Blog Archives

EVs and hybrid vehicles reach 3m worldwide

Electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid vehicles units have reached 3 million worldwide. 

Numbers of electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles are only going to get bigger, as they are at the top of the priority list for auto manufacturers.

EV Volumes has predicted that there could be 5 million EVs and hybrid vehicles worldwide by the end of 2018.

Countries like China and Norway are reigning the leader board in terms of how many plug-in vehicles are on their roads.

China had an impressive 184,000 plug-in vehicles in 2017, a 15 per cent increase from 2016 (28,000 units). One third of vehicle sales are plug-in models in Norway, which will rise to 40 per cent thanks to Norway’s government incentives and subsidies to reach carbon neutral targets.

The electric fleet in New Zealand is also growing exponentially with a whopping 6,884 EVs and hybrids recorded in February 2018.

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Australians unsure on autonomous cars

Ford’s latest Trends report reveals that only 52 per cent of Australians are hopeful about the use of autonomous vehicles in the future.

“The global average is 61 per cent supporting it, but the numbers really vary in an extraordinary fashion,” says Sheryl Connelly, Ford Motor Company’s Futurist, and the author of the report.

China is the most hopeful regarding the future of autonomous vehicles at 83 per cent. India comes in at 81 per cent, but then there’s a pretty big drop when it comes to Australia at 52 per cent.

Both China and India are some of the most populated countries in the world, and with the levels of population density in some areas of the city comes extraordinary congestion.

The prospect of having someone drive you around by either, machine or hiring someone could have a substantial impact on how you spend your day.

She continues, “I also think it’s a market there that doesn’t have the same infrastructure of roads, so we know the rates of accidents and road fatalities are higher in those markets, which you would expect because of the population density, and correlation of how big the market is.”

When it comes to Australia’s low score, Connelly believes that a sense of self comes into play. This is also backed by the report’s numbers, which reveal that The United States, Canada and The United Kingdom had far less hope in autonomous vehicles as well – all coming in at 50 per cent or less

“In the Western world, the so called rich world, [we] have a much longer history and deeper foundation of seeing a car as an extension of one’s identity. I hear it from one of my colleagues who loves cars, who says ‘no way will I ever get in an autonomous vehicle. I love the thrill of driving far too much to ever turn it over to someone else.’

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Mazda’s future emissions reduction

Mazda Motor Corporation aims to reduce corporate average carbon dioxide emissions and achieve a 90 per cent reduction by 2050.

The manufacturer’s vision – ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030’ will look towards the year 2030 and as part of the vision, the manufacturer will introduce a next-generation engine called SKYACTIV-X in 2019. 

“The first generation SKYACTIV engine really made its mark in New Zealand due to both its power and environmental performance. The exciting changes planned for the next-generation SKYACTIV-X will further highlight the company’s commitment to the environment while still delivering the thrill of driving great cars,” says managing director of Mazda New Zealand, David Hodge.

Mazda will expand measures for carbon dioxide reduction from a “well-to-wheel” perspective, considering emissions over the vehicle’s entire life cycle. Its aim is to reduce corporate average “well-to-wheel” carbon dioxide emissions to 50 percent of 2010 levels by 2030.

This will be achieved by prioritising efficiency improvements and measures for cleaner emissions that apply in the real world. 

From 2019, the company will start introducing electric vehicles and other electric drive technologies in regions that use a high ratio of clean energy for power generation or restrict certain vehicles to reduce air pollution.

More advanced safety technologies will also be developed under the Mazda Proactive Safety philosophy, working towards the goal of eliminating traffic accidents.

Testing will begin in 2020 of autonomous driving technologies currently being developed in line with Mazda’s human-centered Mazda Co-Pilot Concept with the aim to make the system standard on all models by 2025.


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Aussie car sales hit fourth record month in a row

The Toyota Hilux was Australia’s top-selling vehicle

Vehicle sales in Australia hit a record month in July, the fourth in a row, according to industry body VFACTS.

A total of 92,754 new vehicles were sold in Australia last month, an increase of 1.6 per cent compared to July 2016.

Year-to-date sales hit 692,306 cars, a 0.4 per cent increase.

“This July figure demonstrates the industry’s ability to deliver products which are not only good value but cater specifically for the changing needs of Australian customers,” said the chief executive of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI), Tony Weber.

While the passenger vehicle market was down 5.9 per cent last month when compared to July 2016, other market segments saw large gains. The SUV market was up 9.4 per cent year-on-year, with small and medium SUVs up 15.3 per cent and 18.6 per cent respectively, and heavy commercials increased 14.5 per cent.

“The steady rise in small and medium SUV sales are indicative of our market’s changing dynamic and manufacturers are moving quickly to meet those new needs and expectations,” Weber said.

The top-selling car make was Toyota, who sold 17,931 vehicles for a 19.3 per cent market share, followed by Mazda, with 9,528 sales, a 10.3 per cent market share, and Hyundai, with an 8.1 per cent share of the market.

