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Calls to end 4x4 ‘lies’

The SMMT is calling for a ‘sensible’ debate about the taxing of 4x4s after latest figures reveal a cooling of their popularity in London.

Regional figures from SMMT reveal that in London sales are lower than the national average for 4x4 models.

From January to August 5.9% of new cars sold in London were 4x4 off-road vehicles compared to a national average of 6.8%.

Across the UK, the 4x4 market has risen by 13.4% so far this year, up from 98,630 to 111,846 units. However, in the capital, total 4x4 sales have risen less steeply, up 12.7% from 5,616 to 6,331 units. Total London new car registrations from January to August number 106,664 units.

Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive says: “The idea that one in two new cars sold in London is a 4x4 is nothing but a myth. The reality is that the proportion is actually slightly lower than the national average.

“This is just one of the unhelpful stereotypes that are being used to berate drivers of this type of vehicle. Now we have revealed the facts about sales, perhaps we could start to have a more constructive dialogue about the kind of benefits that this type of vehicle offers new car buyers. I have invited the Mayor of London to talk to me about this but, to date, he has not been able to find time in his schedule.”

On reports that 4x4s are suffering an image problem Christopher Macgowan added, “Once again the facts paint a very different picture. The market is robust, and manufacturers are bringing a host of exciting new models to showrooms. In some cases eager buyers are prepared to wait months for the most popular new cars.”

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