Overdrive Radio Program Issue 25 2109

Hello and welcome to Overdrive, a program about trains, planes, and automobiles. Im David Brown 

In this program we have:

  1. Vfacts: Australian vehicle sales figures – The total market is down 8.4% (1:28)
  2. Iacocca, the last of the supreme auto bosses, defined his generation (2:23)
  3. Hyundai Motor Group Unveils World First CVVD Engine Technology (3:43)
  4. Bubbles, bleeps and Linkin Park: electric cars now have to make strange noises by law (4:54)
  5. Ford tackles last-mile delivery challenge with pedestrian couriers, algorithms (6:02)
  6. We discuss the passing of Norma Dewis who worked for Jaguar for many years and was said to be Britain’s greatest test driver (9:12)
  7. We have a chat to a bloke who owns a 1962 Holden utility while we were sitting in a 2019 Mitsubishi Triton. We couldn’t use his car because he wouldn’t take it out in the rain. (19:33)
  8. There are five motoring minutes
  • Ford Ranger (7:10)
  • Honda CRV (8:00)
  • Subaru Eyesight technology (18:32)
  • Local pollution (17:39)
  • Genesis (26:12)


Car Sale Figures

The car sales figures for the first half of the year have just been released with total sales down 8.4%

Of the top 20 brands, only 3 have improved sales and only marginally – Kia by nearly 3% and Mitsubishi and Lexus by less than one percent

Toyota remains number 1 followed by Mazda and Hyundai.  Ford is 5th – Holden is down to 10th total sales –

Luxury brands, in general, are struggling  Audi in particular declined the most

Surprise package is MG (now owned by a Chinese company).  Their sales are not huge, they are in 22nd place but only just below Volvo

Even SUVs and Utes are down although sales of electric, plug in electric and hybrid SUVs are through the roof.

Iacocca, the last of the supreme auto bosses, defined his generation

Lee Iacocca was a major motoring industry figure post second world war.

It is a measure of his impact that while he was the executive who brought in the first Mustang most of his obituaries give this only one paragraph.

He was the head of Ford but was sacked by Henry Ford II who gave his reasons as  “sometimes you just don’t like someone.”  Iacocca then went to Chrysler that was on the edge of bankruptcy. He negotiated a guarantee from the US government to last 7 years but he had it paid back well ahead of schedule.

At Chrysler he pioneered the mini van that become such a successful family car and he fronted the cameras in the company’s ads with expressions such as “If you can find a better car buy it”. This was at the time when there were many cars, especially from Europe that were better.

In his final year as CEO, Chrysler launched the Jeep Grand Cherokee, still a cornerstone of the brand.

Confident to the point of being arrogant, hard working, and dedicated Lee Iacocca died at the age of 94 from complications with Parkinson’s disease.

Hyundai Motor Group Unveils World First CVVD Engine Technology

For a long while it was said that there has been nothing new on a motor car since 1912 when General Motors first introduced the starter motor. Every else has been just a refinement.

Modern digital technology might have changed this, but small steps continue to happen in traditional technologies.

Hyundai has just announced a tweak to the internal combustion engine that , they claim, will give a 4% boost in performance, a 5% improvement in fuel efficiency and cut emissions by 12%.

At the top of the engine valves are opened and shut to let the fuel in and then the exhaust out.  Variable valve timing has allowed cars to adjust when this happens to be suit the conditions such as gentle driving or strong acceleration.

Now Hyundai have worked out how to vary the duration of opening the valves.

They unveiled the new Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD)  technology as part of a new Smartstream G1 Engine, a 1.6 litre V4 turbo petrol motor.

Bubbles, bleeps and Linkin Park: electric cars now have to make strange noises by law

New legislation in the EU now requires that all hybrid and electric vehicles sold in the Union must be fitted with an acoustic vehicle alert system, which makes sound so pedestrians and cyclists aren’t caught unawares.

It is only for four wheeled vehicles so motor bikes and scooters are not requires to make an additional noise.

A vehicle only needs to make a noise if it is traveling under 12mph (just over 19 kilometres per hour or when reversing.

There are no specifications on what the sound should be,

Citroen’s stubby, cube like concept the Ami-One plays a cheery tune to announce its arrival, whereas Mercedes-Benz have commissioned the American Rock band Linkin Park  to give its EVs a dose of rock. LInkin Park apparently adapte nu metal and rap metal to a radio-friendly yet densely layered style in its first two albums, but the band then explored other genres.

I could tolerate many sounds but anything other than Greensleeves. 

Ford tackles last-mile delivery challenge with pedestrian couriers, algorithms

The amount of traffic in central business areas is being dominated more and more by parcel deliveries.

Having delivery vans doing a series of deliveries creates, congestion, pollution and takes up a lot of on-street parking spaces.

To address these challenges, Ford developed cloud-based multimodal routing and logistics software called MoDe:Link, which, in the London pilot, routed delivery vans to central collection points. From there, the so-called ‘last mile’ of the delivery process was handled by pedestrian couriers transporting parcels in trolley bags.

Parcel deliveries in London currently require around 300,000 van trips each day. Those vans spend 9m hours a year clogging up roads in the city. And parcel deliveries are set to double in the next decade as more customers order online and expect to get their packages quickly.

You can find more information at Driven Media or previous programs are available as podcasts on iTunes or Spotify. OR our Facebook site OverdriveCity

Originally broadcast June 22 across Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) and Torque Radio affiliated commercial radio channels.

About David Brown 566 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto