How to be dif­fer­ent on wheels

Motor Equipment News - - CONTENTS -

Want to be dif­fer­ent from the crowd? Well, it seems the best way to be driv­ing some­thing the rest of the crowd won’t be is to buy – a peo­ple mover or a large car!

Yes, sales fig­ures for Jan­uary show that a mas­sive 40 per­cent of the mar­ket now opts for an SUV, 13 per­cent get a small car, 11 per­cent buy a 4x4 ute, nine per­cent will find them­selves in a com­pact hatch­back, and eight per­cent in 4x2 ute.

Af­ter that noth­ing tops four per­cent, while right at the bot­tom, with just a tiny blip on the radar, are peo­ple movers and large cars.

Sales fig­ures for the start of the year show Jan­uary’s were the high­est on record, which bodes well for the rest of the year since Jan­uary is usu­ally a poor sales month. To­tal new ve­hi­cle in Jan­uary were 13,823, up a mas­sive 16 per­cent com­pared to the same pe­riod last year.

Mo­tor­sport is dan­ger­ous

On a more sober­ing sub­ject, the news that Hay­den Paddon had to with­draw from the Monte Carlo Rally, first WRC event of 2017, was sad, and once more high­lights that mo­tor­sport is dan­ger­ous.

One point we’d like to make is that it ap­pears Hay­den was not re­spon­si­ble for the death of a spec­ta­tor who died af­ter Hay­den crashed into a bank af­ter los­ing control on black ice.

The spec­ta­tor was in a pro­hib­ited area – on the out­side of a corner – and re­ports in­di­cate his sad death was at­trib­uted to a heart at­tack, not in­juries.

Hav­ing com­peted in ral­lies my­self (not at WRC level!) I have at times been amazed at the lengths spec­ta­tors will go to find the “best” spot, putting not only them­selves in harm’s way, but also the com­peti­tors, as well as other spec­ta­tors who may be­come un­wit­tingly in­volved.

We are lucky in New Zealand to be able to watch top-class mo­tor­sport all over the coun­try, of­ten with­out pay­ing any­thing for the priv­i­lege; how­ever, we should re­turn the com­pli­ment by en­sur­ing that we stick to the rules, and stay in des­ig­nated spec­ta­tor ar­eas – or if there are none, use a bit of com­mon sense!

ED SPEAK

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