OTTAWA, March 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Automotive Industries Association of
Canada, Car Care Canada, and representatives of the automotive aftermarket
industry are concerned that although the environmental initiatives in the
Federal Budget are a step in the right direction, they do not address a large
enough segment of the vehicle fleet in Canada and will fail to reduce fuel
consumption and lower emissions in the immediate and short term.
In its Budget announcement on Monday, the Government of Canada has
attempted to address the impact vehicle emissions have on the environment by
offering incentives to the public to retire 1995 and older vehicles and to buy
new emissions-friendly vehicles. The decision to spend $36 million to retire
older vehicles sounds impressive, however if the example of an incentive of
$1,000 per vehicle retired is used, that's only 3,600 cars off the road - cars
which likely would have been retired anyway.
Consequently, retirement of older vehicles does not represent a big
savings in GHGs. Nor does the $2,000 purchase incentive for high efficiency
vehicles combined with the $4,000 levy on low efficiency vehicles, given that
these represent only 5% of vehicles being sold today. These measures do not
factor in solutions for the other 16 million vehicles on the road or the fact
that even new, high efficiency vehicles need to be properly maintained so that
they continue to be fuel efficient.
"This is a step in the right direction but won't come close to solving
the problem. A new vehicle is not necessarily synonymous with lower emissions
levels and all new vehicles still require regular maintenance to keep
emissions low," according to AIA Canada's Ray Datt. "We need a more
comprehensive approach that targets all the cars on Canadian roads, not just
those ready for recycling or the ones just coming off the assembly line."
"The average car on the road in Canada is over eight years old,"
explained Marc Brazeau, Executive Vice-President of Car Care Canada. "Most
Canadians cannot afford to buy a new car every few years and a few thousand
dollars in rebates won't convince people to make the switch. What people can
do is take better care of the car they currently drive. A properly maintained
vehicle can help the environment by using less fuel, plus it runs more
efficiently and economically, is safer, and will last substantially longer. It
provides an immediate environmental benefit and costs Canadians much less. We
believe it's a more realistic approach."
About AIA Canada
The Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA) is a national trade
association representing the automotive aftermarket industry. The aftermarket
is a $15.8 billion industry, and is proud to employ more than 220,000 people.
The industry is composed of companies that manufacture, distribute and install
automotive replacement parts, accessories, tools, and equipment. AIA
represents wholesalers, retailers, warehouse distributors, manufacturers,
rebuilders, national distributors, manufacturers' agents, service providers,
buying groups and machine shops. AIA's mandate is to promote, educate and
represent members in all areas that impact the growth and prosperity of the
industry. Visit us on the web at www.aiacanada.com.
About Be Car Care Aware & Car Care Canada
Be Car Care Aware is a consumer education campaign about the benefits of
regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair. The goal of the Be Car Care
Aware campaign is to build awareness and knowledge to prepare consumers to
make sensible decisions about their vehicles. Built around three key message
areas of safety, the environment and protecting your vehicle investment, the
campaign is spearheaded by Car Care Canada. Car Care Canada is a non-profit
advocacy group that is the leading source for research, education and
communication about the automotive aftermarket industry in Canada. For more
than 15 years, Car Care Canada has been recognized for its credibility among
consumer media, the motoring public and the industry. For more information
about vehicle maintenance and safety, visit www.carcarecanada.ca .
For further information:
For further information: Katherine Power, AIA Canada/Car Care Canada,
1-800-808-2920 ext 235, Cell: (905) 827-4345, firstname.lastname@example.org