Media Releases

These are the most recent media releases from the Dog and Lemon Guide.
Ask us if you'd like to be emailed media releases as they come out.

Australia should prepare for the end of its car assembly industry

The recent loss of 500 jobs at Ford Australia is the beginning of the end for car assembly in Australia, says a leading car industry expert.

Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide, predicts that both Ford and General Motors are highly likely to go bankrupt within the next year. Matthew-Wilson’s view is shared by the international credit ratings agency, Standard & Poors.

Don’t invest in classic cars – expert

Classic cars are a very poor investment, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide.

Dog & Lemon Guide editor Clive Matthew-Wilson, says:

“With the current economic turmoil, people are looking for safer investments, and some are buying up classic cars in the hope that these vehicles will gain in value. My advice is: don’t,”

Expert predicts bloodbath in the New Zealand car industry

A third of New Zealand’s car dealers could go out of business in the next 18 months, says a leading car industry commentator.

Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide, says:

“Sales of new cars for private use were down more than 16% on the same month last year in August, while new commercial vehicle sales were down almost 23%. Used car registrations were down 39% compared to a year ago,”

Daytime running lights will be compulsory in Europe from 2011

The European Commission has ruled that all new cars operating in the EU must have daytime running lights from February 2011.

Daytime running lights make it easier to see vehicles and have been shown to improve road safety.

Daytime running lights are smaller than headlights. They are mounted on the front of the vehicle and switch on automatically when the engine is started. They are often mounted lower than headlights and put out less light.

Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide, says Australia should adopt a similar measure.

If politicians were cars …

If politicians were cars, how would they be rated by The Dog & Lemon Guide?

Helen Clark becomes a Hummer battlewagon. John Key becomes a smooth and slick 1950s American sports car, while Greens leader Jeanette Fitzsimons gets run over by Helen Clark. Act leader Rodney Hide is ‘an overweight relic of the 1980s’, who gets compared to Police Chief Wiggum from the tv show, The Simpsons. Winston Peters becomes a Ford Model T, “currently subject to a factory recall due to wheels falling off.”

Motoring expert repeats challenge to National over toll roads

The National Party still needs to answer the hard questions on toll roads, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson said today:

“National is riding into the election on a series of vague promises and denials. For example, their transport spokesman said on Sunday that some motorists could be paying $50 a week for road tolls after the election. Then National retracted that statement, saying the real tolls would be much lower. Either National hasn’t done its maths, or it’s hiding something from the voters.  Taxpayers have a right to know what the real-world costs of these public-private partnerships will be.”

The Dog & Lemon Guide has posed a number of yet-unanswered questions to the National Party.

1) In 2006, Treasury concluded that funding roads by tolls was less efficient than simply building them from taxes. What is National’s response to this?

2) One of National’s advisors is former party leader Jim McLay, who is executive chairman of Macquarie New Zealand, a branch of a major Australian builder of toll roads. Because of the clear conflict of interest in such an arrangement, can National categorically promise that it will not sign a contract with Macquarie or its subsidiary companies?

3) Many toll road projects in Australia have been an economic disaster. For example, the Brisbane’s newest toll road, EastLink, is currently running at 28% below projections and Sydney’s Cross City Tunnel project went bankrupt.

Can National categorically promise that it will not sign a deal whereby the government has to compensate the private road builders if the road builders make less money than they expected?

4) Metronet, a public-private partnership responsible for maintaining and upgrading two-thirds of London's underground network, went bankrupt, leaving the taxpayer to bail out the project to the tune of billions of pounds.

Can National categorically promise that it will not sign a deal whereby the government has to pay out any part of the road building costs in the event that the project goes bankrupt?

5) National’s transport spokesman Maurice Williamson has stated publicly that National will repeal the ‘Greens amendment’ that requires that whenever a toll road is built, the public must always have an alternative route available for free.

Can National categorically promise that it will not sign a deal whereby existing roads are closed down or restricted in order to force motorists to use a nearby toll road?

6) Will National legislate to control the tolls on private roads, or will the private road operator be free to charge whatever the market will stand?

7) Faced with high fuel bills, many motorists are now looking to take public transport to work.

Can National categorically promise that it will not sign a deal whereby public transport is effectively excluded or restricted from competing with a toll road?

Motoring expert repeats challenge to National over toll roads

The National Party still needs to answer the hard questions on toll roads, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson said today:

Motoring expert challenges National over toll roads

The National Party needs to clarify its position on toll roads, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson said today:

“National is promising public-private partnerships in order to build new roads. That sounds fine on paper. However, taxpayers need to know what the real-world costs of these public-private partnerships will be.”

The Dog & Lemon Guide has posed a number of questions to the National Party.

Safety Survey "Pack of Lies" - expert

A leading road safety campaigner has
savaged a recently released list of safe and unsafe second hand
vehicles. The study, compiled by Australia’s Monash University, claims
to have used actual crash data to determine whether a type of vehicle
is safe or unsafe. A leaflet based on the study is being widely
distributed by the government and the Automobile Association.

Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car buyer’s Dog & Lemon
Guide, described the leaflet as “ a pack of lies without scientific
basis.”

Safety Survey "Pack of Lies" - expert

A leading road safety campaigner has
savaged a recently released list of safe and unsafe second hand
vehicles. The study, compiled by Australia’s Monash University Accident
Research Center, claims to have used actual crash data to determine
whether a type of vehicle is safe or unsafe. A leaflet based on the
study is being widely distributed across Australia.

Clive Matthew-Wilson, editor of the car buyer’s Dog & Lemon
Guide, described the leaflet as “ a pack of lies without scientific
basis.”