Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Higher Fuel Costs Boost Small Car Demand

Private Bag 3008, WANGANUI 5020

Higher Fuel Costs Boost Small Car Demand

Rising oil prices are encouraging more car buyers worldwide to consider smaller, more fuel-efficient models.

The trend is likely to be pronounced in New Zealand where fuel pump prices will be hit hard by not only more expensive oil, but by an increase in fuel tax levy from April.

Suzuki Motor Corporation, a carmaker with a reputation for designing and building economical motor vehicles, raised global production in January by 9.6 per cent.

Higher oil prices were enticing more people to choose vehicles with smaller engines, said the company.

"Demand for smaller cars and environmentally-friendly vehicles that the Japanese automakers are good at producing will continue to rise," said Makoto Sakuma, a spokesperson for the large Asahi Life Asset Management Company in Tokyo.

Suzuki, Japan's fourth largest carmaker, manufactured 165,557 vehicles in January and domestic production rose by 23.5 per cent to 87,379 units.

The increased emphasis on fuel consumption came just as Suzuki was launching the new, economical 1.5 litre Swift in New Zealand.

"New Zealand and Australia are the first export territories to receive the highly efficient new generation Swift and it could not have come at a better time," said Tom Peck, General Manager of Marketing for Suzuki New Zealand.

At the recent launching of the new model, he said Suzuki was targeting to sell 1,850 new cars on the local market in 2006 – a 37 per cent increase on sales last year.

"Demand for small cars in New Zealand rose last year, and this trend is likely to accelerate on the back of higher oil costs and rising fuel taxes," said Mr Peck.

In the official fuel test ratings, the Swift achieves 5.9 litres/100 km (47.9 miles per gallon) in the extra urban test, and 7.0 litres/100 km (40.3 mpg) in the combined cycle that includes both city and open road motoring.

Suzuki's most economical model sold in New Zealand, the one litre Alto five-door hatchback, returns a remarkable 4.3 litres/100 km (65.7 mpg) in the extra urban test and 5.4 litres/100 km (52.3 mpg) in the combined cycle.

The Suzuki Motor Corporation has been profitable for 56 consecutive years – a remarkable achievement in the motor industry.

Last year Suzuki shares outperformed other domestic motor manufacturers in Japan, gaining 3.8 per cent.

In addition to the new generation Swift, Suzuki is to introduce two other global models by 2007.

"Suzuki is clearly building products that are suitable for world markets, and up to seven new models will be launched by the company during the next five years," said Tom Peck.

World-wide Suzuki expects to sell 9 per cent more new cars this year than in 2004. During the past nine months Suzuki sales in Asia have increased by 18 per cent while Suzuki motorcycle volume has leapt by 46 per cent.

Despite a sharp sales rise in the United States last year, demand for new Suzukis increased by a further 15 per cent in January, with the continued success of the Grand Vitara XL-7 reflected in the 35 per cent sales lift for the month.

Suzuki now has plants in 23 countries and markets its cars and commercial vehicles in 144 nations. It is the top selling brand in Hungary, India and Pakistan.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>


Half A Billion Accounts: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>

Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>


Half Full: Fonterra Raises Forecast Payout As Global Supply Shrinks

Fonterra Cooperative Group, the dairy processor which will announce annual earnings tomorrow, hiked its forecast payout to farmers by 50 cents per kilogram of milk solids as global supply continues to decline, helping prop up dairy prices. More>>



Meat Trade: Silver Fern Farms Gets Green Light For Shanghai Maling Deal

The government has given the green light for China's Shanghai Maling Aquarius to acquire half of Silver Fern Farms, New Zealand's biggest meat company, with ministers satisfied it will deliver "substantial and identifiable benefit". More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news