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Latest update on recall

VIA, (the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association), has released the latest update on the mandatory Takata alpha-type airbag recall that will come into effect on 31 May 2018.

From this date, no vehicle fitted a Takata alpha-type airbag inflator may be sold in trade without having been reworked, including trade-ins.

Also from 31 May, newly imported vehicles with alpha-type airbag inflators that have not been reworked will be “prohibited imports” and subject to seizure by New Zealand Customs. 

Key updates:

  • Discussions are ongoing between VIA, representing NZ’s used vehicle industry, and the MIA and NZ’s new vehicle distributors, on how recalls of vehicles already in the fleet will be completed.
  • Our shared objective is a smooth and efficient experience for all affected New Zealand consumers.
  • Recall information on individual vehicles, by chassis number, can be found using the JASPA online search tool

 NZTA is currently working to provide access to this JASPA information via their RightCar website. NZTA’s current most up-to-date lists of vehicles subject to the recall are available here:  

Vehicles under mandatory recall (Takata alpha-type inflator)
Vehicles still under wider (voluntary) recall (other types of Takata inflator)
 
VIA will continue to communicate all developments to our members as they arise.

For any questions, please contact VIA Technical Manager Malcolm Yorston on 0800 VIA VIA (842 842) or email technical@via.org.nz.

*Note: To view this page in English, open the above link in the Google Chrome browser, then right-click anywhere on the page and select ‘Translate to English’.

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Incoming stock surge

Ports of Auckland

VIA, (the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association), wants to remind the auto industry to work together to ease port congestion at Ports of Auckland.

The monthly total of cars into Auckland for April was around 30,000, with the same or more expected for the month of May. This surge in stock means that wharves are still considerably pressured.

To avoid demurrage (currently $60 per car, per day), vehicles ideally need to be moved from the port seven days a week, Monday through to Sunday.

VIA ask that compliance shops work with transport companies to ensure that transporters have access to deliver vehicles from the port into safe storage. This is simply to avoid port congestion and should not place undue pressure on the compliance KSDPs.

For any questions, please contact VIA Technical Manager Malcolm Yorston on 0800 VIA VIA (842 842) or email technical@via.org.nz. 

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Respite for Zeanz clients

Two weeks ago, Zeanz Cloud Solutions announced they would be terminating their services, impacting companies in the auto industry that use Zeanz Cloud Solutions for their online hosting services.

This was followed on Tuesday this week with news that Kim S Thompson had been appointed as liquidator to settle the affairs of Zeanz Limited.

NetValue, a Hamilton-based business providing web, software, app and hosting services, has today announced that they have acquired the Zeanz business and that there will be no immediate disruption to service, and absolutely no termination of services as previously announced by Zeanz.

“The products and services offered by Zeanz were a perfect fit for our existing business model and the capabilities and resources of our team of over 45 staff,” said NetValue CEO, Graham Gaylard.

NetValue’s message to Zeanz customers right now is ‘Your business operations will not be affected in any way – it’s business as usual’.

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Funding boost welcomed

The NZ Automobile Association is welcoming the Australian government’s decision to continue funding the work of independent vehicle safety consumer organisation ANCAP for another five years.
Stella Stocks

Stella Stocks, the AA’s general manager of motoring services

Stella Stocks, general manager of motoring services at the AA, which sits on ANCAP’s board, has welcomed the funding announcement. She says the money from Australia’s federal government is a welcome boost to the funds ANCAP receives from state-government agencies across the Tasman, the New Zealand government and motoring clubs in both countries. “The extra funding is a big boost for vehicle safety,” says Stocks.

The Government’s $6.64 million commitment to fund ANCAP for another five years will assist ANCAP to continue the role it plays in testing and assessing new cars, providing information for consumers about vehicle safety and general advocacy about safety on roads.

ANCAP Chief Executive James Goodwin noted the important role safer vehicles play in reducing road trauma. “Continued emphasis to elevate the safety of new vehicles – as well as to reduce the overall age of the nation’s registered vehicle fleet – are critical to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by serious crashes,” says Goodwin.

