Listed on these pages are a range of documents and statistics.  Some of the documents have been authored/produced by other organisations but where these are relevant to the objectives of the MIA, have been reproduced here.

MIA Submissions

The Motor Industry Association makes a number of submissions to the Government on proposed changes to legislation, land transport rules, regulations, policies, strategies and action plans.  You can find some of these submissions on these pages. Submissions that contain commercially sensitive information may be posted to our website with the sections containing sensitive information removed.


The MIA annually updates a range of spreadsheets that cover the age and volume of new and used imports. You are free to use these spreadsheets, subject to acknowledgement of source.  

In conjunction with the New Zealand Transport Agency, the MIA tracks written-off vehicles imported from Australia, where these vehicles have been written off due to flood damage or fire etc.  These vehicles are written off in Australia and not permitted to be repaired and re-registered for use in Australia.  Sometimes these vehicles are repaired and then imported to New Zealand.  The attached link lists these vehicles:


With improving technology comes a number of environmental benefits, particularly the progressive reduction in average fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

MIA tracks the reduction of CO2 emissions from new vehicles compared to 2006.  

More recently the MIA has completed a survey of MIA members on plans to import and distribute electric and plugin hybrid electric vehicles.  The press release below contains this information, ie the planned introduction of new EV and PHEV's into the New Zealand market from 2016 to the end of 2020.

If you are interested there are sale statistics on electric vehicles at this link

Biofuels and their use in vehicles

Methanol blended fuels - suitability

The MIA does not support the use of petrol blended with methanol for use in vehicles.

Ethanol blended fuels - suitability

Petrol blended with ethanol is now increasingly available at petrol stations around New Zealand. This availability will increase as oil companies introduce more biofuels.

Petrol blended with ethanol, of up to 10% can legally be sold in New Zealand as long as the fuel pump is labeled to show that ethanol has been added to the petrol.

To assist vehicle owners identify whether their particular vehicle is suitable for ethanol blended fuel the MIA has collated information, by make, detailing suitability to use ethanol blended fuels at 3% (E3), 5% (E5) and 10% (E10) levels.

Information has been collated on all vehicles, with specific model information for New Zealand new vehicles.

Read the Ethanol suitability NZ new models only Amendment 4 (PDF - 190KB)

Biodiesel blended fuels - suitability

Biodiesel blended fuels need to be properly refined and produced to meet high quality standards and it is essential that all aspects of legislated national fuel quality standards for diesel and vehicle manufacturer recommendations are maintained at all times in all locations. MIA’s position regarding biodiesel is summarised as follows:

  • Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) including vegetable derived esters (VDE) are generally acceptable when blended with conventional diesel fuel up to 5% (vol/vol). The FAME(s) on which the biodiesel is based must comply with either EN14214 or ASTM D6751 standards, and meet the Engine Fuel Specifications Regulations.
  • The diesel to which this FAME biodiesel is blended must conform to the Engine Fuel Specifications Regulations.
  • The resultant diesel/biodiesel blend must meet the specifications in the Engine Fuel Specifications Regulations.
  • MIA members will not warrant damage caused by using biodiesel blends greater than B5, unless such use is sanctioned by a particular manufacturer.
  • MIA does not generally support use of 100% biodiesel fuel (B100).

Not all vehicles are compatible with 100% Biodiesel. Vehicle owners should confirm with the manufacturer if their vehicle is suitable for use with Biodiesel blends above 5%.

Read the Listing of Vehicle Manufacturer Recommendations on the levels of Biodiesel that can be used (PDF - 590KB

And for Heavy Vehicles Heavy Listing of Vehicle Manufacturer Recommendations on the levels of Biodiesel that can be used (PDF - 590KB

MIA members do not support the use of E-Diesel (Diesohol) and will not warrant damage caused by its use.

It should also be remembered that the type of feedstock has a significant influence on the oxidation stability and cold flow properties of the resultant biodiesel. Most feedstock in the US is soybean with a relatively high degree of unsaturation, hence relatively poor oxidative stability but good cold flow properties. In Europe rapeseed is the main source of biodiesel. This has better oxidative stability whilst maintaining good cold flow properties. In many parts of South East Asia, particularly Malaysia, palm oil is used for producing biodiesel. Crude palm oil has a high level of saturation which imparts good oxidative stability but poorer cold flow properties. Biodiesel made from animal fats (tallow), has good oxidative stability but poor cold flow properties.

