Honda has become the first car manufacturer to counter the backlash against 4×4 vehicles with a new campaign that claims: “Not all 4x4s are the same”.
The company’s direct marketing agency, Hicklin Slade & Partners, has created a vinyl window display that will be sent to 14,000 Honda CR-V owners to help them defend themselves against 4×4 critics.
A letter addressing the major concerns of the anti-4×4 lobby will be sent out with the window display, claiming that the CR-V’s exhaust emissions are lower than some large estate cars, hatchbacks, MPVs and the Mini Cooper S. It also points out that the CR-V is more compact than the Ford Mondeo and BMW 5-series and is in the top 10% of pedestrian-friendly cars on the road.
Honda’s move comes just two weeks after London Mayor Ken Livingstone announced plans to increase the Congestion Charge for 4x4s to £25 a day. He also wants to abolish the 90% residents’ discount on the charge for 4×4 owners.
John Kingston, environment manager at Honda (UK), says: “The one-size-fits-all approach of anti-4×4 protesters is confusing. Some customers have expressed their concerns and frustration about being criticised for driving a CR-V, which is no surprise when you consider this Honda is incredibly clean, not a gas-guzzler, smaller than most 4x4s and is remarkably safe for both passengers and pedestrians.”