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Holden VF Commodore and Malibu arrive in the showroom

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The much anticipated arrival of the all new Holden VF Commodore and Malibu has had most of my staff eager to see & drive them, and I’ve got to say that this past week they’ve all been satisfied.

With excellent levels of specifications and features, the two new offerings from the General certainly do not disappoint. Much has been written about the VF Commodore with many motoring pundits reserving the highest of accolades for the car.

The new styling is great, its stance on the road has been enhanced and new lines around the vehicle give it a much more prestigious look and feel.

The big story though, has to be the staggering levels of technology to be found in the VF. With features like heads up display, self-parking, lane departure warnings and seamless integration with your iPhone, the new Commodore has to be driven to be believed.

We had another new arrival this week with the new model Malibu hitting the showroom floor. An all-new vehicle designed for a global market, the Malibu sits neatly in size between the Aussie built Cruze sedan and the Commodore.

It is powered by either a petrol or diesel motor and like the Commodore is getting rave reviews by the motoring media. Pop in and check them both out today, at either of our two Holden dealerships, Paul Wakeling Holden at Campbelltown or Camden Valley Holden at Smeaton Grange.

Do you remember your trip to the nation's capital?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The journey to the nation’s capital is a rite of passage for year six students around the state. I was reminded of my childhood excursions this week when my daughter's school camp was hosted in chilly Canberra.

It’s great to see the kids come back somewhat enthused (if a little tired from later nights than normal), by the goings on and attractions of the ACT.

The compulsory visits to Parliament House and surrounds reminds me of what our parliamentary system should be like (not necessarily what it is). Of course no trip to Canberra is complete without a visit to the Australian War Memorial, and I’m pleased to say that, for my daughter, this was a highlight.

The reverence and awe of the acts of our fellow countrymen & women throughout our nation’s history is certainly a lesson well learnt. Many thanks to our tireless teachers and supervising parents for helping to make our kids journey a memorable one.

On a side note, I’m pleased to say that we’ve now had the first delivery of the new Holden VF Commodore arrive at both our Macarthur dealerships. Pop in and see what all the fuss is about, it truly is the car to “change minds”!

Charity events raise much needed funds

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Over the weekend the Wakeling organisation was involved with two great charity events.

On Friday night, the riders & organisers who completed the Sydney to Surfers Charity Cycle for Fr. Chris Riley’s Youth off the Streets, gathered to present the final donations. The grand total of sponsors donations and riders contributions for this year came to an amazing $243,000.67. Added to the last 15 years that the ride has occurred, this brings the grand total raised to $2,270,103. A great effort, particularly by the Engadine Rotary team who organise the event.

Another great event was held at the Cube on Saturday night, with the annual Kids of Macarthur Ball once again proving to be one of the annual events on the calendar to attend. With around 600 patrons, the nights theme of Fun, Fun, Fun was certainly achieved.

The entertainment was fantastic with Ben the comedic juggler and a cool magic show with Adam Dean who definitely got the Mayor of Camden’s attention, very funny. I’m not sure exactly how much was raised, once I find out I’ll let you know, but certainly the Garden space at Karitane Camden is well on its way to being completed, makes you proud to call Macarthur home. Well done to all....

Aussie Manufacturing here to stay

Monday, May 27, 2013

Most readers would be aware of the news out of the Ford camp from last week, where they announced that they will be ceasing local manufacturing in late 2016. Ive got to say the announcement took us all by surprise, but on reflection and listening to the press releases one could understand why Ford made their decision. Where does this leave Holden and Toyota? Well knowing a little of the future direction of the General I've got to say I'm pretty excited by where the team at Holden are taking their business. They've made commitments to the government that they are here for the long term, and with a really exciting new product in the all new VF commodore about to hit the showrooms, plus plenty more great products on the way, the team at Wakeling's are looking forward to a strong few years. On another note this Saturday at the Cube sees one of the highlights of the MacArthur Social/Charity scene with the Annual Kids of MacArthur Ball, we're really looking forward to what is always a great night...I'll fill you in next week!!

Sydney to Surfers Wrap Up 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

Last Friday the 2013 Youth off the Streets Sydney to Surfers charity cycle rolled into the Gold Coast. After a week of cycling nearly 1000km’s and overcoming lots of personal challenges, there was plenty to reflect on.

Each day the Engadine Rotary volunteers got up early to help prepare our breakfasts, lunch and morning tea breaks. They packed the gear so that many cyclists only had to roll into their hotel each night to get their bags, and without their support this great event certainly wouldn’t keep happening.

Having done the ride six times now, the thing I look forward to the most is seeing the YOTS kids faces as they roll into the car park on the Gold Coast. All of the other 180 odd riders, along with a huge contingent of supporters and families are there waiting for them, to welcome them home. It really makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up seeing how these young people beam.

Our ride this year was about as close to perfect as you can get, great weather, great landscapes and great camaraderie. Thanks to all those who supported us, especially Macarthur Cycling Club for the use of their trailer, it was invaluable, and of course our drivers Vince and Daryl. See you all again next year....rolling.

Sydney to Surfers Ride Day 6 & 7

Friday, May 10, 2013

Well another Youth Off The Streets Sydney to Surfers charity cycle has ended! In a week-long journey we've covered nearly 1000kms, consumed lots of lollies, met some wonderful people, and achieved some personal goals.

Most impressive for our pack this year was definitely Tracey Horey, having only taken up cycling in the last six months, made it all the way to the Gold Coast, a very special achievement.

We cruised in from Grafton yesterday and finished in Kyogle. With a picturesque and inspiring landscape present along the way, almost everyone commented on how lucky we are to live in such a pretty country. Last night Team Wakeling stayed in Lismore, and we had a great feed at a local pizza shop which left us all full.

