March 17, 2013

Suppliers offer their take on changing 4WD scene

Several suppliers have spoken of the changing New Zealand 4WD scene in the latest issue of 4x4 Action Adventure magazine, which is celebrating its 100th issue. Vince Rietveld, of lronman 4x4, says there have been major changes in the vehicles themselves. "It didn’t seem that long ago that you could by a 4WD new from a dealer, drive it home then put it straight into work around the farm or take it on an epic 4WD adventure without modifying it," he said. "Now, buy a new 4WD and drive it over the gutter on the way out of the dealership and you leave the front bumper behind."

He said that a dozen years ago it didn’t matter if you went on a trip, came back with ears ringing and had a battered and bruised body from the bumping, but now owners expect better ride quality and safety standards. "The introduction of ABS, airbags and traction control have changed the face of 4WD vehicles. Gone are the days where you could weld up a bullbar, mount a winch and bolt it to the front of your 4WD. Suspension systems have become electronic with self levelling and height functions which makes replacing a shock absorber or installing a suspension lift that little bit harder. With newer emission standards, the market has become a lot tighter and older non-common-rail diesel vehicles are no longer being imported." 
That posed a dilemma for owners wanting to get out and about or farmers wanting a new work truck: accept a limited choice in the new market or seek aftermarket modifications. "I guess its fortunate that some companies, mostly Australian, have identified the need to have strong and robust vehicles, and if the manufacturers aren’t supplying them off the shelf, then they make accessories to do the job. These companies have spent millions on research, design and compliance and offer some stylish and functional accessories."

Warren Adams, of 4WDBits, said he has noticed a greater acceptance of online shopping. “4WDBits was started because we had difficulty finding what we wanted when modifying our classic Range Rover,” he said. “Today, it seems almost everyone compares items and prices online. With New Zealand being a relatively small and remote country, many shoppers are quite happy to shop online anywhere in the world to get the parts they want at the best price.”

1 comment:

  1. Actually, 4WD lovers have benefited a lot from the popularity of online shopping. There you can find almost everything and experience you need for a prepared 4X4wd driving. A SUV or jeepp roof mounting light for example, you can find a list of seller on Ebay or online store, Xenon or LED, you can find a good price. Last year, I have purchased a pair of LED Work Light at the price of $37.50 ea from ALLED online Lighting Store which announced to be the impored price from the seller.