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Ford leads charge to scrap green rating

Removing an easy-to-understand environmental rating system for cars would put Australia even further behind.

Ford is leading the charge on scrapping the Green Vehicle Guide rating system as it is getting a fraction of the government business compared to its car making rivals Holden and Toyota.

That’s because most of Ford’s locally-made models fall below the cut-off mark as they have higher air pollution ratings. Bulldozing the “eco” rating system will help the Federal Government's newly appointed car salesman -- the former boss of Ford in Indonesia, William Angove -- to convince government agencies around Australia to “buy Australian”.

All this as private buyers have flocked to better, cheaper and more economical imported cars. So far this year Ford has sold 3300 locally-made cars to governments across Australia compared to Toyota’s tally of 4100 deliveries and Holden’s order book of 9200 cars, according to confidential figures obtained by News Limited.

Only one of the three new Fords developed with $42 million taxpayer dollars – the most basic LPG Falcon – earns a high enough rating to make it onto the purchasing lists for some government departments across Australia. For example, NSW state fleet has a minimum “pollution” and “greenhouse” score of 13.5 (out of 20) for all but emergency vehicles.

But the four-cylinder Falcon (13 out of 20) and diesel Territory (9 out of 20) don’t make the grade. (The new LPG Falcon does comply, scoring 15 out of 20.) Government fleets are allowed to buy vehicles below this score, but if they do they won’t meet their environmental targets. So, this is the most likely motivation for Ford wanting the star ratings removed from the Federal Government’s website. It would cost millions of dollars to re-engineer the cars to meet the stringent standards.

As it is, Australia's vehicle emissions targets fall way behind the rest of the world. Removing an easy-to-understand environmental rating system for cars would put Australia even further behind.


Percentage of sales to government of locally made cars (January to November 2012).

Ford Falcon four-cylinder: 7 per cent (115 sales)
Ford Falcon six-cylinder: 9 per cent (1132 sales)
Ford Territory: 10 per cent (1424 sales)
Holden Cruze: 13 per cent (3593 sales)
Holden Commodore: 16 per cent (4528 sales)
Holden Caprice: 20 per cent (276 sales)
Toyota Camry: 13 per cent (3223 sales)
Toyota Aurion V6: 11 per cent (876 sales)