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Huge Increase in Diesel Vehicles Entered in Rally

Media Release: 10 October 2006

Huge Increase in Diesel Vehicles Entered in 2006 AA EnergyWise Rally

Next month’s AA EnergyWise Rally - New Zealand’s only car rally to promote fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness – has seen a significant increase in the number of diesel vehicles entered.

Of the record 53 vehicles entered overall in the Rally, 23 of these are diesel – a massive jump on the 10 diesel vehicles entered in the 2004 rally.

Stella Stocks, General Manager of AA Technical Services, says there is an impressive range of fuels for the vehicles entered in this year’s AA EnergyWise Rally – which the motoring public will benefit from.

“The AA EnergyWise Rally provides important information for motorists on the fuel efficiency of certain vehicles. This is a highly topical consumer issue given the ongoing uncertainty over fuel costs. The information we provide from the Rally is independent, objective and reliable,” says Ms Stocks.

The AA EnergyWise Rally is held every two years and is conducted on a number of challenging roads throughout the North Island. The Rally is organised by the AA and EECA, (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority). Fuel – including a specially produced biodiesel and ethanol blend, is being supplied free of charge to all vehicles by Gull New Zealand Ltd.

Other vehicles also featured in this year’s Rally include two hybrid vehicles, one demonstration class biodiesel, one LPG, one ethanol E85 and 21 petrol vehicles. Presiding over the Rally are three official AA vehicles run on Ethanol E10 which will also add to the mix.

“The jump in diesels entered this year is interesting. The AA EnergyWise Rally is an opportunity for manufacturers to demonstrate how fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly the newer-model diesel vehicles are. The move to low-sulphur diesel fuel has meant that a much wider range of modern fuel efficient diesel vehicles are now available in New Zealand - and the AA EnergyWise Rally will put these to the test,” says Ms Stocks.

Vehicles have been entered in the 2006 AA EnergyWise Rally by a number of manufacturers including Honda, Holden, Ford, Kia, Mitsubishi, Mazda, BMW, Peugeot, Alfa Romeo, Volkswagen, Fiat, Daimler Chrysler and Hyundai.

“Also featured in this year’s Rally are a number of new arrivals on the New Zealand market including the new Honda CRV, the VW Polo, the Falcon LPG and the Ford Focus Diesel which is to be launched on January 1st 2007.”

The smallest vehicle entered in the 2006 AA EnergyWise Rally is the Smart Fortwo Coupe with an engine size of 696cc. At the other end of the scale the largest vehicle entered in engine size is the Ford Territory.

The AA EnergyWise Rally begins on Monday 6 November in Auckland, before travelling to Wellington via Palmerston North. The Rally will be officially welcomed to Parliament, before heading to Rotorua, and finishing in Auckland on Thursday 9 November.

The winners of the AA EnergyWise Rally 2006 will be announced at an awards dinner in Auckland on Thursday 9 November. Further information is available at www.aaenergywiserally.co.nz .

ENDS

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