Diesel hi­jacks hy­brid hype


DIESEL has over­taken hy­brid as the pre­ferred al­ter­na­tive en­gine op­tion.

For the first time, the Roy Mor­gan Au­to­mo­tive Currency Re­port has found more mo­torists se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing buy­ing a diesel (46.8 per cent) than hy­brid (45.9 per cent).

In­ten­tions to buy hy­brid had been as high as 60 per cent in Setem­ber 2008, but have since de­creased, while diesel in­ten­tions have risen from 32.1 per cent in June 2006. Roy Mor­gan Re­search in­dus­try com­mu­ni­ca­tions Di­rec­tor Nor­man Mor­ris says it comes as no sur­prise with about 19 per cent of pri­vate new ve­hi­cles sold in Aus­tralia this year be­ing pow­ered by diesel en­gines and less than 1 per cent be­ing hy­brid.

‘‘And with the su­pe­rior range of diesel prod­ucts and in­fra­struc­ture avail­able, this trend looks likely to con­tinue,’’ he says.

The re­port has found those con­sid­er­ing buy­ing diesel are more likely to be male, live in coun­try ar­eas, have a higher-than-nor­mal av­er­age house­hold in­come and be con­sid­ered ‘‘big spenders’’.

‘‘They are more in­clined to need a car that can pull a load, re­gard them­selves as a bit of a car en­thu­si­ast, go away on week­ends and pre­fer hol­i­days where they can see na­ture or be in a nat­u­ral set­ting,’’ says Mor­ris.

‘‘With added space and flex­i­bil­ity, it is not sur­pris­ing then to see that those diesel con­sid­er­ers who are in the mar­ket for a new car are more likely to be con­sid­er­ing a com­pact or medium SUV.’’

The av­er­age new diesel con­sid­erer is most likely to be look­ing at a Volk­swa­gen, Mit­subishi or Ford. ‘‘This is cer­tainly good news for Ford, who have re­cently in­tro­duced the new Ter­ri­tory SUV, now with the op­tion of a diesel en­gine,’’ says Mor­ris. ‘‘It will be in­ter­est­ing to see which man­u­fac­tur­ers are able to fur­ther har­ness this de­mand for diesel-pow­ered SUVs.’’ The re­search showed 36.2 per cent of mo­torists with a se­ri­ous in­ten­tion to buy an LPGve­hi­cle, down from a high of 50 per cent in Au­gust 2008 and 24.5 per cent for elec­tric ve­hi­cles down from a high of 32.2 per cent in April 2009.

This trend looks likely to con­tinue

Buy­ers are go­ing past hy­brids like this BMW i8 to buy diesels in­stead

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