoria ... [training for] ADF's new fleet of 4×4 and 6×6 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagens and, in later years, the medium and heavy trucks to be delivered under LAND 121 Phase 3B and the light protected mobility vehicles to be delivered under LAND 121 Phase 4." -- [www].

12 April 2013, .uk: "The Vauxhall VXR8 Tourer [station wagon] ... part of the VXR8 range ... saloon and Maloo pick-up [ute] ... £49.5K ...", [www], is basically a Holden.

11 April 2013: "Japan carmakers to recall 3.4m cars over airbag defect ... The cars were sold in the years 2000-04, and the firms said the defective part was supplied by parts maker Takata Corp. ..." -- [bbc]. And in .au, "nearly 25,000 Japanese-brand cars are to be recalled" -- [abc]. (Also see 29 April above.)

10-14 April 2013: 25th Techno Classica, Essen, .de [www].

10 April 2013: GM announced that it would "invest 4 billion euros in Germany and Europe through 2016." -- [www] (and [bbc], more [www][17th]).

9 April 2013: (Shelby) SSC reported that its Ultimate Aero had been reinstated as the world's fastest production car [256.14mph 2007] after "Bugatti and their Veyron Super Sport [267.8mph 2010] were officially stripped of the record by Guinness World Records" for using a modified car (a speed restrictor was deactivated) -- [www] -- hmm.

8 Apr 2013 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.45 (Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.32); oil us$93/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.68, €0.80, ¥102

9 April 2013: Crude oil Brent us$104/b, WTI us$93.5/b, [bbc]; Tapis us$110.5/b, AIP [www].

8 April 2013: GM "Holden has announced that it will lay off another 500 workers in response to falling demand and the high Australian dollar. ..." -- [abc], and GMH [www]. (Also see 2 April, 21 July.)

4 April 2013: Shell "announced it is selling its refinery in Geelong" -- [abc]. There were predictions that the refinery would close and become an import terminal. Australia has 7 refineries, Kurnell NSW (Caltex) to close in 2014, Clyde NSW (Shell), Bulwer Island Qld (BP), Lytton Qld (Caltex) Altona Vic. (Exxon Mobil), Geelong Vic. (Shell) for sale. Kwinana WA (BP),

4 April 2013: "Hyundai is recalling 1,059,824 cars and SUVs and Kia 623,658 vehicles, from the 2007 to 2011 model years. ..." -- [bbc].

3 April 2013, .au: A Climate Commission report concluded that "Climate change is already increasing the intensity and frequency of many extreme weather events, ... The climate system has shifted, and is continuing to shift ..." -- [www]. Also see [abc].

2 April 2013, .au: "[GM] Holden has revealed that it has received au$2.17 billion in Federal Government assistance in the past 12 years. ..." -- [abc]. Ford, Holden and Toyota currently build cars in Australia. (Also see 8 April above.)

1 Apr 2013 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.36/l; min $1.32 (Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.35); oil us$97/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.68, €0.81, ¥98
1 April 2013: Easter Monday
 

31 March 2013: Tesla Motors announced that Model S "deliveries (sales) exceeded 4,750 units [so] Tesla is amending its Q1 guidance to full profitability, both GAAP and non-GAAP. ..." -- [www].

29 March - 7 April 2013: New York International Auto Show (press 27th, 28th) [www]. Including Chrysler next Jeep 'Cherokee' 2.4 I4 or 3.2 V6 [www]; GM 2014 m.y. Chevrolet 'Camaro SS' [www] & 'Camaro Z/28' [www]; Jaguar 'XJR'; Kia next 'Soul' and 'Optima'; Land Rover next 'Range Rover Sport' [www] (SAE [www]); Subaru 'XV' hybrid, 'WRX' concept; Toyota 2014 'Highlander' SUV; Volvo 'V60' diesel plug-in hybrid [www].

29 March 2013: Good Friday
27 Mar 2013 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.31 (Perth] avg $1.40/l, min $1.35); oil us$96/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.69, €0.81, ¥99

26 March 2013: "The Australian International Motor Show scheduled for Melbourne in June has been cancelled. ... No decision has been made about the 2014 motor show." -- [abc], and [www].

