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8 out of 10 Kiwi drivers would prefer fuel efficiency

Ford survey reveals 8 out of 10 Kiwi drivers would prefer a more fuel-efficient vehicle

• Eighty three percent of New Zealand consumers say fuel efficiency is more important than power when buying a new car

• A desire to save money and high fuel prices are the top reasons for choosing more fuel efficient cars. An interest in being more environmentally friendly follows closely behind

• Survey on the importance of fuel efficiency commissioned by Ford Motor Company covers 9,500 drivers across 11 markets in the Asia Pacific region, including 774 New Zealand respondents

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, August 24, 2016 – When it comes to buying a new car, more than 83 percent of New Zealand consumers say that fuel efficiency is more important than power.

That is just one conclusion of a survey of more than 9,500 drivers in 11 markets across the Asia Pacific region, conducted on behalf of Ford Motor Company in June 2016.

When asked the reasons for prioritising fuel efficiency, 85 percent of respondents from New Zealand cited the desire to save money. Other top reasons included concern about high fuel prices (68 percent) and an interest in being more environmentally friendly (43 percent).

In fact, fuel efficiency is such a major factor that nearly one-third (28 percent) of drivers who currently own a powerful car say that they regret not purchasing a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

“We conducted this survey to learn more about what consumers’ attitudes are towards fuel efficiency when they are shopping for a new car,” said Kevin Tallio, chief engineer, Engine Engineering, Ford Asia Pacific. “Fuel efficiency remains one of the top concerns. Drivers continue to be sensitive to fuel costs, no matter what the price is at the pump.”

The survey reveals that the desire to save money is also reflected in fuel-purchasing habits.

Many New Zealanders said they already apply tactics to save at the pump, such as waiting for lower fuel prices to top up (45 percent). Forty two percent say that they always use a coupon when filling up, and 34 percent say that they only go to fuel stations where they get points for filling up. Only one in three says that they fill up whenever, regardless of price.

This coincides with a general wariness about New Zealand’s fuel prices – four out of five respondents say they don’t trust New Zealand’s fuel prices to stay stable over the next year. In the March 2016 quarter, New Zealand was the 19th most expensive of the 35 OECD nations for quarterly premium unleaded petrol prices.[1]

Drivers are starting to change their driving behaviors too. More than 39 percent of consumers are planning on driving less over the next 12 months and 27 percent say that they will change their driving habits to use less fuel.

These thrifty behaviours extend to what New Zealanders would do if they could save even more on fuel. More than half of respondents (53 percent) said that if they saved 20 percent on fuel every month, they would put the extra money towards their savings. Another 42 percent say that they would use the money to pay off existing debt.

But while New Zealand consumers are eager to protect themselves from the sting of the pump, surprisingly many are unaware of longer-term strategies for saving money:

• Nearly half (46 percent) of those surveyed admit that they do not consider the total cost of ownership – fuel and vehicle maintenance – when shopping for a new car

• Only 29 percent say that they would invest more money at the time of purchase on a more efficient engine in order to save money on future fuel costs

However, there may be signs that behaviours are changing. Many consumers who are planning to buy a new car in the next year are considering more fuel-efficient vehicles:

• Thirty seven percent plan to buy a vehicle with a more fuel efficient engine

• Nineteen percent plan to downsize to a smaller vehicle

• Sixteen percent plan to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle

However, their choice is made difficult by the fact that New Zealanders also value performance. More than half (56 percent) of all respondents say they consider performance as a factor when buying a new car.

“Today’s consumers are more sophisticated than ever,” said Tallio. “They expect their vehicle to deliver excellent fuel economy without sacrificing the performance they need – whether it’s accelerating on the highway or maneuvering through traffic – it is important that power is available.”

It was exactly this need to offer the combination of fuel efficiency and power that drove Ford to develop the EcoBoost family of engines. Since 2009, EcoBoost engines have been showered with awards, in fact the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine was voted best in class at the 2016 International Engine of the Year Awards for the fifth year in a row. EcoBoost technology can now be found under the bonnets of more than 20 Ford nameplates around the world – from the feisty Fiesta to the iconic Mustang.

"EcoBoost gives drivers fuel efficiency when they need it and power when they want it,” said Tallio. “When driven efficiently, EcoBoost technology has the capability to help save on fuel, save you money in the long run and reduce CO2 emissions. And when that extra ‘oomph’ is needed, it provides effortless performance.”

About EcoBoost
The centrepiece of Ford’s fuel-economy improvement efforts for petrol-powered engines is EcoBoost technology, which uses turbocharging, variable-valve timing and direct fuel injection along with reduced displacement to deliver significant vehicle fuel-efficiency gains and CO2 reductions, relative to larger displacement engines, without sacrificing vehicle performance.

In response to consumers’ needs, Ford now offers EcoBoost’s fuel-economy benefits throughout its product lineup. Ford’s rapid deployment of EcoBoost in high volumes across a wide array of our vehicle nameplates is helping consumers make a significant step forward in CO2 emission reductions.

In New Zealand, EcoBoost engines are available in eight nameplates, including: Fiesta, Fiesta ST, Focus, Focus ST, Focus RS, Mondeo, Kuga and Mustang.

About the Ford Survey
This online survey was conducted by GlobalWebIndex on behalf of Ford Motor Company. 9,509 consumers were surveyed across 11 markets: Australia (1,026 respondents), China (1,011 respondents), Hong Kong (784 respondents), India (1,023 respondents), Malaysia (786 respondents), New Zealand (774 respondents), Philippines (783 respondents), South Korea (760 respondents), Taiwan (762 respondents), Thailand (1,026 respondents) and Vietnam (774 respondents). Fieldwork was concluded in June 2016.

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[1] Source: International Energy Agency, Energy Prices and Taxes Q2 2016.

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