The FAME components have a negative influence on engine oil properties in the biodiesel blend. Because of the very high boiling points of FAME, there will always be dilution of engine oil due to the presence of esters. The consequences are a decrease of lubricity, reduction of oil service intervals and even drivability problems or engine damage in extreme cases.

Extract from the World Wide Fuel Charter

The recommendations in the World Wide Fuel Charter (WWFC) are particularly relevant in New Zealand where diesel engine technology comes entirely from overseas sources. The following is an extract from the WWFC:

"Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME), frequently termed biodiesel, increasingly are being used to extend or replace diesel fuel. Such use has been driven largely by efforts in many nations to exploit agricultural produce and/or to reduce dependency on petroleum-based products.

Several different oils may be used to make biodiesel, for example, rapeseed, sunflower, palm, soy, cooking oils, animal fats and others. These oils must be reacted with an alcohol to form ester compounds before they can be used as biodiesel fuel. Unprocessed vegetable oils, animal fats and non-esterified fatty acids are not acceptable as transportation fuels due to their very low cetane, inappropriate cold flow properties, high injector fouling tendency and high kinematic viscosity level. Historically, methanol has been the alcohol most used to esterify the fatty acids, and the resultant product is called fatty acid methyl ester (FAME). Research is underway to enable the use of ethanol as the reactant alcohol, in which case the product is called fatty acid ethyl ester (FAEE).

The European standards organisation, CEN, has published an automotive FAME standard (EN 14214) that establishes specifications for biodiesel use as either:

  • a final fuel in engines designed or adapted for biodiesel use; or
  • (ii) a blend stock for conventional diesel fuel. Similarly, ASTM International has established specifications for neat biodiesel (ASTM D6751) but only for use as a blending component, not as a final fuel.

Generally, biodiesel is believed to enhance the lubricity of conventional diesel fuel and reduce exhaust gas particulate matter. Also, the production and use of biodiesel fuel is reported to lower carbon emissions on a source to wheel basis, compared to conventional diesel.

At the same time, engine and auto manufacturers have concerns about introducing biodiesel into the marketplace, especially at higher levels. Specifically:

  • Biodiesel may be less stable than conventional diesel fuel, so precautions are needed to avoid problems linked to the presence of oxidation products in the fuel. Some fuel injection equipment data suggest such problems may be exacerbated when biodiesel is blended with ultra-low sulphur diesel fuels.
  • Biodiesel requires special care at low temperatures to avoid an excessive rise in viscosity and loss of fluidity. Additives may be required to alleviate these problems.
  • Being hygroscopic, biodiesel fuels require special handling to prevent high water content and the consequent risk of corrosion and microbial growth.
  • Deposit information in the fuel injection system may be higher with biodiesel blends than with conventional diesel fuel, so detergent additive treatments are advised.
  • Biodiesel may negatively impact natural and nitrile rubber seals in fuel systems. Also, metals such as brass, bronze, cooper, lead and zinc may oxidize from contact with biodiesel, thereby creating sediments. Transitioning from conventional diesel fuel to biodiesel blends may significantly increase tank sediments due to biodiesel's higher polarity, and these sediments may plug fuel filters. Thus, fuel system parts must be specially chosen for their compatibility with biodiesel.
  • Net (100%) biodiesel fuel and high concentration biodiesel blends have demonstrated an increase in NOx exhaust emission levels.
  • Biodiesel fuel that comes into contact with the vehicle's shell may be able to dissolve the paint coatings used to protect external surfaces."
  • MBIE Fuel Quality Management Assessment 2012-13
  • Worldwide Fuel Charter 6th Edition 2019
  • Worldwide Ethanol Guide March 2009
  • Worldwide Biodiesel Guide March 2009
  • IEA Biofuels Roadmap
  • MIA submission on Sustainable Biofuels Mandate July 2021

Heavy Vehicles


All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)

Intelligent Transport Systems

Vehicle Technology

Vehicle technology is rapidly changing, with new improvements constantly appearing.  The emphasis with vehicle design during the 1990's up to about 2005 was on increasing the protection of occupants in the vehicle with design improvements such as frontal crush zones, traction control, ABS braking and fitment of airbags and ESC.

Since then, while maintaining these improvements design emphasis has moved onto smart technologies where the vehicle can take on more of the driving tasks, eventually leading to semi-autonomous/fully autonomous vehicles.  Current examples of these technologies are crash mitigation systems, lane assist, heads up displays, vehicle to vehicles communications and vehicle to infrastructure communications.  

A description of vehicle engine technologies can be found here.