Are 4x4s on a crash course?

So 4×4 sales are heading for a nose-dive, at least according to your Cover Story “Crash on the way for 4x4s?” (MW September 17).

And the proof for this? Apparently, vague intuitions from one professor and an advertising exec for Volvo – who obviously is not going to be the most objective of parties – is enough evidence for an imminent slump in four-wheel drives’ sales figures.

But the figures are against you. From January to June 1997, 36,141 were sold. This rose to 48,308 for the same period in 1998 – 4.25 per cent of the total UK market. The main reason for this success, you say, is because the people who buy them are nothing more than fashion victims, who are sold on images of the wilderness. According to you, 4×4 owners are sad individuals who dream of adventures out in the wild, away from their tedious suburban little lives.

In reality, many owners are tempted by the excellent safety and security features that these cars offer. And, judging by the figures in your article, those numbers continue to grow. Crash on the way? I don’t think so.

Elaine Dutton



West Midlands

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