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Biggest motoring stories of 2017

Here’s a look back at the most trending stories of the year:
Posted on 03 January, 2018

1.  2 Cheap Cars paid $320,000 for employment breaches 
2 Cheap Cars Limited was ordered to pay a $70,000 penalty, and was liable for upwards of $250,000 in arrears, following a Labour Inspectorate investigation. The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) made the order after the Inspectorate uncovered serious breaches of minimum wage, holiday pay, and record keeping.
2. OPTIMUS announced ownership of NZ auto firms
Japanese holding company, OPTIMUS Group Co., Limited confirmed to staff and stakeholders that it collectively owns several major companies in the auto service industry in Japan and New Zealand. Although the holding company has been in existence since January 2015, it only announced its ownership of these various companies July this year. 
3. $250,577 raised at AHG charity dinner
Automotive Holdings Group (AHG) raised a record $250,577 at their annual charity dinner in July, with the process to be shared by the Camp Quality and Cure Kids charities.  Last night’s record-topping fundraiser, held in the John Andrew Ford and Mazda showrooms, brings the total raised by AHG to over $1.2 million.  
4. Police arrested Trade Me fraudster
Richard Mark Wallace was arrested by Police in April due to numerous complaints of fraudulent Trade Me vehicle sales.  At least 16 customers were left out of pocket after paying a 50 per cent deposit to Wallace, who claimed to import cars from Japan. Trade Me head of trust and safety Jon Duffy said some customers have received partial refunds, but the majority received nothing, and at least $55,000 had been taken.
5. Mazda2 updated for 2017
The Mazda2 received another upgrade earlier this year and according to Managing Director of Mazda New Zealand, David Hodge, the 2017 version is easily “the most impressive small car on the market.” The new 2 also came with standard autonomous emergency braking, a feature that has been seen on most new vehicles this year.  According to Mazda is standard on only one other car in the light VFACTS segment, the Skoda Fabia.