22 Feb 2009.
For immediate release.

Contact the ABD

Press Release

Which? Car Adopts Anti-Car Chant
Which? Car has picked up the chant of the anti-4x4 lobby by claiming 4x4s are 'socially unacceptable'
A Which? Car magazine press release entitled 'Time to ditch the 4x4?' has claimed that "gas-guzzling cars like 4x4's are becoming socially unacceptable — unless you are a farmer." This insensitive and unjustified comment comes at a time when an unprecedented economic downturn has seen UK car production fall 58.7% in January 2009, threatening thousands of jobs on top of those already lost at the start of the current recession. Which? Car is missing the two important points by recommending cheaper cars:
1) Cars are often not bought for a single function, but are selected to meet the owner's particular mix of needs. 4x4s are particularly popular with caravan owners who require strong, heavy, powerful tow cars that can cope with muddy fields, even though they don't tow a caravan most of the time. The starting point is often how much money the buyer has available for the purpose and a cheaper car will be purchased only if equally meets the owners various needs.
2) In this recession, it is cheaper not to replace the car at all, no matter how much cheaper Which? Car's recommended alternative model would be to buy and run. It is generally cheaper to shoulder ongoing repair costs, VED and insurance bills than it is to spend a lot of money at once in buying a new smaller car that does not do everything that you want it to.
The anti-4x4 lobby is not at all concerned about the use the car is put to — it is down to 'chip on the shoulder 'left-wing envy of anyone who has the ability to choose to run a relatively expensive car, and generally they object to any car that saves people from having to use public transport.
ABD Environment spokesman Paul Biggs said:
"It was announced in January that sales of electric cars were down by 58%, resulting in the sad demise of the NICE Car Company, but no one was claiming that electric cars had become 'socially unacceptable.' Of course, sales of cars that cost the most to buy and run are the hardest hit in times of economic hardship, but this is a reflection of economic reality rather than social unacceptability. 4x4s have been subjected to the usual 'modus operandi' of so-called 'green' groups who use exaggerations, myths and sometimes illegal direct action in order to side-step arguments they can't win democratically. It's a sad day when a car magazine appears to give credence to 'divide and rule' arguments promoted by a car-hating minority."

Daily Telegraph — Electric car sales fall   2009-01-29
Which? News — Time to ditch the 4x4?   2009-02-20
ABD — 4x4

Notes for Editors about the ABD