Praise for consultation

MTA welcomes long-term certainty for automotive market after CCS changes match its call to government.
Posted on 11 July, 2024
Praise for consultation

The Motor Trade Association (MTA) has praised the government for heeding the advice of industry stakeholders and making changes to the clean car standard (CCS) that will make emissions targets for imports less stringent.

James McDowall, head of advocacy, says the MTA is supportive of the decision to revise the scheme’s settings and align them with Australia’s standards over the coming years.

He told Autofile Online it is also appreciative of the stakeholder engagement the government undertook this year as part of a review into the CCS ordered by Simeon Brown, Minister of Transport.

“The Ministry of Transport has been very open and engaging in discussing these targets and the impact on industry and consumers,” explains McDowall, pictured.

“We released our pre-election manifesto last year and identified the clean car standard as a topic that needed review. That’s happened at a pretty good pace and what we called for is what we received, so we’re happy from that perspective.

“Under these changes, we can still achieve clean cars coming into the country and at the same time make the targets more realistic for the market.”

He notes New Zealand is a small market and can’t dictate to vehicle manufacturers what product specifications should be, so “aligning with Australia aligns us better with the rest of the world”.

“Manufacturers are making great strides in creating cleaner cars but having those overly stringent targets was a government intervention that went too far and distorted the market and now we’re resolving that,” he continues.

“It’s been a tough time in car sales but by aligning with Australia we create a common market and will get vehicles being produced at the right cost without the imbalance of fees being applied.

“For consumers that means more choice and more models being available to the New Zealand market.”

The government’s announcement on July 9 outlined that emissions targets for 2025-2029 will realign towards Australia’s goals, legislation is planned to provide more flexibility for the use of CCS credits and charges, and exempting disability vehicles from the scheme.

McDowall says the decisions will provide more certainty to the market, which means it can organically acquire cleaner cars and new technologies over time.

“In the long term, everyone wants stability and our role is to bring industry and government together on this and come to the agreed middle ground that is good for society,” he adds. 

“Electric vehicle sales are starting to recover from the drop following the removal of the clean car discount. 

“It will take time for the market to recover but it’s good timing to have this clean car standard announcement as it brings certainty and will keep prices as low as possible across the board.”