The Australian Government joined as a member of ANCAP in 2010 and is one of 23 member organisations including the Australian and New Zealand automobile clubs, all State and Territory Governments and the New Zealand Government.

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Drive Happy Project on target

Toyota’s new way of selling vehicles, the Drive Happy Project, is on target despite its relatively quiet start in April, with 1362 sales recorded to date since launch. 

“We expected a significant dip in sales for April,” said Toyota New Zealand’s CEO Alistair Davis. “Transitioning to a new way of doing business is not going to happen overnight, or even in one month. We are in this for the long term.”

Davis said introducing the Drive Happy programme in April was partially by design.

“We had a good March, with Toyota stores contributing to this as they increased their demonstrator fleets as part of the Drive Happy Project.”

The first month of the new financial year – April – is also slower for the fleet, rental and lease business, said Mr Davis. “This has allowed us to fine-tune some of our system changes without the pressure of the usual larger sales volumes.”

He said customers had to get used to the idea of a Toyota Driveaway Price (TDP) – considerably lower than the previous recommended retail prices – with no haggling.

“People can still buy a new Toyota at their local store, with or without doing online research,” said Mr Davis.

However, most customers are making use of the improved online features with Toyota confirming a 10 per cent increase in visitors to their website on the previous month, with 15% of those making use of the online car builder.

The Toyota Driveaway Price includes delivery costs, number plates, registration, a full tank of fuel, floor mats, 1000kms of road user charges on diesel vehicles and a seven-day money back policy if the customer is not happy with the vehicle.

“Customers have more options to get the exact model in the colour they want from the large pool of vehicles held in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch,” said Mr Davis.

Toyota New Zealand expected and planned for slower sales with the introduction of Drive Happy, said Mr Davis.

“There’s a transition period for us as our network of stores and customers to get used to the improvements we’re making. We’re excited about the future and the opportunities these changes have opened up for us.”

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VIA’s upcoming AGMs

VIA, (the Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association), has released details of its upcoming general meetings.

The Annual General Meetings for VIA, and its North and South Island Branches, will be held as follows:

North Island AGM: Tuesday 29 May 2018
South Island AGM: Wednesday 30 May 2018
National AGM: Wednesday 30 May 2018

All members are entitled to raise proposals or items of business they wish to have considered by the Annual General Meetings.

Rule 11.4 provides that members submit such proposals to the Branch Secretary at least 14 days before the date fixed for the Annual General Meeting.

If you have any items you wish to raise, please mail, email or fax to:

The Branch Secretary
[For North Island] [For South Island]
PO Box 14 143 PO Box 79 071
Panmure 1741 Christchurch 8446
Email: bev@via.co.nz Email: alistair@brlaccountants.co.nz
AUCKLAND CHRISTCHURCH

Notices regarding venue, times, Agenda, Minutes of the 2017 Annual General Meeting and the Chief Executive Officer’s Annual Report will be made available on the website on Tuesday 22 May 2018.

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Electrifying NZ’s heavy vehicles

The opening of Waste Management’s truck conversion workshop in Auckland

As better battery technology is lowering the cost and boosting the range of passenger electric vehicles (EVs), those advances are making electrification of heavy vehicles more appealing.

“Changing from diesel buses and trucks to electric tackles the air quality issues of central cities, as well as reducing carbon emissions,” says Liz Yeaman, EECA’s Transport Development Manager. “It’s good news for the millions who live and work in big cities.”

There have already been three project launches part-funded by the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, administered by EECA. Two projects, one with Auckland University of Technology and one with Auckland Transport, put electric buses on the road in Auckland; the third, by Waste Management Ltd, is a workshop to convert diesel trucks to electric.

The workshop plans to convert 20 of our national truck fleet in the next two years. The first conversion is almost completed and the truck will be used to collect waste from Auckland Hospital. In addition, the workshop is also open to other companies looking to transform their vehicles into EVs.

