Many vehicle manufacturers are endeavouring to present a “green” face by promoting their alternative-fuel technology such as hybrids and bio-fuels.
However, Tony Bosworth, FoE’s transport campaigner, argues the reality is that sales of these vehicles are a tiny proportion of carmakers’ overall volume production, so the impact is limited.
Bosworth is a speaker at autoretailing 07, the two-day industry event at Birmingham International Conference Centre on June 12-13, organised by AM and the NFDA. There, he will identify some of the improvements motor retailers might make to ensure their business is more efficient and environmentally-friendly.
“The motor industry has to raise its game – and that means manufacturers and dealers. It has made progress in cutting emissions from cars, but that’s not enough. It needs to go further and faster,” Bosworth says.
“Give consumers the right message. We want manufacturers and dealers to go beyond the voluntary label scheme which, at the moment, is often the only information display about a car’s environmental impact.
“Dealers should recognise that their customers are going to be more concerned about environmental issues and sell according to those concerns. Let the customers know that they can do their bit, both for the environment and for their wallet by choosing a car that uses less fuel.
“The motor industry spends more on advertising than any other industry, but it still continues to push the gas-guzzlers rather than greener alternatives.”
FoE is involved in the European Union’s discussions about future emissions targets. Bosworth said it is lobbying to have the motor industry’s present voluntary commitments replaced by tougher, mandatory ones beyond 2012.