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Positive Response To Climate Change Initiatives

Media Release

Embargoed until Noon Sunday October 17, 2006

Independent Motor Vehicle Dealers Association (IMVDA) responds positively to Governments Climate Change initiatives

"The IMVDA recognises the desirability of constantly upgrading the national fleet of vehicles, to take advantage of technological improvements in safety, and to deal with environmental issues", chief executive David Vinsen said in a statement today, commenting on the announcement today by Climate Minister David Parker and Associate Transport Minister Judith Tizard.

"More than 250,000 vehicles in our fleet are over 20 years old and more than 750,000 are over 15 years old.

"Last year, over 150,000 used vehicles and 85,000 new vehicles were imported; over 160,000 old vehicles were taken off the road and scrapped. This scrappage rate needs to be increased to achieve the Government's aims

“The IMVDA supports the principle of consumers having information available about fuel consumption, both before and at the time of purchase, to enable them to make well-informed purchasing decisions.

"The IMVDA does not see a rolling age ban on used imports, in isolation, as the solution. This blunt instrument would have the unintended and unwanted consequence of increasing the average age of the vehicles in the fleet. Many consumers would not be able to afford to upgrade to newer vehicles, and they would be forced to hold on to their old cars for longer. The average age would increase, not reduce.

"The IMVDA has undertaken to work with the new vehicle distributors' Motor Industry Association (MIA), and to continue to work with the Ministry of Transport, to develop a comprehensive, coherent strategy to achieve the government's aim of upgrading the fleet, and reducing the average age of the country's vehicles.

"Such a strategy may include standards-based restrictions, supported by some sort of rolling age ban, plus a policy for accelerating the scrapping of old vehicles.

"It is important that any change to government policy on car imports is based on rock solid evidence that the net result will be a real gain for NZ in respect of Kyoto commitments, safety and health, and is affordable.

“We don't want a solution that fixes one problem while creating new problems or unwanted consequences, such as reducing consumer choice, placing low income families under further financial pressure, or increasing the cost of living and inflation.

"The IMVDA supports the development of government policy that will address this issue in a comprehensive and equitable way," Mr Vinsen said.


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