“Our investment in the EV workshop will create a knowledge centre for EV conversion in New Zealand and will help us move towards our long-term goal of a fleet of fully electric vehicles,” said Tom Nickels, Waste Management Managing Director.

“Our conversion partner EMOSS in the Netherlands has provided the kitsets and knowledge for our team to start completing conversions here in Auckland. We are also looking forward to helping other New Zealand businesses convert their fleets for a more sustainable future.”

Medium-sized electric trucks are expected in the market later this year. Fuzo NZ said last September it plans to begin testing their box body eCanter on New Zealand roads in the third-quarter.

“Others will follow,” says Yeaman. “Nearly 80 per cent of all freight movements are within regions so there’s heaps of scope to go electric.”

As heavy electric vehicles are exempt from road user charges until they make up 2 per cent of the heavy vehicle fleet, owners of trucks and buses should have a hard look at electric options for their next vehicle purchase, she says.

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Major changes needed

The Productivity Commission’s latest draft report on transitioning to a low-emissions economy includes 50 recommendations on how best to address New Zealand’s slow progress.

New Zealand has had climate change policies in place for some time but these have not been effective in reducing domestic emissions. For businesses, households, investors and consumers to manage the risks and seize the opportunities of moving to a low-emissions future, change is needed.

“Our report shows that major changes will be needed”, says Chair of the Productivity Commission, Murray Sherwin, “Emerging technologies are likely to play a large role in facilitating those changes and creating new opportunities for New Zealand.  Our inquiry shows that, if credible and stable climate policy can be established now, businesses, households and consumers will be better able to plan for change and manage the risks of moving to a low-emissions economy.”

The recommendations in the draft report are designed to promote these changes. They include:

  • a strong signal from the Government, and preferably from across the Parliament, about its long-term commitment to transitioning to a low-emissions economy;
  • establishing an institutional framework that supports policies for transition
  • a broad-based and effective emissions pricing scheme that includes phasing in agriculture;
  • supporting regulation and policies, such as a “feebate” scheme for imported vehicles;
  • more resources focused on low-emissions research and development, especially for agriculture; and
  • mandatory financial disclosures about climate risk.  

In essence, the strategy for New Zealand involves replacing fossil-fuels, where feasible, with clean electricity (eg, electric vehicles and lower grade process heat). Longer term, as new technologies emerge in response to higher emissions costs, there will be more options available to ease the path to a net-zero emissions future. These new options will be particularly important since, while increased forestry buys us time, it is not a permanent solution for New Zealand.

Murray Sherwin also notes that “While the challenges of achieving a low-emissions economy are large, the scale of change involved in the transition is comparable to transitions that have occurred before in New Zealand, and within the scale of transitions faced in other developed countries. New Zealand can reach its low emissions targets if it has the right institutions and policy settings in place, and the journey is embarked upon without delay.”

The Productivity Commission’s draft report makes 140 findings, 50 recommendations and asks 11 questions. It is being issued for public and stakeholder review with the Commission now calling for submissions.

A final report will be presented to the Government in the second half of 2018.

Submissions are invited on the report by stakeholders and the public by 8 June 2018. 

Click here for the full report and how to submit feedback.

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MIA praises emissions report

The Motor Industry Association (MIA) has welcomed the Productivity Commission’s draft report on a low-emissions economy, which was released on April 27.

David Crawford, chief executive officer of the MIA

David Crawford, chief executive officer of the MIA, says the documents contain important analysis and recommendations to stimulate an essential debate on measures to accelerate a reduction of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions. “The new-vehicle sector welcomes the opportunity to participate in a discussion on measures that would be effective in achieving an acceleration of reduction in greenhouse gases,” he says.

Greenhouse gas emissions from transport are around 18.4 per cent of New Zealand’s total emissions. It’s the third largest sector behind energy at 22.5 per cent and agriculture with 47.9 per cent, according to 2015 figures as used by the Productivity Commission.

