Motor show news update – 2 June, 11am

02 June 2004 #SMMT News

  • Volvo and Daewoo find show visitors great customers
  • Driving for the future, make your motoring economic
  • Behind the scenes at Ford’s Thunderbirds extravaganza

Volvo and Daewoo find show visitors great customers

This year’s The Sunday Times Motor Show Live has proved to be a roaring success for many manufacturers.

Just over halfway through the show, Volvo has signed up more customers for test drives than it did during the whole event two years ago. The most popular vehicles for the brand have been the new XC90 and the S14 V50. John Lefley, spokesman for Volvo attributed much of the interest in the S14 V50 to its inclusion in the new interactive 4×4 Experience. He said, ‘The opportunity to take a ride in our SUV on an off -road course has shown visitors the vehicle’s capabilities and confirmed for them that they’ve made the right choice.’

Lefley went on to praise the show commenting on the `quality’ of visitors seriously interested in making a car purchase.

Korean manufacturer Daewoo has also been enjoying success at the show. Two years ago the brand, which was new to the market, appeared with only three models and spent much of its time placating existing customers. This time round the Korean manufacturer has had a completely different experience. Over the past 18 months the brand has developed a series of new products increasing its appeal and capturing new audiences. Most notably the new Lacetti Sport has helped attract a much younger customer by offering an affordable (under £12k) sporty car. Daewoo spokesman Dennis Chick commented, `The show is delivering a fantastic audience for us. It has really been worth our while coming.’

According to Chick, Daewoo has taken over a thousand quality leads from visitors who are actively looking to purchase a new car, and have secured dozens of test drives direct from the stand.

Daewoo’s appearance at the show looks set to boost the company’s sales, which in the first five months of 2004 were up sixty per cent on the same period last year.

Driving for the future, make your motoring economic

Whilst the performance of new vehicles has improved significantly over the last 10 years through design and engine technology, the way in which you use your vehicle remains a significant factor influencing its environmental and economic performance. With rising petrol and diesel prices there has never been a more poignant time to consider how you influence your cars fuel consumption. Here are five tips to help you drive more economically.

1. Driving style

Slow down. Reduce your speed – it saves both lives and fuel. Think about this: if hit by a vehicle at 40mph, nine out of ten pedestrians are killed. At 30mph, five out 10 pedestrians are killed. At 20mph, nine out of 10 survive. When your speed is doubled, your braking distance quadruples.

Be safe. Most modern cars have numerous safety features – use them as appropriate. But remember that although such safety features will assist you, they will not stop accidents from happening. You must act responsibly in order to avoid accidents

(eg belt-up, take breaks when tired). And remember – it is illegal to use handheld mobile phones whilst driving.

Drive smoothly. By anticipating and thinking ahead you can avoid sudden braking and sharp acceleration. Gentle driving will enable you to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by more than 10 per cent in urban areas.

Use the correct gear: Changing the gears up early and driving in the highest practical gear is an efficient way of driving. It can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25 per cent.

Starting from cold: Warming up the engine by allowing it to idle from cold is unnecessary (modern cars have cold start management systems that control the engine for cold start). Drive off immediately and use the highest possible gear to minimise cold start emissions.

2. Use of accessories

Accessories use energy – When safe to do so, switch off accessories that are not necessary (eg rear screen de-mister, seat heaters). For example, it is estimated that the unnecessary

use of air conditioning can increase your fuel consumption by up to 10 per cent.

3. Weight and wind factors

Lose weight! Excess weight will increase your fuel consumption unload any excess weight you don’t need.

Cut down resistance: By removing items such as roof racks, you will cut down wind resistance and decrease fuel consumption. For example, a ski rack can increase fuel consumption by seven to eight per cent or a fully loaded roof rack by 30 per cent. When travelling with a load on the roof, make sure it is well wrapped as it will cut down wind resistance.

4. Maintain your vehicle

Service your vehicle: In order to minimise fuel consumption and emissions, a car needs to be serviced at regular intervals (or at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals). This includes an engine tune-up for older cars. Neglecting scheduled servicing will probably cost you more in the long run.

Tyre pressure: make sure tyres are inflated to the correct pressure (as specified in the owner’s manual). Under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by up to eight per cent and can be dangerous.

5. Driving – think about it

Switch off. When stationary, switch your engine off whenever it is safe to do so. Your fuel economy in prolonged and unnecessary idle will be zero mpg.

Drive less. Put off journeys that are not necessary and combinetrips.

Avoid short journeys. During short journeys, the engine does not reach optimal temperature. This results in higher fuel consumption and emissions. Instead, when possible, walk, cycle or use public transport.

Behind the scenes at Ford’s Thunderbirds extravaganza

Five, four, three, two, one…Thunderbirds are go! In a unique relationship with Universal Pictures, Ford has developed several outstanding models specifically for this year’s Hollywood blockbuster, `Thunderbirds’, all of which are on display at Ford’s stand in Hall 4.

Ford’s contribution to the big screen’s latest epic is set to hit the headlines with as much force as International Rescue, with models such as the Ford EX 4×4 concept appearing in a high-speed chase sequence and the Ford Focus C-MAX providing the wheels for the movie’s TV reporter.

Moreover, Parker has been given an upgraded set of wheels, in the shape of the breathtaking FAB 1, which is accompanied by Lady Penelope’s weekend get-about – a bespoke Ford Streetka in the legendary FAB 1 pink.

Cathy Davies, Ford’s Stand Manager commented, `The format of the Motor Show has changed considerably this year and visitors are now offered a much more hands-on experience. We have brought Hollywood to Birmingham to recreate a bit of the magic for Motor Show visitors.’

`A backstage tour of the Thunderbirds experience is on offer, where visitors get the chance to dress up as either Lady Penelope or Parker and have their photo taken in Lady P’s striking pink Streetka.

`When the filmmakers needed a bold and adventurous manufacturer to create a unique car that could not only sport the legendary FAB 1 registration,’ enthused Cathy, `but also communicated the essence of creativity, emotion and excitement that matched the spirit of the film, Ford came to the (International) rescue!’

The Ford stand features a version of the remarkable Ford Thunderbird 1 and 2, which visitors can see in action during entertaining live performances of the Thunderbirds adventure at times throughout the day.

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