Days of petrolheads might just be over
A survey by Ford across 11 markets in the Asia-pacific region, including New Zealand, suggests that petrolheads are a dying breed.
Eighty-three per cent of newcar customers say that fuel efficiency is more important than power when choosing a new vehicle.
A desire to save money and high fuel prices are the top reasons for avoiding cars with a drinking problem. An interest in being more environmentally friendly follows closely behind.
The survey was commissioned by Ford Motor Company and covered 9500 drivers, including 774 in NZ.
When asked the reasons for prioritising fuel efficiency, 85 per cent of respondents from New Zealand cited the desire to save money. Other top reasons included concern about high fuel prices (68 per cent) and an interest in being more environmentally friendly (43 per cent).
Fuel efficiency is such a major factor that nearly onethird (28 per cent) of drivers who currently own a powerful car say that they regret not purchasing a more fuel-efficient vehicle.
’’Drivers continue to be sensitive to fuel costs, no matter what the price is at the pump,’’ says Kevin Tallio, chief engineer, Engine Engineering,
The survey reveals that the desire to save money is also reflected in fuel-purchasing habits.
Many Nzers said they already apply tactics to save at the pump, such as waiting for lower fuel prices to top up (45 per cent). Forty two per cent say that they always use a coupon when filling up, and 34 per cent say that they only go to fuel stations where they get points for filling up. Only one in three says that they fill up whenever it suits, regardless of price.
This coincides with a general wariness about NZ’S fuel prices – four out of five respondents say they don’t trust fuel prices to stay stable over the next year. In the March 2016 quarter, NZ was the 19th most expensive of the 35 OECD nations for quarterly premium unleaded petrol prices.
Drivers are starting to change their driving behaviours too. More than 39 per cent of consumers are planning on driving less over the next 12 months and 27 per cent say that they will change their driving habits to use less fuel.
These thrifty behaviours extend to what Kiwis would do if they could save even more on fuel. More than half of respondents (53 per cent) said that if they saved 20 per cent on fuel every month, they would put the extra money towards their savings with 42 per cent saying they’d use the money to pay off existing debt.
The good old days of fueling up and not even thinking about it are long gone, says Ford survey.