We also received some fantastic news that Paul Burgess' eldest son, Gareth & wife Ainsley, had their first child. Another grandson to Paul and Joy was great to hear.

Today we were greeted with a heavy mist as rain had fallen overnight, and heading back into Kyogle for the start, we had some apprehension about the conditions on the extremely hilly and treacherous stage. However, once we started the weather had lifted and we all made our own pace to the lovely Sphinx Cafe for the obligatory cappuccinos.

The morning roll continued past the burnt out pub at Uki. Admittedly, we did stop and raise a glass to the old girl, we hope she's rebuilt by next year. Lunch was at Tumbulgum, and by then we had been quite heavily rained upon.

We were all quite cold and looking forward to heading into the Gold Coast. Climbing up over Terra Nora we had our own dose of celebrity when we passed retired Australian cyclist and Tour De France stage winner Robbie McEwan.

We cruised through to Broadbeach where all the packs were grouping for the finish into Sea World. For me this is the highlight of the day when, as one, we all cheered the young YOTS kids as they finished into the car park. The hairs on the back of your neck definitely stand up seeing the impact of the journey on the kids, they were beaming!

So tonight's a night to reflect on the week, to sleep well, and head back home to our loved ones in the morning. We couldn't have made the trip without support from Brian Scattergood, Macarthur Cycling Club and especially our volunteer driver Vince Redmond, thank you to you all.

Sydney to Surfers Ride Day 3 & 4

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

We have been blessed once again on days three and four of the 2013 Sydney to Surfers charity ride.

Day three started early at Bulahdelah and took off towards the lovely riverside town of North Haven. Rolling freeways meant that pack 5 was able to maintain a nice pace, which got us to the morning tea stop and lunch in quick time.

The obligatory sprint finish into North Haven was a duel with the referee called upon to make a ruling in the favor of young salter.

Today's stage was to Nambucca and despite overnight rain, wet roads and a little chill, we were lucky to see no flats, no more rain and a good finish.

Tracey "T-Bird" Horey had to sit out the last stage from lunch with some rather nasty breathing issues, but is all good now and looking forward to tomorrow's gruesome stage over Bruxner Pass, through Nana Glen and into Grafton.

A big sleep is called for so I'm sure we'll all be tucked into bed by at least 8pm!! Today's finish was a beauty with Reg once again being pipped at the post by The Beast, and the ultimate sprint by The Machine. A great way to end the day.

Sydney to Surfers Ride Day 1 & 2

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Team Wakeling embarked on the Sydney to Surfers ride again for 2013. After congregating at the car park in Hornsby, pack 5, who we are a part of, took off at a cracking pace. Until we reached the first hill where Flip (aka Tracey) lost momentum quicker than the new iPhone losing charge.

With a little help, well a lot of help, from The Machine (aka Scott), we made it to the top of Mount White and safely to morning tea.

After a quick cake or four, (yes I'm sure The Machine ate four), we were back on the road for more hill climbing to lunch.

We rounded out the day contemplating the definition of "there's no more hills after this one" which seemed to have been voiced by Badger on multiple occasions.

Day 2 rolled around and was meant to be a flat day at an "easy pace", which once again failed in definition so The Beast (aka Graham) and The Machine came to Flip's aid once again to keep her on track.

The lunch stop was beautiful and the weather couldn't have been better for rolling country riding, well up the expressway mostly.

Rounding out the day, all were a little knackered except Mountain Cat (aka Sunshine) who looked like she had spent the day shopping.

Massages and bed were certainly called for.

Sydney to Surfers ride for 2013 has begun

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Father Chris Riley's Youth Off The Streets is a wonderful charity, one that helps some of the weaker members of society in their hours of need, and one which will always need supporters. This week I'm riding from Sydney to Surfers Paradise with more than 200 of those type of people.

Organised by Engadine Rotary, we head off each year with the support of our friends and sponsors, donating to the cause to show their support.

This year has started really well. So far our pack has had no major incidents and the weather has been kind, everyone is in good spirits. There's plenty of camaraderie to be found on the ride, old friends are reacquainted and new friendships are forged, and it's great to see such a big group of the Youth Off The Streets staff and kids taking part.

I'll fill you in when we arrive in Surfers, until then I'll be posting pictures daily on my blog Driving Macarthur and on our Paul Wakeling Motor Group Facebook page. See you in Paradise!

Shanghai Motor Show 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Last week I was fortunate enough to be a guest of ANZ/Esanda on a visit to China to see the Shanghai Motor Show, and also have some briefings on the future of Chinese manufacturing in the motor industry.

Like many visitors to China I had previously visited Beijing in the north but was blown away by the much more modern Shanghai. A bustling CBD now sits where, only 23 years ago, there were just paddocks. To see before and after pictures gives you an amazing appreciation of the “can do” nature of modern China.

The Motor Show was easily the biggest single event I have witnessed, with the amount of people attending, as well as the scale of the venue blowing my mind. Three massive pavilion wings all joined in a triangle around a huge courtyard were filled with stands from vehicle and truck manufacturers, both local and foreign. The most popular stands by far were the prestige Europeans with Lamborghini, Porsche, Ferrari and co. all packed to the seams with people. We were fortunate enough to get in early, but those that came later in the day saw hour-long queues just to see the latest from these makes.

With over 100 local manufacturers, and a market that purchases the same number of cars in around three weeks as Australia does in a whole year, the Chinese market is huge. There’s certainly going to be influence globally from the Chinese demand and we are already starting to see vehicle design influenced by the Chinese. It will definitely be interesting to see which Chinese manufacturers stand tall in the next few decades.