Some NZ areas embracing diesel SUVs

ROB MAETZIG
Last updated 07:10 20/12/2012
Ford Territory diesel.
Fairfax NZ
DIESEL OPTION: The Ford Territory is one SUV range to now include a disel version.

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Otago and Taranaki love them, and Wellington and Gisborne hate them.

We're talking about diesel-powered medium-sized SUVs here. Popularity of this style of vehicle is experiencing rapid growth - sales are up 33 per cent this year - and the popularity of diesel models is growing too.

But some regions are higher adopters of diesel than others.

Information supplied by Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand shows that more than half of the total number of medium-sized SUVs sold in Otago this year have been diesels.

Taranaki closely follows with almost a 50:50 split in petrol and diesel SUV sales, but in other parts of New Zealand it is still the petrol models that reign supreme.

In Gisborne, close to 75 per cent of medium SUV sales have been petrol models, in Wellington the petrol sales sit at around 73 per cent, and in Auckland, Manawatu and Whanganui the petrol SUV sales are running at just under 70 per cent.

Overall petrol models currently comprise 65 per cent of all medium SUV sales in New Zealand, says MMNZ.

Better diesel technology and demand by commercial fleet operators to have a more sustainable image are the reasons behind the rise in popularity of the diesel variants, it adds.

"Carbon dioxide emissions are an extremely important fact for fleet buyers.

"Government and local body organisations are very stringent about the level of CO2 their vehicles are allowed to emit as they must be seen as environmentally sustainable."

For this reason more than 60 per cent of all medium SUVs purchased by local or government bodies are diesels, while purchases by wholesale/retail/trade organisations are only 15 per cent diesel.

Private buyers are also still heavily into petrol models, with only 32 per cent buying diesel.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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