POSTCARD FROM AUSTRALIA
Christmastime in Australia was the usual mix of barbies on the beach, sweating, sunburned Santas - and the unseemly tussle between Holden and Toyota for the number one spot in the annual sales race.
It is not by any means unique to Oz, as manufacturers in markets around the world fight each other to give away product at silly prices just to be top dog in a numbers game. But who cares? The buyer is happy because he or she gets a cheaper deal than by waiting until the new year. But is Bruce or Sheila really going to buy a Toyota just because the brand has sold more than its nearest rival?
No, admit the manufacturers. Holden declined to take part this year, according to its boss, but I suspect it would have been keener if it had extra product with which to dilute the market.
Talk is of 'internal motivation,' 'great pride' and so on, in attaining number one. But surely it is time for the industry to outgrow its playground mentality.