RUC makes small diesel cars unviable says Hyundai GM

RUC makes small diesel cars unviable says Hyundai GM

The boss of New Zealand’s most popular diesel passenger brand claims Government taxes have now reached a level where it is no longer viable to own a diesel car for its economy.

The comments about the effects of the latest rise in the cost of Road User Charges (RUC) were made by Hyundai New Zealand general manager Andy Sinclair to motoring journalist Rob Maetzig of the Taranaki Daily News.

Road user charges now cost $58 per 1000km for the owners of all light diesel vehicles as at July 1.

According to Maetzig, critics says that RUC have effectively killed off any financial benefits of owning a diesel-powered vehicle, particularly given that most command a retail premium of several thousand dollars over their petrol-engine equivalents.

The Taranaki Daily News motoring journalist compared the running cost of a 1.6-litre diesel Hyundai i30 hatch against a 1.6-litre petrol equivalent using the government’s own online calculator.

The calculation shows the fuel cost of running both is exactly the same, despite the i30 diesels official consumption figure of 5.6L/100km and the petrol version consuming more at 6.9L/100km.

According to the Taranaki Daily News there is now no way a purchaser can earn back the $4000 premium its costs to buy the diesel version of the i30 over the petrol model.

Sinclair told Maetzig that the increase in RUCs will impact on sales.

“Obviously when the cost of running any vehicle becomes more expensive, there is an impact on sales,” he says.

“Things have probably reached a stage where motorists do not now buy diesels for their economy. They buy them because they like their drivability, and the torque that they offer.

Sinclair forecasts that the increase in RUC won’t impact on the on the sales of larger SUVs, as much as they will on smaller passenger vehicles.

Hyundai sold more than 1000 vehicles for a calendar month for the first time in June 2014, it is currently in fourth spot overall, and third in passenger sales in a market that continues to best previous record years.

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