Thinking about buying an expensive new car but wondering
which one will handle the snow and ice the best?
A new business in the Cardrona Valley is working on plans to
give vehicle buyers the chance to try before they buy.
For many years, the southern hemisphere Proving Ground on the
Pisa Range has provided car and tyre companies with icy roads
on which to test their products in winter conditions before
they are released to the market.
But this year, for the first time, it has added the Snow Park
Ice Driving Experience where those who get behind the wheel
are not necessarily expert test drivers.
General manager Steve Gould told the Otago Daily Times
yesterday the park had already hosted several corporate
groups, including a conference of Asia-Pacific real estate
''There are a lot of corporate groups who will come to
Queenstown and they've done the Shotover [river] and they've
done the bungy and they have done all that sort of stuff, and
they are looking for something a little bit different, and a
little bit exclusive, as well.''
In the park's first big event, the Pirelli tyre company
demonstrated, in winter conditions, one of its new products
to 200 of its Asia-Pacific dealers.
But as well as watching, the dealers got to try the product -
attached to a late-model Maserati.
While the park can provide cars and driving instructors, the
tyre company chose to provide its own cars. Mr Gould believed
there was potential for more of that type of use of the park
by potential vehicle buyers.
''That's possibly another little market that's going to open
up for us.''
Mr Gould said for most people a new vehicle was a reasonably
big purchase and ''they want to try it out; they want to see
how it works''.
It would be a ''point of difference'', he said, for car
companies to be able to put their customers into the latest
model and show them what to do in winter driving conditions.