24 March 2013 (2): Malaysian F1 Grand Prix, start 4pm local (8am, GMT).
Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull], 2. Mark Webber (Red Bull), 3. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes], 4. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes). The race started on a damp track that soon dried. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) ran off the road and retired at the start of the 2nd lap due to a broken front wing. The Red Bulls dominated, although Mercedes seemed to have a chance mid race. (Also see the FIA [www] & [bbc].)

23 March 2013: "A Met Office warning of snow covers Northern Ireland, much of England, northern Wales and south-west Scotland. ..." -- [www]. (Met. office [www].) And 25/3 (Mon.): "AA has attended more than 1,100 call-outs to people stuck in snow, ice or flood water since Thursday ..." -- the AA [www].

22 Mar 2013 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.40/l; min $1.36 (Perth] avg $1.48/l, min $1.37); oil us$93/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.69, €0.81, ¥99

± 21 March 2013: Start of 'The Coldest Journey' expedition, a winter crossing of Antartica [www].

20 March 2013: "Volkswagen says it will recall 384,181 vehicles in China to replace a part of their gearboxes ..." -- [bbc].
"[VW] recalled a record number of vehicles in China to replace defective gearboxes that may result in the loss of acceleration ..." -- Bloomberg [www].

18 March 2013: Torotrak "has acquired a 20% stake in flywheel hybrid [KERS] innovator Flybrid Auto. Ltd (formerly Flybrid Systems LLP) with an option to acquire the remaining shares before the end of the calendar year. ..." -- [www].

18 March 2013: "Contrary to rumours initiated by Autocar magazine, [Group] Lotus [PLC] is not being liquidated. Earlier this year, Lotus was in a contractual dispute which was resolved amicably a number of weeks ago. However the High Court process meant that the matter was still shown on the High Court website, as there was a hearing scheduled for today. This is what appears to have been seen and misunderstood. The case was only listed for the proceedings to be disposed of. The claim has now been dismissed with no order as to costs." -- Lotus Cars [www].

17 Mar 2013 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.39 (Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.38); oil us$93/b
15 Mar 2013 Fri Melb au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.69, €0.80, ¥100
17 March 2013 (1): Australian F1 Grand Prix [www], start 5pm local (6am GMT).
Results: 1. Kimi Raikkonen [Lotus], 2. Fernando Alonso [Ferrari], 3. Sebastian Vettel [Red Bull]. The Red Bulls had the mojo in qualifying but KR's Lotus looked after its tyres in the race. Also see [abc], [bbc], FIA [www].

16 March 2013: Tropical Cyclone Tim was "forecast to move slowly SW ... and weaken ... the remnant low is forecast to move WNW towards the tropical Queensland coast next week" -- [bom][16/3], [abc][17/3], [18/3].

15-17 March 2013: National 4x4 Show, Brisbane [www].

13 March 2013: 'Mind the Gap! Why official car fuel economy figures don't match up to reality,' a report by Transport & Environment NGO, on how car makers fudge the NEDC emissions tests -- [www].

13 March 2013: Struggling Renault signed an agreement with the unions on keeping factories open but cutting jobs -- [www].

13 March 2013: Electric hybrid car maker "Fisker Automotive announced today the resignation of its Executive Chairman, Henrik Fisker. ..." -- [www].

12 Mar 2013 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.55/l; min $1.42 (Perth] avg $1.47/l, min $1.41); oil us$92/b; au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.69, €0.79, ¥99

12 March 2013, .au: "The record for the longest stretch of hot weather in Melbourne has been broken. The temperature has been above 30°C for nine days in a row. ... six days greater than 35°C ..." -- [abc].
.uk: "Snow, ice and freezing winds [caused] travel disruption across parts of the UK, with more expected. ..." -- [bbc].

11 March 2013 (Mon.): Labour Day, Vic., .au.
9-11 March 2013 (Sat-Mon): Melbourne Steam Traction Engine Club annual rally, Scoresby, Melbourne, Vic., [www].
8-11 March 2013 (Fri-Mon): Port Fairy Folk Festival, Vic., .au [www].
8-10 March 2013 (Fri-Sun): Phillip Island Classic [www].

8-10 March 2013: Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance [www], and 9 March, RM Auction [www]. Lot 137 a 1935 Duesenberg Model SJ Convertible Coupe by Walker-LaGrande sold for us$4,510,000, lot 147 a 1952 Ferrari 225 Sport Berlinetta 'Tuboscocca' by Vignale sold for us$1,237,500, and lot 165 a 1933 Stutz DV32 Convertible Victoria by Rollston sold for us$1,512,500.

