European politicians target SUVs

15th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

17 September 2004 , HAMBURG - European governments are moving to curb the trend to Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) as sales of SUV's pick up. France is planning to increase taxes on several SUVs with high fuel consumption, prompting criticism from German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder who regards the move as protectionism on behalf of French car manufacturers. Meanwhile Germany itself has tabled plans to abolish tax concessions for SUVs as from January next year. The Greens say the gaz-guzzling vehicles ar

17 September 2004  

HAMBURG - European governments are moving to curb the trend to Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) as sales of SUV's pick up.   

France is planning to increase taxes on several SUVs with high fuel consumption, prompting criticism from German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder who regards the move as protectionism on behalf of French car manufacturers.

Meanwhile Germany itself has tabled plans to abolish tax concessions for SUVs as from January next year. The Greens say the gaz-guzzling vehicles are incompatible with the goverment's climate protection plans.

The city of London wants SUV owners to pay double the normal toll fee while Paris wants the SUVs banned completely from the city streets.

"They're polluters, they're space-occupiers, they're dangerous for pedestrians and other road users. They're a caricature of a car," says Paris city council member Denis Baupin from the Green party.

Plush Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Porsche off-road vehicles are an increasingly common sight in Paris's wealthier quarters. Sales surged by 11 percent in France last year and the cars make up nearly five per cent of the market.

Earlier London mayor Ken Livingston described 4x4 vehicles as "bad for London - completely unnecessary" and called their owners "complete idiots".

In comparison to U.S pick-up trucks and SUVs like the Hummer, European off-roaders are relatively small and frugal.

European imports of American SUVs are miniscule. Owners of a VW Touareg, BMW 4x4 or Mercedes M-Class say a ban of such vehicles only has a small environmental effect and that the politicians are over- reacting.

Land Rover spokesman Don Hume defends the Freelander 4x4 against criticism from environmentalists. He says the model is not longer than a normal family sedan and creates far fewer carbon emissions than does the average London taxi.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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