New Volvo dealers Wearnes Motors (HK) has been in touch in response to our article last week about the handover of the Volvo dealership. 'We were extremely disappointed to see the comments as the new Volvo dealer in Hong Kong,' writes Andre Roy of Wearnes International. 'The column contained incorrect suggestions about our future intentions as the operator of the Volvo dealership in Hong Kong, including comments about future quality of customer service and staffing levels, which may have caused unnecessary worry and concerns among customers and staff alike,' he states. 'Wearnes Motors is a wholly owned company of Wearnes International (1994) (WIL), a publicly listed company in Singapore. WIL is a strong and experienced Volvo distributor with a long track record of success, especially in Singapore. Our entry into the Hong Kong market is based on a long-term positive view of the potential for Volvo here. High standards of customer service are a top priority for us and to ensure no disruption for customers and continuing high levels of customer service to Volvo owners in Hong Kong, we have rehired almost all the Volvo staff whom Taikoo Motors Limited had let go [all but three general staff]. We value the skills of these long-term employees and their knowledge of Volvo. Customers will continue to see the familiar faces of our expert servicing staff. 'Wearnes has received a number of inquiries from Taikoo Motors customers worried that their warranties might no longer be valid and we would like to reassure customers that Wearnes will honour all existing Volvo owners' warranties. 'In terms of product choice, we have an aggressive new product rollout plan for Hong Kong. Over the next few months, starting in November, we will be bringing in several new and exciting models. First will be the new XC90 [above], a global success that has won over 25 automotive awards and is still seeing strong demand worldwide nearly a year after its launch, and after that we will introduce the new refined S80, Volvo's top- of-the-line executive sedan, and the S60 R, one of the fastest and most powerful Volvo production cars. 'We will also be completing the transformation of the showroom to global Volvo standards, so that we can fully showcase these new cars we are bringing to the local market. 'We will maintain the Volvo customer service centre in its existing location and we are also looking at ways to further enhance service, such as the possibility of opening another service centre on Hong Kong island. 'Wearnes Motors will continue to place strong emphasis on high levels of customer satisfaction in order to establish Volvo as a leading brand in Hong Kong. 'On a personal note, we look forward to keeping you and your team informed about the latest developments and how we can better service our customers and the drivers of Hong Kong.' We congratulate Australian veterinary surgeon Gerard Pahl on winning the a fabulous Scalextric set in Carrera Cars' Porsche 911 40th anniversary quiz last week. He was first past Foot Down's chequered flag at 8.41am by correctly stating that (1) the 911 was first introduced in 1963; (2) that it replaced the 356 and (3) that the current 911's model designation is 996. Fellow readers Chris Jo-Ann Abiss finished at 9.02am and Holger Wessling earned a podium finish, a mere 17 minutes later, proving you really have to get up early to win a prize on Foot Down. Our winner has been working in the Tuen Mun area for the past six years and is a Porsche owner. 'I purchased my 1993 Porsche 911 964 model in brilliant Maritime Blue [below] about four months ago,' Pahl says, adding his wife calls his lovely wheels the 'meno-Porsche'. Our winner says he spent the previous 18 months trawling Porsche internet websites and magazines gaining knowledge on the marque before he bought his car. 'My interest in Porsches was piqued as a boy when a 'new' 1970'ish 911 in Signal Orange used to rush past our farm every morning ferrying its owner to work,' Pahl says. 'Quite an exotic sight in country South Australia.' We asked the vet why the 911 has endured for so long. 'I don't think anyone can deny their build quality, the classic body curves of the 911, nor the head-turning howl of the air-cooled flat six at full throttle.' Quite so. We wish we could give everyone who answered the questions correctly a prize and hope to run another, less time-sensitive, competition soon. Our thanks to prize donor David Neil of Carrera Cars (27 911 910) for being such a sport and we look forward to passing on his latest Scalextric news before Christmas. There's a drool-inducing RX-8 (above) in Mazda Hong Kong's Gloucester showroom this week and we urge you to take a look at its sleek lines, hidden suicide doors and the award winning Renisis rotary engine. All Hong Kong's quota of 20 units have been sold but all's not lost, says the dealer's Yvonne Kwok. 'As you may know, the response to the RX-8 is very good all over the world, and almost 7,000 units have been sold since its launch in April. The price of RX-8 is $399,000, and we are now accepting the order for the year of 2004.' If you can't wait, why not call importers Richburg Motors, which paraded 20 X-Men 2 special-edition models in June? Ford Hong Kong will launch its Fusion on Friday at Hollywood Plaza, Diamond Hill, where it will be displayed all weekend. Ford Hong Kong's Maggie Wong says the first 'Urban Activity Vehicle' has 'the largest space in the B-car segment [eg 206, Polo, Corsa, Colt, Jazz, Echo, March, M2] and also has a higher, command-driving position. It's ideal for families.' Finally, we wish you a happy Rugby World Cup. Foot Down are backing England to win because we reckon the Wallabies are all torque; the French place design before performance and the latest All Black versions lack the finish of previous lines. The English, on the other hand, have added superior handling, speed and agility to their biggest bumpers and, on the strengths of previous tests, are less likely to break down when they kick into overdrive.