“Distributors are being driven out of the country by a government that hates cars and loves tax”, says ACT’s Transport spokesperson Simon Court.

“The Clean Car Standard has been labelled ‘counter-productive nonsense’, and both Isuzu Utes New Zealand and Suzuki New Zealand are considering leaving the country.

“This Government is turning us a hermit kingdom backwater – only Labour could make New Zealand more isolated.

Isuzu said it may close its doors in New Zealand permanently:

“…the Clean Car Standard will simply mean a tax on the business, which is not affordable in this competitive market.

“The targets are so tough that they are not achievable this side of 2030. They reflect little or no understanding of how different the New Zealand market is from Europe.”

Suzuki is also considering leaving the market:

“To comply with the requirements of the Bill in its current form would require our parent [company] to build new EV vehicle types just for the New Zealand Market by 2025 – that’s literally impossible, a word we hate to use.

“Importing vehicles around the globe, to countries not intended in the original design, is a recipe for high risk, life risking recalls. That risk will not be permitted, so Suzuki is already assessing withdrawal from NZ car imports if CCS [Clean Car Standard] is enacted in current form.”

“Suzuki believes the Clean Car Standard will mean significant price increases – its Jimny model will get hit with a $5,666 penalty.

“The Motor Industry Association (MIA) estimates the price of light vehicles will increase between 15 and 20 per cent.

“MIA has pointed out that the Clean Car Standard is so tough only distributors of battery electric vehicles could meet it in the timeframe set by the legislation. This puts New Zealand out of step with comparable countries.

“Suzuki doesn’t expect any low-price EVs in New Zealand in the next few years: “there are no other EVs planned for launch that we are aware of, that are anywhere near $48,700 until beyond 2026”.

“The Clean Car Standard is virtue signalling nonsense from a government that hates petrol-powered cars.

“It’s meant to lower emissions, but in reality it won’t stop a single gram of carbon from being emitted. Transport emissions are covered by the Emissions Trading Scheme, so reducing one gram from transport allows one gram to be emitted somewhere else. Treasury’s analysis says it won’t have a significant impact on emissions.

“With a cost of living crisis, Labour piling more debt on the next generation, and Grant Robertson spending like a drunken sailor, the last thing we need is another sneaky tax grab on the back pockets of Kiwi motorists.”

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