Crawford says: “To avoid distortions in long-term resource allocation, it’s important a low-emissions economy includes all gases and sectors. It’s time to have a discussion on the incorporation of agriculture into our regulatory approach to reduce greenhouse emissions as it will remove a current distortionary effect that places an unfair burden on the other sectors.

“When it comes to transport, New Zealand is a technology taker. How we leverage the importation of low-carbon technological innovations is important, especially given the high volume of old imported vehicles that are on average one to two generations behind technologies found in new vehicles.”

The MIA believes there’s scope to make better use of economic pricing signals to influence vehicle-purchasing decisions, especially those that make it easy for consumers to identify the relative fuel efficiency of models. Making it easier and more transparent for consumers to understand a vehicle’s greenhouse gas performance and associated cost is more likely to be successful in changing consumers purchasing patterns.

“Discussion on transport incentives and disincentives within the draft report are welcomed as it stimulates a healthy debate on what policy measures are best for New Zealand,” says Crawford.

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Kiwi company inks agreement

An Ohmio autonomous bus outside the Christchurch Art Gallery.

New Zealand autonomous vehicle developer Ohmio Automotion may just have scored the largest deal for autonomous shuttle vehicles in the world.

Ohmio has initiated an agreement to supply 150 shuttles to Korean company Southwest Coast Enterprise City Development (SolaSeaDo) in South Korea.

However, the agreement is dependent on SolaSeaDo securing a deal to build a large-scale smart city in Korea. SolaSeaDo is in the advanced stages of securing that contract and will know later this year if it has been successful.

“This is a significant development for Ohmio and a major vote of confidence in what we have developed,” Hikmet said.

The Ohmio LIFT is a 20-person autonomous shuttle that can be extended to carry up to 40-passengers and operates on pre-determined routes without a driver. The offering will provide services similar to a tram, but with “virtual rails” and guided by a range of electronic systems.

Ohmio has been developed by HMI in Auckland, launching the first demonstration in Christchurch last September, using prototype vehicles to showcase the technology of driverless automated shuttles and the robotic technologies that underpin them.

“These first vehicles were to show we had developed the know-how to build an autonomous vehicle,” Hikmet said.

“Since then we have been developing the Ohmio LIFT, a vehicle that we expect will be used in a range of environments such as airports, business parks and central city areas.”

Ohmio’s first sale was to Christchurch International Airport in March.

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Mazda’s new retail experience

Customers can also use the store to configure the new car of their choice on a massive wall-mounted touch-screen – Source: Mazda NZ

Mazda New Zealand has developed a new business model for its retailers called Connect, following Toyota New Zealand’s recent “Drive Happy” restructure.

The first Mazda Connect store will open on April 27, in Silverdale, 30km north of Auckland.

What are the major changes?

There are no salespeople, only Mazda “ambassadors” whose job it is to provide information and assistance to the customer, rather than push the product. 

Customers can also use the store to configure the new car of their choice on a massive wall-mounted touch-screen. 

The main difference is in the commitment to a non-automotive location, the presentation of the brand and the attitude towards the customer, says Mazda NZ national marketing manager Glenn Harris and AHG country manager Mike Critchley to Stuff NZ.

“This is not a pop-up store like we’re used to in lots of malls around NZ,” said Harris. “This is here to say. We’ve taken a six-year lease out on this space and we believe this is the future.

Mazda NZ’s stake in the retail project is the first step in creating a franchise format that can be used around the country. A second store is already confirmed for Wellington in October.

“We need to do things differently, as a retailer, we need to evolve. Everything’s changing around us, but we in the automotive category [seem to be] the last to change.”

“If you look at some of the others who have started to make their home in our industry, we have to learn from them: the likes of Apple, Google and Amazon,” said Harris.

“Connect is the first embodiment of how we believe the automotive retail model will evolve, and we focus as much on how we present our brand and where we present it, as what we build.”

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