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Emissions still not a big enough priority with UK buyers

Price still trumps emissions when it comes to priorities for motor manufacturers' customers, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Trader’s annual issues' survey, which pooled the views of 100 industry bosses.

In May this year, the SMMT commissioned an Ipsos-MORI report that revealed similar findings from the perspective of customers. Women and Motoring found that price and running costs were twice as important to female new car buyers as low emissions. The report will be published in full tomorrow.

Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive, said: “Of course, price will remain an important factor for all new vehicle buyers.

“However, we all appreciate that low emissions should be higher up the list of priorities. Campaigns like ActOnCO2 and the industry's colour-coded label have helped drive this message home for new car buyers. We need more joined-up thinking to continue to drive demand for all types of lower-carbon vehicles.”

The issues survey suggests industry captains believe they are leading demand for greener products through investment in new technology. But they also acknowledge financial incentives are crucial in creating consumer demand for lower carbon vehicles.

Tax incentives and cheaper fuels were seen as the most important contributors in driving demand, followed by re-fuelling infrastructure, sustainable fuel production and better consumer information.

However, more than half of respondents (56%), felt that no factor could be taken in isolation. “Our colleagues in the industry clearly feel that partnership between industry, government, fuel companies and consumers is the best way to deliver sustainable motoring sooner and most effectively,” added Macgowan.

The issues survey will be free to download from the SMMT web site from 6pm tomorrow.

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