7-17 March 2013: The Geneva International Motor Show [www]. Including Alfa Romeo '4C' mid-engined 1.8 turbo [www]; Aston Martin 'Rapide S' 4-door [www] & 'Jet' shooting brake (station wagon) concept (also see Bertone [www]); Audi 'RS Q3' crossover [www], 'A3 etron' plugin hybrid [www]; Bentley next 'Flying Spur'; Chrysler Jeep 2014 'Grand Cherokee' [www]; Citroen next 'C3', & 'Hybrid Air' (compressed air) prototype; Ferrari 'F150', 'LaFerrari' hybrid 6.2 l+Kers (Enzo replacement) [www]; Fiat '500L Trekking' [www]; Honda 'Civic' s/w; Hyundai 'Grand Santa Fe' SUV [www]; Kia 'Provo' concept, 1.6 turbo 'pro_cee'd' (groan) GT and 'cee'd' GT [www] & a concept [www]; Land Rover electric Defender experiment [www], 'Evoque' 9-spd auto (ZF 9HP) [www]; Maserati revised 'Granturismo MC Stradale'; McLaren 'P1' hybrid(!) total 916 PS & 900 Nm [www] [www]; Peugeot '208GTi', '2008', various hybrids [www]; Rolls-Royce 'Wraith' coupe; Spyker 'B6 Venator' concept [www]; Subaru 'Viziv' concept; Suzuki next 'SX4' crossover [www]; Tesla 'X' and 'S'; Toyota open FT-86 concept; VW 'XL1', 'Cross Up' SUV, next production 'Golf GTI', 2014 'GTD' [www].

7 March 2013: The FIA released the entry list for the 2013 F1 World Championship [www]. It included Red Bull Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, Ferrari Fernando Alonso and Filipe Massa, McLaren Jenson Button and Sergio Perez, Lotus Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, Mercedes Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

7 Mar 2013 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.40 (Perth] avg $1.54/l, min $1.42); oil us$90/b; au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.68, €0.79, ¥96
7 March 2013: "Hyundai is today notifying nearly 280,000 customers about a faulty brake light switch. ..." -- [abc].
And, Land Rover Evoque recalls, PRA #2013/13487 "one or both of the [rear] brake caliper fixings could become detached from the vehicle" [www], & PRA #2013/13486 possible "fatigue fracture in one or both of the steering gear mount fixings" [www].

7-12 March 2013: Melbourne Caravan, Camping & Holiday Supershow, Caulfield Racecourse, Caulfield [www].

6 March 2013: Details of the Lotus Evora 414E prototype and its series hybrid-electric drive-train at SAE [www].

6 March 2013, .au: "Best Job in the World is back: Australian tourism is hiring ..." -- [www], [www].

5 March 2013: Gumpert, which was facing bankruptcy last year, announced that it was "launching into the coming few years with a new investor. An enlargement of the product range is planned. ..." -- [www].

March 2013, .au: The Climate Commission released a report, 'the Angry Summer,' "record-breaking heat, severe bushfires, extreme rainfall and damaging flooding. Extreme heatwaves and catastrophic bushfire conditions ... made worse by climate change." -- [www].

3 March 2013: "An emergency flood alert has been issued for northern Dalby on Queensland's Darling Downs, as heavy rain continues ..." -- [abc].

2 Mar 2013 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.43/l; min $1.38 (Perth] avg $1.53/l, min $1.39); oil us$91/b
1 Mar 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$1.02, £0.67, €0.78, ¥95

1-3 March 2013: Airshow 2013, Avalon, Geelong, Vic., [www] (& trade show 26 Feb. - 1 March).

1 March 2013: "... this summer [Dec.-Feb.] has been Australia's hottest on record. Average temperatures across the country came in at 28.6°C, 1.1°C above normal ... The highest temperature ... was at Moomba in South Australia at 49.6°C. ... Record [for] Sydney with 45.8°C and Hobart with 41.8°C. ..." -- [bom], [c.c.].

