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Kiwis choosing diesel


New Zealand car drivers are increasingly opting for diesel as their alternative fuel option says the Motor Trade Association (MTA)

With a wide range of alternative fuel options available, it seems most Kiwi drivers moving away from petrol are choosing to go with diesel.

June 2010 saw sales of new diesel powered cars exceed 20% of all sales for the first time. For the year to date, diesel powered cars account for almost 18% of new car sales, almost double the level of three years ago.

This trend towards diesel is especially noteworthy considering the misinformation in some quarters that surrounded the reliability and quality of diesel fuel earlier this year. Ian Stronach, MTA Marketing and Communications General Manager says: “Despite all the stories about so-called ‘dirty diesel’ that were around, MTA was able to disprove those and buyers have continued to recognise the many inherent advantages that diesel power provides. It’s been something of a quiet achiever in this regard.”

MTA says while fuel prices are a way off their peak of July 2008, it seems drivers are looking at a longer term view with diesel buyers rising steadily through this time.

Also supporting this move to diesel has been the growing availability of diesel powered variants in the passenger car and SUV line-ups of almost all manufacturers.

Even in the traditional diesel market of the commercially focused ute and van, sales have continued to take up a larger proportion of sales. In 2006 diesel powered utes and vans made up 80% of that segment. For this year to date, that figure has grown to 90%.

“Modern diesel engines are a far cry from those of the past with significant improvements in noise reduction, fuel economy and power output helping drive their growth in popularity. But we still have a long way to go to match areas like Western Europe where diesel powered cars account for around half of all sales. Our forecasts for the New Zealand market though are for sales to continue to rise for the foreseeable future,” says Stronach.

See a range of diesel vehicles for sale.

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