As 'green' cars become more popular, green cars become less popular

Filed under:
on 07/21/2006

Source: SMMT motorparc

The rise in sales of greener cars, like hybrids, bio-fuel models and ultra-efficient diesels, has followed a fall in the sale of green cars. That's the colour green of course, which is becoming a rare sight in showrooms. Green-coloured cars are also thin on the ground at this year's British International Motor Show. There are 538 cars on display in ExCeL London's two halls, with an estimated value of £12 million. But, only 15 of these are green; that's three per cent. By far the most popular colours at the motor show are silver, blue and black, reflecting choices in new car showrooms.

It seems red cars are still a big show draw, if less so in the showroom. There are 80 red cars at the motor show, 15 per cent of the total on display. However, red is the choice for just seven per cent of new car buyers.

The most colourful stand at this year's show is Peugeot's in the south hall. However, Seat, which launched its racy new Leon Cupra to the world on press day, can claim to have the brightest. Of 14 cars on display, three are yellow and four are red.

Commenting from the motor show on its second public day, Christopher Macgowan, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said, 'New car buyers are rightly looking for more sustainable products and I'm delighted we have so many examples of greener cars and technologies on display. But it certainly seems they are also becoming more conservative when it comes to car colours. It looks like 'any colour as long as it's black', is back in fashion.

Britain is Europe's second largest new car market. In the last three years the total number of new cars leaving showrooms has been: 2005 – 2.44 million, 2004 – 2.57 million, 2003 – 2.58 million.

The industry is keen to promote its environmental credentials to new car buyers and motor show visitors. Last year, SMMT introduced a colour-coded label across UK new car showrooms. It gives clear advice on CO2 emissions, as well as average annual running costs. Displayed throughout this year's motor show, the label was given the prestigious environment award title at this week's Motor Trader awards.

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