 

28 February - 3 March 2013: Third and final F1 pre-season test session, Barcelona [1], [2], [3], [4].

27 February 2013: "China Racing becomes second Formula E team ..." -- FIA [www].

26 February 2013: "A white Hyundai ... ix35 Fuel Cell vehicle rolled off the assembly line at the company's Ulsan [plant] ... the world's first automaker to begin assembly-line production of ... hydrogen-powered vehicles for fleet use. ..." -- [www].

26 February 2013: "SE Qld awash again after heavy rain ..." -- [abc].

26 February 2013: "Severe tropical cyclone Rusty [cat. 3] intensified overnight and continues to move slowly southwards towards the coast. ... estimated to be 170km NNE of Port Hedland ..." -- [bom][26/2], [abc].
27th, 5am WST: "... category 4 ... 130km NNE of Port Hedland ..." -- bom[27/2].
28th: "Rusty missed [Pt Hedland] causing only minor damage as it crossed the coast to the east ..." -- [abc].
25 Feb 2013 Mon Melb ULP avg au$1.51/l; min $1.44 (Perth] avg $1.50/l, min $1.40); oil us$93/b; au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.68, €0.78, ¥97

25 February 2013: Renault released some details of its "electrified 1.6 V6 turbo powerplant" for next year's F1 rules, [www]. Features include direct-injection, KERS, and an electric motor-generator on the turbo-charger.

25 February 2013, .au: "Tropical Cyclone Rusty is moving slowly towards the coast. ... large tropical cyclone and its slow movement is likely to result in higher than usual rainfall in the Pilbara and W. Kimberley. ..." -- [bom][#14], & [abc].

February 2013: There was a "decision by Better Place to focus on delivering on its strategy in Denmark and Israel ... wind-down of its non-core activities in North America and limiting any further investment in Australia beyond its current commitments. ..." -- Better Place [www][6/2]. Better Place sets up and runs recharging stations for electric cars. Also see the G. [www][5/3]. (Also see 26 May above.)

22-24 February 2013: Race Retro, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry [www].

22 February 2013: "Flood watch for NSW coastal rivers from the Qld border to the Hunter valley ..." -- [www]@@[bom], & [abc]. And 24/2 [abc].

20 Feb 2013 Wed Melb ULP avg au$1.58/l; min $1.42 (Perth] avg $1.45/l, min $1.39); oil us$97/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.67, €0.77, ¥97

20 February 2013: The new Range Rover will have the option of a 250kW 3.0-litre LR-V6 supercharged petrol engine" from late 2013 -- LR .au [www].

20 February 2013: "Geely Holding, majority owner of Volvo ... and Geely, will establish a [R and D] Centre in Gothenburg ..." -- [www]. Volvo also released details of a makeover for "S60, V60 and XC60" -- [www].

19-22 February 2013: Second F1 pre-season test session, Barcelona [1], [2], [3], [4].

19 February 2013: Toyota revealed the revised TS030 hybrid (3.4 V8 petrol 530hp + electric 300hp + super-capacitor) for the Le Mans 24 Hour Race (22-23 June) -- [www] (and FIA [www]).

19 February 2013: "BMW is recalling certain model year 2008-2012 1-Series coupes and convertibles manufactured Dec.2007 through July 2011; & 2007-2011 3-Series coupes and convertibles ... & 2007-2011 3-Series sedans ... & 2007-2011 3-Series sports wagons ... & 2009-2011 Z4 vehicles ... The connector for the +ve battery cable connector and the corresponding terminal on the fuse box may degrade over time. ..." -- NHTSA #13V044000 7/2/2013 [www]. "BMW is recalling about 720,000 vehicles ... unexpected stalling. ..." -- [bbc]. And, .gov.au #2013/13476 [www][20/2].

18-22 February 2-13: 23rd Annual Speed Week, Lake Gairdner, South Australia -- Dry Lakes Racers [www].

18 February 2013: "There is a large, fast moving bushfire in the Victoria Valley area ... approximately 3260 hectares in size ... out of control ..." of the "Grampian - Victoria Valley complex" (N. of Dunkeld) -- [6pm]. "... approximately 4230 hectares ... out of control ..." -- [7.30pm], "... 18,000 hectares ..." -- [20/2], [cfa].

