Magazine article Marketing

The Rationing of Miles per Car Will Rebound on Sales

Magazine article Marketing

The Rationing of Miles per Car Will Rebound on Sales

Article excerpt

When the actor Rowan Atkinson was a guest on Desert Island Discs, the luxury item he chose to take with him to the island was his Aston Martin Zagato. He didn't want to take it so he could drive it, which would have been against the rules, but to simply polish it and look at it. Is this the future for the car?

Pressure on the car is increasing; from the Rio Summit at a global level to parents concerned about lead or benzene concentrations around schools, the car is branded as a pollutant of the first order. Congestion is preventing motorists getting the most out of their cars. The average speed in central London remains doggedly at 11mph and there are times when the M25 verges on a similar average. And we increasingly read in the press about inner-city pressure groups trying to create car-free areas.

This poses a problem for the individual and for the government. As individuals motorists recognise, the need to cut down on car use - at least other people's car use. Consumers' love affair with the car and the freedom it has brought continues but, as the bar chart indicates, they believe car use should be reduced - but not for them. Likewise the government recognises its role as global and local citizen; the recent white paper is snapping at the heels of urban car use and offering yet more fine words on public transport.

To the cynical eye government policy appears to be to allow the problems to get worse until they reach crisis point, at which point the government feels it has a clear mandate to take unpopular remedial action. …

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