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Nissan Leaf off to a great start

Nissan Europe says the second-generation Leaf is selling much better than expected. 

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Singapore to freeze number of private cars

Singapore has announced it will expand public transport and freeze the number of private cars from next year onward.
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Phil Goff involved in C40 Climate Summit

Auckland mayor, Phil Goff, together with the mayors of London, Paris, Los Angeles, and several other cities committed themselves to a series of ambitious targets to make their cities cleaner, greener and more sustainable. (more…)

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New General Manager for Buy Right Cars

Turners Group Ltd has appointed Julian Stone as the General Manager for its Buy Right Cars business in Auckland they acquired earlier in July. Stone will be responsible for all eight dealerships across the city.
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Cartel inquiry widens

The investigation widens over whether several German carmakers have conspired to fix prices in diesel and other technologies over several decades.  (more…)

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NZ nervous drivers

More than a third of New Zealanders feel unsafe while driving and most don’t have confidence in the ability of other motorists.

This is according to an AA Driving School survey which found that within seven days of driving 85 per cent of survey respondents witnessed other motorists exceeding the speed limit, 64 per cent saw motorists drift out of a lane or park inconsiderately and 63 per cent witnessed someone run a red light.

AA Driving School General Manager Roger Venn says this perception being reported by New Zealand motorists points to an incredible level of potentially lazy and dangerous driving taking place on our roads.

“One of the main reasons for the lack of confidence in other’s abilities is people claiming to see plenty of motorists ignoring basic road rules and road courtesies.

“If that’s the case, there is a real need for better education and enforcement of some of these driving basics,” he says.

Almost 3,000 AA Members responded to a survey on whether New Zealanders thought of themselves as considerate drivers and how the purpose of their driving affected their behaviour.

It found that New Zealand motorists were more likely to point the finger at others than recognise any of their own driving slip-ups.

“There’s a definite disconnect between the number of people driving badly and those taking ownership for it,” he says.

“If we were all driving as well as we think we are then confidence levels on the road would be a lot higher.”

AA Members rated feeling safe on the road and being aware of other road users as the two most important factors when driving, ahead of getting to a destination on time or being courteous to other road users.

“The survey also shows we need to do a lot more work when it comes to being courteous on the road,” says Mr Venn.

“We found that of the courtesies you can show while driving, motorists appreciate being thanked with a wave or similar gesture the most. The problem is not enough of us are doing it, or seeing it.”

Mr Venn says a large part of improving driving on the road, is to change the way we think about it.

“Driving is like any other skill, you need to put in the time and refresh your knowledge to ensure you’re not letting bad habits stick.

“We know experienced drivers struggle to consistently indicate, check blind spots, do their mirror checks, tailgate and avoid distraction from their phones – these are all bad habits that have crept into people’s driving routines.”

Mr Venn says the only way to recognise your own bad habits is to have someone hold up a mirror and tell you.

“Often that ends up being young people doing professional lessons, who then go home to mum and dad and call them out on the things they’re doing wrong.

“A simulated on road test, which replicates a driving test, or other types of professional driver training can also help motorists recognise and then work on the weaknesses in their skillset.”

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Mazda plant open for business

Mazda Hofu Plant Nishinoura District Japan

Mazda Motor Corporation has begun production of the new Mazda CX-5 at its Hofu Plant.

Until now the CX-5 has been produced at the company’s Hiroshima Plant and at plants in China and Malaysia (for other markets)

The planned production is in order to enable the company to meet the growing global demand for Mazda crossover vehicles.

Managing director for Mazda New Zealand, David Hodge said having the CX-5 produced at the Hofu plant will help markets such as New Zealand keep up with demand for the award-winning vehicle.

“The new CX-5 further enhances the popularity of the vehicle that has won numerous motoring awards in New Zealand since it was first launched in 2012 and we are delighted the new CX-5 is a finalist in the 2017 AA/NZ Car of the Year Awards and a contender for People’s Choice.”