15 Feb 2013 Fri Melb ULP avg au$1.45/l; min $1.39 (Perth] avg $1.52/l, min $1.39); oil us$97/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.67, €0.78, ¥96

15 February 2013: "Small near-Earth asteroid '2012 DA14' will pass very close to Earth on Feb. 15, ... inside the ring of geosynchronous weather and communications satellites. ... 45 meters in diameter ... 27,700km [closest approach] ..." -- NASA [www].  Coincidentally a large meteorite on a significantly different trajectory "entered the atmosphere and disintegrated in the skies over Chelyabinsk, [in the Urals,] Russia ... 3.20 UTC 15 Feb." -- NASA [www].

14 February 2013: GM reported "2012 calendar-year net income attributable to common stockholders of us$4.9 billion ..." but lost $1.8 billion in Europe in 2012 -- [www], & the G. [www].

13 February 2013: RM Auctions Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum sale including lot 258 a 1964 Peel 'P50' which sold for us$120,750 [www]. Lot 603 a 1958 F.M.R. Tg500 'Tiger' sold for us$322,000.

13 February 2013: "Flags in Victoria are flying at half-mast today as a mark of respect for two firefighters killed while fighting the Harrietville bushfires ..." -- abc [1] [2] [3].

February 2013: The National Safety Councils [usa], [www], estimates that "≥24% of crashes involve drivers talking and texting on [mobile] phones. ..." -- NSC [www][26/3/2010].

11 February 2013: "An economist says Australian petrol prices appear to be headed to their highest point since May last year. ... national average price of [ULP was] 146.2 cents a litre last week. ..." -- [abc].

10 Feb 2013 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.49/l; min $1.40 (Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.36); oil us$96/b
8 Feb 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$1.03, £0.65, €0.77, ¥96

10 February 2013: GM Holden unveiled the next Commodore, the 'VF', to go on sale "mid year," and reckoned to be the last exclusively .au design. It is to be exported to the USA as the Chevrolet SS Sports Sedan -- [www] (us$44.5K GM [www][4/6/'13]). No promises beyond 2016. Also see 2 April above, and 20 May.

9 February 2013, .usa: "A significant nor'easter continues to bring crippling impacts to portions of the Northeast. Moderate to heavy snow is expected to continue across Pennsylvania, western New York and much of New England before tapering off by Saturday afternoon. Some locations are expected to see snowfall in excess of two feet. ..." -- [nws], [9/2], [bbc].

9 February 2-13, .au: "... fire activity in the Licola, Glenfalloch, Wollangarra area. This bushfire is out of control. ...", and "... bushfire in the Dinner Plain area. ... The area of the Great Alpine Road around Hotham Heights and Dinner Plain is unsafe to enter. ...", and more warnings -- [cfa][9/2], [abc].

7 February 2013: "... Mercedes-Benz Cars, [i.e.] brands Mercedes-Benz, Maybach and smart, sold 1,451,600 vehicles in [2012] (2011: 1,381,400) ..." -- [www].

7 February 2013: PSA Peugeot Citroen announced "a depreciation of the global Automotive Division assets value in the accounts at 31 December 2012 of €3,888 million ..." -- [www].
13/2/2013: And 2012 financial results, a "Net loss, Group share of €5,010 million after [a writedown] of €3,009 million [of] the Automotive Division" -- [www], [bbc].

7 February 2013, .uk: With regard to the motorway speed limit, "7% [think] it was 80mph" -- the AA [www]. The limit is 70mph on motorways, and on dual carriageways, unless otherwise indicated. It always looks like everyone drives at 70+mph, and a significant minority at 80+.

7 February 2013: In Tasmania, a fire has "already destroyed more than 300 hectares at Molesworth, NW of Hobart" -- [www]. Also see [tfs].

7 February 2013: Bonhams Les Grandes Marques du Monde auction, Paris [www]. Including lot 562 the ex-works, Achille Varzi 1931 Bugatti type-54 (4.9, dohc) chassis #54201, engine #1 [www] (passed-in). Lot 578, a 1929 Bentley 61/2-litre Speed Six tourer, chassis #BA2580, engine #BA2584, sold for €828,000.

5 Feb 2013 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.37/l; min $1.33 (Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.33); oil us$96/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.66, €0.77, ¥96

5 February 2013: On turbo-charging and fuel economy, "Many turbocharged cars tested by CR have slower acceleration and no better fuel economy than the models with bigger conventional engines. ..." -- Consumer Reports [www].

