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Consumers winners at Energy Rally

Consumers the real winners from Honda’s “all in” entry policy for the 2008 AA ENERGYWISE Rally

Honda New Zealand, the only car manufacturer to enter its entire core fleet in the 2008 AA ENERGYWISE Rally, says other manufacturers are missing the point by entering only their most fuel-efficient models (or none at all) – causing consumers to miss out on the full picture.

“The rally shouldn’t be an exercise in just promoting the one or two ‘best’ vehicles in a fleet. At Honda we treat it as an opportunity to show people how every Honda can deliver fuel efficiency, regardless of its size or power,” says Honda New Zealand’s Managing Director Graeme Seymour.

Mr Seymour says the AA ENERGYWISE Rally (which begins today, Monday November 24 and runs through to Thursday the 27th) is a great opportunity to spread the message of fuel efficiency to customers who aren’t traditionally motivated by fuel savings or environmental concerns.

Car buyers still demand power and performance and the AA ENERGYWISE Rally gives Honda the opportunity to clearly demonstrate how these can be combined with fuel efficiency and lower emissions to deliver cars that boast great driving performance and still deliver real savings at the pump, while being better for the environment.

“It’s not difficult to work out that cars like Honda’s Civic Hybrid or Jazz excel in fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. What we’re saying is, lets be upfront about how the entire fleet performs and give car buyers the information they need to be able to make the best choice for themselves.”

Mr Seymour says a great example is the all-new Honda V6 Accord. With a 202kW V6 engine and new variable cylinder management technology it certainly delivers power and performance – however by entering it in the AA ENERGYWISE Rally Honda is also able to demonstrate the V6 Accord’s reduced fuel consumption on New Zealand roads, and the fact it falls well within both New Zealand’s EURO IV emission standards, as well as the even more stringent US LEVII standards.

Honda combines various versions of its state of the art iVTEC technologies – including Variable Cylinder Management and Hybrid technologies – with superior body design to create cars that boast greater fuel efficiency and increased performance.

While other manufacturers “cherry pick” their fleet’s most fuel efficient cars and often select professional drivers to put them through their paces, Honda enters its entire fleet and conscripts “real New Zealanders” to drive them, so Honda’s results truly reflect the kind of fuel efficiency a customer can expect to achieve when driving efficiently.

While Honda is hoping to match its past Rally performances in 2002, 2004 and 2006 – including winning the supreme award for the last rally in 2006 – Mr Seymour says they are less concerned about the results and more focused on the intent; to provide a full and clear picture of the range’s fuel efficiency to all New Zealanders.

“It would be fantastic to repeat the great performances Honda has had in previous years, but ultimately we are satisfied that, regardless of how our cars place, we are doing the right thing for our customers – and hopefully introducing even more people to the idea that power and performance don’t have to come at the cost of fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.”

Honda New Zealand has a tradition of leading the way when it comes to equipping consumers with the information they need to make the best decision. In 2003 Honda introduced a local return test fuel run route between Auckland to Taupo to provide customers with a target for an optimal achievable economy figure while driving at normal highway speeds in local conditions on New Zealand roads. They were also the first car company in the country to introduce fuel efficiency labels on its demonstrator fleet in 2006 – something which as since become mandatory for all vehicles - and then the first to expand that information to include CO2 emissions and crash ratings the following year.


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