Every month there is always something to report when it comes to the automotive industry. Whether it is a car face-lift, a brand new model or some industry news in general regarding new regulations, there is plenty of news to read.
New Zealanders have always had a love affair with Hyundai. Model after model, vehicle after vehicle, they really do stand the test of time. With climate change high on everyone’s agenda, zero-emission cars are making all the headlines. Hyundai’s Nexo is their new zero-emission car. Although the Nexo is the second generation of Hyundai’s electric vehicle program, it’s the first time New Zealand has had this technology, the Nexo is extremely eco-friendly and is starting to show an improved range compared to its other electric rivals. It has to be said that in the past, electric vehicles did not inspire car enthusiasts, as they were usually unattractive and uninteresting to drive. Nexo has a hydrogen-powered power cell, which has changed the way that we look at vehicles that are zero emissions.
Since Tesla made it interesting to be fully electric, other car manufacturers have now developed the looks as well as the efficiency of these types of vehicles. Electrical vehicles in New Zealand may be in their infancy, but modern technology will soon see us in fully autonomous vehicles, which are environmentally friendly, and a hundred percent recyclable.
Vehicle sales have slowed somewhat around the world. This means that competition for used cars has intensified. Car loan finance and motor vehicle finance companies are looking at the best ways of fighting for your business. Car yards are offering to buy cars for cash in the hope that they will attract new customers to their dealerships. Most used cars for sale have seen a drop in sale prices due to the saturated market that seems to be developing.
One of the reasons why the market is saturated with vehicles is that there has been a massive change to the types of vehicles that we are now buying. There has been a massive push in lower or zero emission vehicles so older vehicles that rely on fossil fuels will slowly become obsolete. If you look at a kids motorcycle, for example, these have also seen a downturn in popularity due to the change in the way vehicles are powered. Motorcycles will always be popular and because they pollute less than most vehicles, at the moment, they seem to be getting away with not being targeted. That said, the rumour mill has it that motorcycle manufacturers are also looking at ways that they can become more environmentally friendly.
Toyota has hit the headlines recently for claiming that within a ten year period, the sales of their third generation hybrid vehicles will come down to the point where they match their current hybrid fleet. It is always the case with technology that when a product is brand new, the prices are high so that the company can claw back some of the financial investment they have invested and to minimise the financial risk they have exposed themselves to by developing new technology. Because the need to produce environmentally friendly cars has accelerated recently, there is a shift in the process that manufacturers are charging so that they can make them accessible to everybody. Consumers have to appreciate that the speed of this technology is developing at will have a knock on effect to pricing.
Toyota’s hybrid models will have a massive impact on achieving the co2 emissions goal that is set for 2020. Toyota has also been ranked by JATO dynamics as the lowest average co2 emitter by any leading manufacturer. Hydrogen and electric powered vehicles are here to stay and it seems that Toyota has been vocal in this development. It has to be said that Toyota and Lexus (Toyota’s luxury brand) have been world leaders for some time in their hybrid technology. This has put them in a good position to be true world leaders in this area.
Mercedes is a global luxury brand, however, in the United States, the rumour mill is in frenzy stating that Mercedes is planning on removing some of its car models from the US car market. If these rumours end up having some truth about them, countries across the world need to then look at their own Mercedes portfolio, as there could be a risk there too. So what does this mean for the consumer? Mercedes have always been world leaders when it comes to developing the best technology in their vehicles.
It was once said that whatever you see in an S-Class Mercedes Benz, in five to ten years, you will see this technology appear in mass-produced vehicles. The change that Mercedes has made recently shows that they are trying to streamline their brand. It may not be entire models that will be removed; it may only be particular models within a certain range. Mercedes like the rest of the world’s manufacturers are facing a huge change in the way their vehicles are powered.
The Formula One calendar has now hit its European stage. So far, Mercedes Benz has dominated this season by having a record number of 1:2 finishes. Current world champion and arguably the world’s best driver Lewis Hamilton has not only topped the timesheets race after race, he has also secured the most wins to put him in an extremely strong position to gain his 6th title. If Hamilton achieves this he will immortalise himself as being the best driver in the world, even comparing himself to Michael Schumacher.
The automotive industry is always an exciting area to discuss and there are always a number of new stories to report on each month.