We’re now in the third quarter of the year and a lot has happened over the past three months in the motoring industry.

We’ve witnessed the introduction of new zero-emission vehicles; the launch of all-new generations of popular vehicles and the Government announced new initiatives to build a safer and cleaner future carpark plus much more. Here are our top headlines:

New Zealand’s first hydrogen-powered car revealed

Hyundai New Zealand revealed the all-new NEXO, New Zealand’s first zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered SUV at Fieldays in June. A milestone in the evolution of motoring, NEXO not only produces zero emissions but also has an advanced air purification system which filters 99.9% of very fine dust (PM2.5), emitting only water and clean air into the environment.

Audi NZ introduces the e-tron

Audi NZ introduced the highly anticipated e-tron EV SUV to New Zealand, which features over 400km range, 150kW fast charging capability, and virtual exterior mirrors as a high-end option. 

The Government proposes two Clean Car policies

The Government is proposing to introduce two policies to increase the supply and reduce the cost of fuel efficient and electric vehicles coming into New Zealand.

The first policy is the Clean Car Standard (which is a vehicle fuel efficiency standard). This policy would require vehicle importers to bring in progressively more fuel efficient and electric vehicles.

The second policy is the Clean Car Discount (which is a ‘feebate’ scheme). This policy would make fuel efficient and electric vehicles more affordable for Kiwis to buy, potentially by a discount of up to $8000 for new vehicles and $2,600 on used vehicles.

The proposal is currently in a six week consultation and if introduced will be enforced from 2021.

Addressing unsafe vehicles

In light of a vehicle recently being awarded a 1-Star ANCAP safety rating, it was reported in June the Government is indicating a potential ban of imported vehicles that are classed as “unsafe” which would affect a substantial number of imports.

As of March 1 2020, the NZTA has also implemented legislation that all vehicles imported into NZ must have stability control as a safety feature. Stability control helps prevent side skids and stabilises the vehicle while turning on a curve.

Global airbag recall continues

Takata’s Alpha-type airbags have been known to malfunction in a crash and explode, causing serious injuries or, in several cases overseas, death. There are still around 20,000 affected vehicles driving around on NZ roads. We urge you to visit rightcar.govt.nz to find out if your car is affected.

Volvo leads by example in safety and sustainability

Celebrating 60 years of vehicle safety since Volvo first gave us the three-point safety belt, the Swedish manufacturer has now for the first time made its safety knowledge easily accessible in a central digital library, which it urges the car industry to use in the interest of safer roads for all.

Volvo have also been recognised for its sustainability ambitions at the annual Plastics Recycling Awards Europe, winning a prestigious award for a specially-built version of its XC60 T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid SUV that contains a high number of recycled plastics.

Toyota Gazoo Racing launches in NZ

Toyota Gazoo Racing has launched in NZ. Based on three core ideas; developing people through motorsport, creating better cars through harsh racing environments, and encouraging new car fans via a passion for pure driving enjoyment and fun. Gazoo will now oversee the current NZ open-wheeler Toyota Racing Series and the Toyota 86 Racing Series.  

ŠKODA improves warranty

ŠKODA has moved from a three-year 100k manufacturer’s warranty to a five-year 150k manufacturer’s warranty on all new vehicles sold from April 2019. This is a show of commitment to Kiwi families, promising a combination of peace-of-mind and an exceptional driving experience.

New car launches

The all-new Mazda3 was launched, which includes a five-year unlimited kilometre factory warranty, five years of Mazda On Call Roadside Assistance and Genuine Scheduled Servicing for five years or 100,000 kilometres (whichever occurs first) at no added cost.  Find out our verdict from when we attended the Mazda3 launch.

We also went to the launch of Toyota’s all–new RAV4, which is now available with the option of a Hybrid drivetrain. With an adventurous attitude, the fifth-generation RAV4 has built on its 25-year legacy by redefining the segment it created through charismatic design, improved performance, advanced technology and fuel efficiency. 

Toyota also released the new Hiace, the dependable ‘go-to’ van and passenger transporter for more than five decades, has been radically re-worked from top to bottom in its new fifth-generation guise. It also received a 5-star ANCAP safety rating. We checked out the new Hiace earlier in the year – find out our thoughts.

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