5 February 2013, .au: The DSE "advise that there is fire activity in the Hotham Heights, Dinner Plain and Harrietville area. This fire is yet to be contained ..." -- [cfa][5/2].
And, "there is fire activity in the area from Donnelly Creek south of Aberfeldy to areas north and north-west of Heyfield. This bushfire is being controlled. ..." -- [cfa][5/2].

5 February 2013: The first pre-season F1 test session, Jerez, Spain. See the FIA [1], [2], [3], [4].

1 February 2013: "Ex-tropical cyclone Oswald has caused severe damage to parts of Fraser Island, in SE Queensland, including inland driving tracks. ..." -- [abc].

February 2013: Official release of the 'Y62' Nissan Patrol in Australia, [www].

 
31 Jan 2013 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.42/l; min $1.29 (Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.30); oil us$98/b; au$1.00=us$1.04, £0.66, €0.77, ¥94

30 January 2013: Toyota USA announced "safety recalls [for ~] 752,000 Corolla ... and ~270,000 Lexus IS vehicles. ... airbag control module ... could have been manufactured with ... integrated circuits (ASICs) that are susceptible to internal shorting. ..." -- [www], [abc]. (Also see 29 April above.)

30 January 2013, .au: Qld and NSW floods -- abc [1], [2], [bom][30/1].

29 January 2013: Ford announced production of 5,708,000 vehicles worldwide in 2012, up 1% on 2011 -- [www]. Its "2013 losses in Europe would be $2bn ..." -- [bbc].

28 January 2013: Toyota announced world-wide sales of 8,717,000 vehicles of all kinds in 2012, up 23% on 2011 -- [www].

28 January 2013: "... the Burnett River in Bundaberg [Qld] will reach a flood peak of 9.5 metres tonight affecting a further 2,000 homes. ..." -- [abc]. And "... More than 600 millimetres of rain has fallen in the Lockyer Creek catchment since yesterday morning and some creeks are peaking higher than the flood in 2011. ..." -- [2], [3], NSW [4], [5][29th]. (Also see [bom].)

26 Jan 2013 Sat Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.29 (Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.30); oil us$96/b
25 Jan 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.66, €0.78, ¥95
26 January 2013 (Sat.): Australia Day.

25 January 2013: Ex tropical cyclone Oswold caused flooding in N. Queensland. "... In Ingham, north of Townsville, the Herbert River peaked at midday at 12 metres after more than 200 millimetres of rain in the past 24 hours. ..." -- [abc]. (Oswald continued south towards NSW.)

25 January 2013: "The CFA are now working on 'settling down' the edges of the Aberfeldy bushfire (Vic.) which has burnt up to 65,000 hectares ..." -- [abc].

24 January 2013: Ex tropical cyclone Peta caused flooding in the Pilbara - [abc].

23 January 2013: ULP in country E. Victoria was generally ~$1.49/l.

22 January 2013: Peugeot Citroen gave details of its prototype 'Hybrid Air' car, using compressed air as the energy capture and storage medium. "... a petrol engine, a unit to store energy in the form of compressed air, a hydraulic motor-pump assembly and an automatic transmission working with an epicyclic gear train. ..." -- [www].
24/3: Also see the Guardian [www].

21 January 2013, .au: The condition of Victorian country roads has deteriorated greatly in the last two years. One of the worst examples is the South Gippsland Highway, lined with numerous traffic hazard signs warning of potholes, many of the latter being big enough to rip a wheel off a small car. (Also see 1 May.)

20 January 2013: The original Batmobile from the 1960s TV show sold for us$4.2 million -- The G. [www].

15 Jan 2013 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.42/l; min $1.30 (Perth] avg $1.39/l, min $1.32); oil us$94/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.66, €0.79, ¥94

15 January 2013, .au: "January 2013 has recorded a low price [for ULP] of 130.7cpl (3/1/2013) and a peak of 148.3cpl (10/1/2013). Today's average price is 142.2cpl. ..." -- RACV [www].

