Fast forward. The year is 2020. The last Falcon left the production line over four years ago and it was joined by the last Commodore not long after. Toyota's local operation has also been looking pretty shaky, because the departure of Ford and Holden from the production scene has driven up the cost of parts. Toyota is hanging on, thanks to the extra exports it picked up from Holden - but by the skin of its teeth.
No more Falcons or Commodores of course means no more utes either, V8 or otherwise - what's a buyer supposed to do? It's time for a reality check. The missus isn't happy because the beaut VF you bought six years ago has been playing up and will need updating sooner than later (tomorrow if the ball and chain has her way).
The question is: what to buy? A hybrid or an electric vehicle maybe or perhaps one of those new-fangled hydrogen jobs - they're supposed to be pretty good on gas? At this point in time, the figures suggest your next car will probably be a Corolla or a Mazda3, because as much as we profess to love them buyers have been deserting the big family six for years while sales of smaller cars and SUVs have continued to rise. That's on paper.
But can you really see some big boofy bloke stepping out of an XR6 or V8-powered SS Commodore into one of these econo-boxes? The clock is ticking and it is time to choose. The top 5 selling vehicles in Australia as we speak are: the Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, Hyundai i30, Toyota Hilux and the Holden Cruze in that order. Forced to choose which one what would you buy if you had to for out for a new set of wheels tomorrow? Will it be one of these vehicles or perhaps a WRX, an EVO or something else with a bit of street cred?