Buyers want cars with grunt
HYBRIDS hyped as the cars of the future are being swamped in a sea of diesel as buyers prefer the latter form of alternative fuel by as much as 150 to one.
Sales figures released by the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries show last month private buyers bought 1428 turbo dieselpowered cars and 3149 SUVs to only 197 petrol-electric hybrid cars and 19 SUVs.
While conventional petrolpowered cars remain our vehicles of choice, the efficiency and grunt of turbo diesels is seeing these in ever more driveways.
While hybrid car sales have actually increased on September 2010, in the growth SUV sector they fell by almost 26 per cent.
‘‘Not long ago diesel was the preserve of the commercial sector, but there’s an increasing range of diesel fuelled cars available across all vehicle types,’’ FCAI chief executive Ian Chalmers said.
‘‘The market has changed quite significantly with cars like the new Holden Cruze.
‘‘Ten years ago, a car like this simply wouldn’t have been offered as a diesel.’’
While there are fewer than 10 hybrid models available, diesel choices have expanded into the hundreds.
‘‘The hybrid market is evolving very, very quickly but buyers still can’t quite
The market has changed quite significantly with cars like the new Holden Cruze
process the transition to this very different form of motoring,’’ Mr Chalmers said.
Meanwhile, 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 September 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 said about 19 per cent of private new vehicles sold in Australia this year being powered by diesel engines with fewer than 1 per cent being hybrid.
The report 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,’’ Mr Morris said.
‘‘With added space, flexibility, torque and economical performance, 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.’’