Saturday, December 09, 2006

S(h)UV off!

More good news.

According to The Times, The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders have announced that "sales of new 4x4s fell by more than 15 per cent last month compared with November 2005, and have fallen in every month this year except March. Sales in the year to date are down 6 per cent compared with growth of 4 per cent last year. By contrast, sales of small cars and people carriers are up significantly."

The article adds "Glass’s Guide, the leading guide to second-hand car prices, said that 4x4s were depreciating much faster this year than in previous years." - a sign of a serious collapse in the SUV/4x4 market.

The reasons given were the introduction of higher car taxes, increasing fuel prices, the planned hike in the congestion charge and even increased parking charges in Richmond (SUV owners can't all live there, can they?). Nobody mentions the widespread use of SUV ownership as shorthand for "complete numpty" in the media, which I personally believe is a much stronger factor.

Good ol' Jezza Clarkson weighs in with an unexpectedly incoherent rant linking environmentalism with health & safety hardliners, and saying there's no point because to make a difference we'll have to do much more than change our driving habits.

Well, changing from an SUV to a Prius will cut fuel consumption by a factor of 3-4. As the UK's target is to cut emissions by 60%, this is right in line with what we need. May the slump in sales continue!


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