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The car as a dog

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    It's a car you would need to tie up at night.

I have driven a few dogs over the years.

The original Holden Camira fell to bits during my preview drive in outback Queensland and, much more recently, the Chery J1 set a howling new personal low in motoring.

I'm not surprised the Chery is now being re-honed for $9990 including on-road costs, which means it's really about an $8500 car. Chery says it's a great deal but it's not a car I would remotely recommend to a friend. In fact, the J1 is a car we should all avoid.

It might be new, and it might have a warranty, and it might have some nice-looking equipment - including power steering, aircon and remote keyless entry - but it's a car you would need to tie up at night.

Which reminds me of Chano Trentin. He's a car dealer in outback Queensland who has seen his share of dogs. But Chano saw a bunch of other livestock when he was getting established as one of Australia's first Suzuki dealers.

He once took six pigs as a trade-in on a baby Suzuki four-wheel drive and also remembers taking cows and cattle as part-exchange on cars. Things have changed since then, and Chano is now retired as his dealership in Atherton.

But he obviously laid the right foundations as it is celebrating a golden milestone in 2013 and, after 50 straight years, is recognised as having the longest continous history outside Japan.

But I cannot shut the gate without recalling another animal trade-in story, with a big twist. When Holden was getting established in the Middle East the company's sales and marketing boss, Ross McKenzie, led a team that visited to get things moving.

One of his staff, Megan Stooke, was early into a successful career that now sees her occupying a senior slot at General Motors in Detroit. She obviously made an impact, as one of the newly-appointed Holden dealers came to McKenzie with an intriguiging proposition. He wanted to know how many camels and goats it would take for him to release her from Holden, so she could move to the Middle East to join him.

This reporter is on Twitter @paulwardgover

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 7 comments

  • What a load of garbage….I brought one for the misses to use as a shopping trolley/commuter….42000 ks later hasn’t missed a beat still on the original brake pads and tyres….. My daughter brought a Nissan micra at the same time its done 37ooo ks and has been back to the dealer twice and it was three grand dearer…..Pull your head in its a $9990 car Better than driving a 10 year old Hyundai….!!!!

    Rod Liddle of Kungala Posted on 13 February 2014 6:55pm
  • Lighten up, folks!

    RichP Posted on 15 November 2013 11:32pm
  • What the hell was the second half of that article?

    Mike Posted on 04 November 2013 5:00pm
  • dear editor, this story is a dog.  perhaps some diligent vetting of paul’s ramblings might be in order.  I mean, I’m not suggesting Gover is a dog (I have a dog and his writing ability is vastly superior), but you have to admit it’s .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  But that’s Gover for you…

    Dave of Gawler Posted on 15 January 2013 11:20am
  • Sorry, but was that the whole article Paul?  Apart from calling the Chery a dog it was just a rambling story about a bloke you know.  The headline was misleading,the article poor.

    Brian Shoebridge of Canberra Posted on 14 January 2013 3:54pm
  • i reckon paul gover should stick to writting stories on lambos & porches etc never had any sense when it comes to everman price range cars

    tod reed of victoria Posted on 12 January 2013 12:49pm
  • Most people would already be aware that the Chery is not a good car, but I would have liked to have read about your experience with it and why you think its a dog.

    Buddha of Brisbane Posted on 12 January 2013 9:16am
Read all 7 comments

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