Five of the 10 highest-selling vehicle models were also Toyota, with the Hilux standing at the top of the table, with 3,742 sales, a 19.3 per cent increase. This was followed by the Toyota Corolla, with 3,208 sales, down 6.4 per cent, the Ford Ranger, with 3,076 sales, up seven per cent, and the Mazda3, with 2,466 sales, a massive 64.3 per cent increase.

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Tasman Tempest claims total $61.7M

Aucklanders were also affected by the flood.

The storm called the ‘Tasman Tempest’ by meteorologists has resulted in $61.7 million worth of insurance claims, the Insurance Council said.

The large storm, which saw a month’s worth of rain fall in 24 hours, hit the North Island between March 7 to 12.

Suburbs across Auckland flooded as well as many towns in the Coromandel. The township of Whangamata was battered particularly hard by the wild weather.

354 motor vehicle claims related to the weather event totalled $3.12 million, an average of $8.813.56 per car.

The final number of insurance claims stood at 7,774, for a total of $61.7 million. Domestic insurance claims had the highest number of claimants, at 6,449, worth $37.03 million.

“The weather bombs we’ve had in recent months highlights the importance insurance plays when disaster strikes,” said Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton.

So far this year, natural hazards have cost $174.7 million in insurance claims.

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Used imports unstoppable

The Nissan Tiida was June’s best-selling used import.

Used passenger vehicle sales rose 11.2 per cent in June to 13,339 units when compared to June 2016. Month-on-month sales appear to be easing, however, down 7.6 per cent when compared with May.

Year to date, used imported passenger vehicle registrations are 10.6 per cent ahead of the first six months of 2016, up 7,690 units, an extra 1,281 extra sales each month for 2017.

Toyota continues to reign at the top of the used car table with 24.8 per cent market share for the month with sales of 3,004 units, year to date they command a 25.4 per cent share.

The top-selling used passenger vehicle was once again the Nissan Tiida, with sales up 6.4 per cent to 602 units, followed by the Mazda Axela, up 5.7 per cent to 558 units, and the Suzuki Swift, up 6.3 per cent to 554 units.

Used car sales jumped in the South Island, with annual growth found in Dunedin, up 20 per cent to 438 sales, Timaru, up 56.4 per cent year-on-year to 147 sales, and Oamaru, up 45 per cent to 29 sales. Monthly vehicle sales were also strong in Gisborne, up 34.6 per cent to 70 sales in June, and Whanganui, up 26 per cent to 97 sales.

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Record month for Aussie vehicle sales

The Toyota Hilux was this country’s second best-selling ute of 2015 – for the second year in a row

Australia enjoyed its best-ever monthly motor vehicle sales in June, according to statistical service VFACTS. 

Sales of new motor vehicles hit a record high of 134,171 units, a four per cent increase.

The strong sales figures were led by a boom in SUVs and light commercial vehicles. SUVs were up 11.7 per cent compared to June 2016, and light commercials 12.2 per cent.

However, passenger vehicle sales fell 5.9 per cent compared to June 2016.

The most significant growth in June was in the medium SUV segment, up 32.6 per cent, followed by large SUVs, up 20.8 per cent, and utes, up 16.7 per cent.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) said the demand was chiefly driven by the business sector, with sales of passenger cars rising 5.7 per cent, and SUVs and light commercials 16.6 per cent to businesses.

The FCAI also attributed the sales increase to a competitive market, low interest rates and the Australian government’s instant asset write-off provision.

Record-breaking sales in June means year-to-date sales are tracking 0.2 per cent the 2016 rate.

Sales increased across the country except for Western Australia, which declined 5.5 per cent. Victoria led sales growth, up 8.7 per cent, followed by South Australia, up 7.9 per cent, the Northern Territory, up 7.5 per cent, Queensland, up 5.5 per cent, Tasmania, up 5.4 per cent, New South Wales, up 2.1 per cent, and the ACT, up 0.7 per cent.  

Toyota remained the industry leader with an 18.3 per cent market share, followed by Mazda, on 9.3 per cent, Hyundai on 9.1 per cent, and Holden and Mitsubishi, both on 6.9 per cent.

The Toyota Hilux was the top-selling vehicle in the country yet again, with 5,461 sales, followed by the Ford Ranger with 5,051 sales, the Toyota Corolla, with 3,830 sales and the Hyundai Tucson, with 3,741 sales.

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New vehicle all time NZ record

15,985 vehicles were registered in June – a new monthly record for any month of the year.

The previously single strongest month was October 2016 when there were 14,709 new vehicles registered. Year to date the new vehicle sector is 14.6 per cent (10,095 units) ahead of this time last year with 79,131 vehicles registered compared to 69,134 to the end of June 2016.

