Motor show news update – 2 June, 4pm

02 June 2004 #SMMT News

  • Fuel efficient cars help motorists fight high oil prices
  • 4×4 feature a hit with manufacturers and the public

Fuel efficient cars help motorists fight high oil prices

With recent rises in pump prices focussing attention on fuel efficiency and new technology, the automotive industry has seen sales of fuel-efficient diesel cars increase rapidly from 13 percent in 1999 to a substantial 30 percent in 2004. The market is also making way for advanced diesel models, providing engines, which meet stringent advanced air quality standards, set by the European Commission.

The industry is also seeing a significant growth in the demand for small cars, such as the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 206, all on display at The Sunday Times Motor Show Live. These vehicles, which boast lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, now represent a remarkable 35 percent of the market.

`Moreover, with consumers becoming ever more environmentally conscious and the government increasing its focus on low emission products,’ commented Christopher Macgowan, Chief Executive of SMMT, `the automotive industry has seen a 10 percent improvement in fuel efficiency in the past six years alone. A growing interest in alternative fuels, such as LPG, CNG and bio-fuels, which enable vehicle emissions to be reduced, is also representative of the way in which both the consumer and automotive industry are moving forward.’

Christopher added, `The automotive industry has a responsibility to ensure that the environmental impact of the motor car is minimised through continuing to develop cleaner and more efficient technologies, materials and manufacturing processes.’

`It has been reassuring to both the industry and the consumer,’ continued Christopher, `to see so many manufacturers exhibit vehicles at this year’s motor show that are actively minimising the environmental impacts associated with the use of motor vehicles.’

The most economically sound vehicles on display at The Sunday Times Motor Show Live, capable of travelling an impressive 60 miles per gallon, include, amongst others:

Citroen’s C3, C2 and Xsara

Honda’s Civic IMA

Ford’s Fiesta and Fusion

Nissan’s Micra

Renault’s Clio and Megane

Vauxhall’s Corsa

Peugeot’s 206 and 307

Seat’s Ibiza

Toyota’s Prius and Yaris

Skoda’s Fabia

Volkswagen’s Lupo and Polo

4×4 feature a hit with manufacturers and the public

Visitors to The Sunday Times Motor Show Live have been flocking to the 4×4 Experience for the chance to encounter the buzz of putting an off road vehicle through its paces.

Experienced driving experts from Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo have been chauffeuring groups of show goers round the specially designed course demonstrating how a 4×4 copes with genuine off-road conditions.

Recent heavy rain has made the course even more challenging and kept the maintenance team extremely busy, as over 140 vehicles an hour journey round the 72 acres every day.

To date over 28,000 visitors have taken a ride round the popular course. A spokesman for Volvo said, `We’ve been fully booked by lunch time every day.’

Hyundai, who haven’t exhibited their off-roader at a consumer show before have found the feature `really beneficial’ in showing capabilities of our vehicle’.

The interactive feature has proved a success with passengers too. Douglas Gordon from Birmingham, who came with his family commented, ‘We have VW Touareg at home, I never realised what it’s capable of. Now the kids have seen it in action they’ll be pestering me to take them off-roading!’.

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