Mazda is working to meet a global sales volume target of 1.65 million units by the end of its three-year business plan, Structural Reform Stage 2, which was launched last fiscal year. In recent years global demand for crossovers has surged. To meet this demand expeditiously, the company has made its production system more flexible.

In December 2016 the Hofu Plant joined the Hiroshima plant in producing the CX-3, a compact crossover SUV and in August of this year, the system for production of crossovers at the Hiroshima Plant’s body factory was enhanced.

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Polestar could rival Tesla

Polestar 1 white exterior, rear

Volvo Cars pledges to invest five billion yuan into its Polestar 1 high performance electric car in a bid to gear up for the ‘green car’ revolution.

The four-seater hybrid coupe is part of a push to improve the electric and hybrid vehicle range available. This comes after the Chinese government announced that electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles will need to make up at least a fifth of Chinese vehicle sales by 2025.

Chief executive officer of Polestar, Thomas Ingenlath, said; “Polestar 1 is the first car to carry the Polestar on the bonnet. A beautiful GT with amazing technology packed into it – a great start for our new Polestar brand. All future cars from Polestar will feature a fully electric drivetrain, delivering on our brand vision of being the new standalone electric performance brand”.

Polestar 1 white exterior, top

The Polestar 1 – with a nominal price-tag of between 130,000 and 150,000 euros (NZ$213,000 and 246,000), will go into production in the western Chinese city of Chengdu in mid-2019. This will be alongside the fully electric Polestar 2, which will compete with the Tesla 3 and an SUV Polestar 3.

The Polestar 1 will form a halo for the future Polestar brand. The Polestar 1 is a two-door, 2+2 seat Grand Tourer Coupé with an ‘Electric Performance Hybrid’ drivetrain. An electric car supported by an internal combustion engine, it has a range of 150kms on pure electric power alone – the longest full electric range of any hybrid car on the market. Its output of 600hp and 1000Nm of torque places the car firmly in the performance car segment.

Polestar 1 white exterior, 7/8 rear

Volvo’s chief executive Hakan Samuelsson said that all its car models launched after 2019 will be electric or hybrids, making it the first major traditional carmaker to set a date for phasing out combustion engine powered vehicles.

The order books for the new Polestar 1 open on 17 October 2017, with Polestar able to take expressions of interest from prospective customers immediately.

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Subaru driver on points table

Subaru driver Ben Hunt. PHOTO: GEOFF RIDDER

Subaru driver Ben Hunt is placed third on the points table into Saturday’s six-stage Handy Rentals Hamilton Rally of Waitomo.

He is keen to advance in this  penultimate round of the 2017 Brian Green Property Group New Zealand Rally Championship.

The 2015 NZRC champion, Hunt has been consistently bagging points with two podium finishes to date and is enjoying extracting the full performance out of his Subaru WRX STi.

He and co-driver Tony Rawstorn are seeded fourth in the 81-car entry list and the long-term rally partners are looking forward to the level playing field the 207km rally represents. The event marks the NZRC’s return to the roads of the King Country and Waitomo districts for the first time in over a decade, providing a fresh challenge for the teams.

Centered around the Ohura, Piopio and Waitomo areas, five of the special stages will be over 30 kilometres in length and the shortest stage at 16 kilometres in length, speed and endurance will both be factors.

“Everyone is starting from scratch with their notes. It is awesome to be rallying on some new stages,” Hunt says.

He is confident in Rawstorn’s ability to fine-tune the supplied pace notes, after the recce, to the way he likes to drive. The pair are now in their seventh season together and the longevity of their partnership in the car means Hunt can commit with full trust to Rawstorn’s note reading.

The Hunt Motorsports team made several set-up changes after August’s Rally of Coromandel – where the Subaru WRX STi finished third overall and second in the points category – and Hunt was able to test them last weekend.