Passenger car and SUV registrations of 10,181 units were up 10.8 per cent (995 units) on June 2016. There were 5,804 commercial vehicle registrations for the month of June, up by a massive 28.6 per cent (1,291 units) on June 2016 and 22.7 per cent (4,858 units) year to date over this time last year. It was not only the strongest month of June on record for the registration of new commercial vehicles, but the strongest month ever since the Motor Industry Association (MIA) began collecting vehicle stats in 1975.

Toyota remains the overall market leader with 21 per cent market share (3,310 units), followed by Ford with 11 per cent (1,689 units) and Holden with eight per cent market share (1352 units).

Toyota was also the market leader for passenger and SUV registrations with 20% market share (2,011 units) followed by Mazda with nine per cent (940 units) and Hyundai with eight per cent market share (829 units). The top selling passenger and SUV models for the month were all taken out by Toyota models, the Toyota Corolla (508 units) followed by the Toyota Highlander (451 units) and the Toyota RAV4 (412 units).

In the commercial sector, Toyota was again the market leader with 22 per cent (1,299 units) followed by Ford with 21% (1,230 units) and Holden a distant third with 11 per cent market share (666 units).

For the month of June, the Ford Ranger remains at the top of the bestselling vehicle model table with 1,178 units, followed by the Toyota Hilux with 964 units, and the Holden Colorado with 650 units. Year to date the top three selling models are Ford Ranger with 4,976 units followed by the Toyota Hilux with 4,065 units and the Holden Colorado with 2,384 units.

For the month of June, four of the top five vehicle segments were dominated by SUV’s and Utes (Pick Up/Chassis Cab), with the Pick Up/Chassis Cab 4×4 being the most dominant with 18 per cent share (2,807 units) followed by with SUV medium segment 15 per cent (2,356 units), then SUV large with 14 per cent (2,178 units), then Pick Up/Chassis Cab 4×2 on 10 per cent (1,652 units), and the 5th being passenger small with nine per cent and 1,454 units.

“While the 2017 Agricultural Fieldays held at the beginning of June has boosted the volume of new vehicles sales for the month of June, low interest rates, strong net immigration, strong New Zealand currency and a healthy tourism market (car rentals) continue to underpin the sales of new vehicles” said MIA chief executive officer, David Crawford.

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Chinese car sales to hit 29.7 million by 2020

Changan is China’s top-selling domestic car maker

A report forecasts that new passenger car sales in China will reach 29.7 million units by 2020. The forecast by economists at ReportLinker is based on data gathered from the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.

New car sales in China totalled 24.4 million in 2016, compared to just 6.9 million in the United States. Comparatively, 4.1 million new passenger vehicles were sold in Japan last year.

While the majority of new Chinese vehicles are manufactured domestically, foreign brands top the sales table. The top-selling car maker last year in China was Volkswagen, with three million sales, followed by Buick, with 1.3 million, Honda, with 1.2 million vehicles, and Changan, with 1.5 million sales.

This prediction means that between 2017 and 2020, new car sales in China will maintain an annualised growth rate of 7.06 per cent. If these sales are met, China is predicted to account for 30 per cent of new market share in 2020.

The continued growth of vehicle uptake in China is due to the rising average income of Chinese households, allowing for more car ownership, and the increasing urbanisation of the population as more Chinese citizens are drawn to larger cities.

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, along with other government agencies, also pledged to increase the buying of new energy vehicles, such as EVs and PHEVs, to two million units by 2020.

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Is NZ’s car ownership the highest worldwide?

The NZTA has introduced electronic tolling on the Northern Gateway Toll Road.

Cars are the preferred mode of transport for most Kiwis

When it comes to the number of households that own a car, New Zealand just might be on top of the world.

A recent study conducted by Pew Research, reported by American investment magazine The Motley Fool, found eight countries where at least 80 per cent of households owned at least one car.

In eighth place was Japan, at 81 per cent, followed by Lebanon, also at 81 per cent. Malaysia came in sixth, with 82 per cent of households owning a car. In fifth place was South Korea, with 83 per cent, and fourth was France, on 83 per cent.

Germany came in third, with household car ownership at 85 per cent. Second place was the United States, on 88 per cent, and Italy led the study, with 89 per cent of households owning a car.

The latest New Zealand census, however, found that 92.1 per cent of households had at least one car, putting Kiwis significantly further ahead of the eight countries surveyed by Pew.

Two vehicles per household is the most common, at 38.4 per cent. 37.6 of households had one car – trending downwards compared to previous census – and the 16.1 per cent of households had at least three vehicles.

In terms of total numbers, New Zealand had 3,524,672 vehicles in its national fleet in 2015, when the Pew study was conducted, or 0.76 cars for every Kiwi.

New Zealand’s high car ownership is attributed to its generally stable economic condition, supply of cheap second-hand vehicles, low population density and urban population, and underdeveloped mass transit system.

Also missing from the study, Australian car ownership was very high (although not as high as New Zealand), with 91.6 of households owning at least one vehicle in the most recent census.

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The future for NZ vehicles

With the majority of vehicle manufacturers working on autonomous technology, it is no surprise that self-driving vehicles are part of the future.


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