Auto Service World
News   March 22, 2007   by Auto Service World

AIA Reacts to Federal Budget

The Automotive Industries Association of Canada, Car Care Canada, and representatives of the automotive aftermarket industry say they 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. They also say that the new budget 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 associations say 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, thats only 36,000 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 wont 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 Canadas 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 wont 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 its a more realistic approach.
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 employs more than 220,000 people.

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