Ben Hunt and Tony Rawstorn are looking forward to tackling some new roads in Saturday’s Handy Rentals Hamilton Rally of Waitomo, in the Subaru WRX STi. PHOTO: GEOFF RIDDER.

Subaru is currently leading the Manufacturer’s Championship standings, five points ahead of its closest rival Mazda. With Matt Summerfield sitting in second place in the NZRC in a Subaru Impreza and Hunt third, the Subaru brand is in with a solid chance of manufacturer victory if all goes well for them both at Waitomo.

Along with a number of prime spectator viewing areas through the event, the public can see the cars and drivers at the Newstead Lodge ceremonial start, running from 4.30pm on Friday at Hamilton’s Rototuna Shopping Centre.

The competition starts the following morning from Piopio at 8am, with teams tackling six special stages via service stops at Ohura, Piopio and Mairoa. The first car will finish at the Hamilton Car Club on Valie Road at 5.25pm on Saturday evening where the finish ramp and victory podium celebrations will take place.

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Update VIA details now!

The Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association (VIA) is reminding members to update their details.

As a VIA member, you do not need to apply for access to the Motor Vehicle Register (MVR) under NZTA’s new rules, however you will need to update trading details.

“Even if you do not require MVR access, we ask that you update your records with us now for compliance purposes,” says VIA Technical Manager, Malcolm Yorston.

If you haven’t already, you can update your information by clicking here, before Monday 16 October 2017.

If you do not update your details online, a VIA representative will be in touch with you to follow up.

“We will provide our regular update of member information to NZTA, who will then be able to verify your eligibility when you register with a nominated portal (MotorWeb, CarJam etc),” says Yorston.

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ATAP report plans future investment

A joint report has been released by the government and Auckland Council.

The report updates work undertaken as part of the Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP) to understand the required level of transport investment needed in Auckland over the next decade.

Bridges says ATAP is an important milestone for the government when it comes to agreeing on an approach to the long-term development of Auckland’s transport system. “However, we know that Auckland’s recent and projected population growth is higher than originally forecast,” he says.

“ATAP agencies were asked to provide an update of how much additional funding may be required in the first decade to meet the challenges of growth. The update identifies an additional $1.9 billion of transport investment will be needed over the ten year period.

This is $1.1 billion less than the amount previously identified by Auckland Council and the total funding required for the decade is estimated to be $25.9 billion, of which $20 billion has already been committed to by central Government ($13 billion) and Auckland Council ($7 billion).

“That leaves about $5.9 billion to be sourced from the Government, Council and the private sector over the next ten year period,” Bridges says.

“The report identifies faster growth is now expected to occur in North and South Auckland requiring some transport investment to be brought forward to support the housing development in these areas. We will also need to bring forward transport investment to accommodate additional public transport demand.”

Key initiatives from the first decade package that would be brought forward into the next three years with this extra funding include:

Advancing development of the “next generation” of State highway projects, including the SH16/SH18 interchange, Southern Motorway widening between Papakura and Drury, improved Eastern Airport Access (SH20B) and the Northwestern Busway.

Accelerating Auckland Transport’s programme, targeting high priority and well developed investments including the Mill Road, AMETI Eastern Busway and associated Reeves Road flyover, the earlier purchase of new electric trains, along with earlier completion of key city centre bus lanes and interchanges.

Completing approximately $250 million of rail network infrastructure upgrades to cater for ongoing rapid growth in rail use and increasing freight volumes, including an additional track from Westfield to Wiri and a variety of key network resilience and performance upgrades.

“Current and committed investments include $3.4 billion for the City Rail Link, $1.85 billion for the East-West Link, and up to $1 billion in upgrades to the Northern and Southern motorway corridors,” Bridges says.

“This is a very useful update of the agreed ATAP programme. I look forward to continuing to work with the Mayor of Auckland on addressing the remaining funding required for the first decade.”

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