15 January 2013: "Crews [made] progress fighting [a] major NSW bushfire ..." -- [abc].

14-27 January 2013: North American Int. Motor Show (NAIAS), Detroit [www], press 14-15th, trade 16-17th, charity 18th, public 19-27th. Including Ford 'Atlas' pickup concept [www]; GM Cadillac 'ELR' (extended range electric ~'Volt') [www]; Honda Acura 2014 'MDX' [www], 'Urban SUV' concept [www]; Toyota Corolla 'Furia' concept [www], revised Lexus 'IS' [www].

14 January 2013: VW's 2012 sales reached "a record ... up 11% on 2011" -- [bbc].

13 Jan 2013 Sun Melb ULP avg au$1.44/l; min $1.30 (Perth] avg $1.42/l, min $1.32); oil us$94/b
11 Jan 2013 Fri au$1.00=us$1.06, £0.66, €0.80, ¥94

13 January 2013, .au: "A large bushfire is threatening homes in the Warrumbungle National Park [NSW] ..." -- [abc]. "Trains have been halted in W.Queensland amid fears tracks may buckle in the scorching heat. ..." -- [2].

10-13 January 2013: Autosport International, the Racing Car Show, NEC Birmingham, .uk (trade 10-11, public 12-13) [www].

10 January 2013: "Severe Tropical Cyclone Narelle has continued moving south southwest overnight and is expected to slowly develop as it continues towards the Northwest Cape [WA]. ..." -- [bom][10/1]. (Later moved away from the coast -- [www][13/1].)

9 January 2013, .au: In the NT, "... Kings Canyon Resort as a one-kilometre wide fire front raced through the Watarrka National Park. ..." -- [abc].

9 January 2013: Chrysler Group LLC announced "it [hd] received a 'registration demand' from the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust ('VEBA') pursuant to the terms of the Shareholders Agreement ..." -- [www].

9 January 2013: VW sought full control of MAN -- [www].

January 2013: Studio Roosegaarde, and Heijmans Infrastructure, last year demonstrated a "smart highway" with lane markings that glow in the dark and show snow-crystal patterns if the temperature falls below freezing. The innovations are to be introduced in Brabant (.nl) -- Studio Roosegaarde [www].

8 Jan 2013 Tue Melb ULP avg au$1.35/l; min $1.27 (Perth] avg $1.38/l, min $1.31); oil us$93/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.65, €0.80, ¥92

7 January 2013, .au: "A 3,000 hectare bushfire near Portland" in SW Victoria [abc] (& see [cfa]), and in "New South Wales ... about 90 fires ..." -- [abc] (& see [rfs]).

5-20 January 2013: Dakar, Peru, Argentina, Chile [www]. Including the 'Race2Recovery' team of injured soldiers [www]; one of the team's four 'wildcats' achieved the goal of finishing [www], and LR [www].

5 January 2013, .au: "Thousands stranded as fires devastate Tasmania ..." -- [abc], [2], [3][6/1], and .tas.gov.au [www][5/1].

4 January 2013, .au: "1,112,032 new passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were delivered to customers during 2012 ... a new record ... the Mazda 3, is Australia's most popular model ..." -- Vfacts [www]. Toyota (218,176) remained the top brand and GM Holden (114,665) number 2. The slide of locally made Fords continued. (And see 23 May above.)

4 January 2013: "Fire Weather Warning for the Mallee, Wimmera, Northern Country, North Central, North East, South West, Central, West and South Gippsland and East Gippsland forecast districts ..." -- [vic][4/1]. And similar in SA -- [sa][4/1] -- and in other states -- [bom][4/1]. "Extremely hot [40°C+], dry and windy conditions have put southern states on the most extreme fire alert for several years. ..." -- [abc].

4 January 2013: "Victoria loses alpine ["scientific"] grazing appeal ..." -- [abc].

3-6 January 2013: Summernats Car Festival, Canberra, ACT [www].

3 Jan 2013 Thu Melb ULP avg au$1.31/l; min $1.29 (Perth] avg $1.46/l, min $1.31); oil us$93/b; au$1.00=us$1.05, £0.65, €0.80, ¥92

3 January 2013, .uk: "2012 was the second wettest year in the UK national record dating back to 1910 ..." -- MET office [www]. And "... days of particularly heavy rainfall have become more common since 1960. ... as the world has warmed by 0.7°C, the atmosphere is able to hold 4% more moisture ..." -- [bbc].

1 January 2013: ULP prices were up to au$1.52+/l in country Victoria over the holiday.

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