Germany: Protests against SUVs even as growth slows

According to a media report, the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show was hit by protests from environmentalists and politicians calling for a ban on all SUVs.

The report suggests that the mayor of Frankfurt, Pete Feldmann, singled out SUVs and said that the city needs more buses and trains, and not SUVs. Climate groups like Greenpeace and Deutsche Umwelthilfe have also called for a ban on SUVs to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The activists say that small electric cars should dominate automotive transport. It is also said that a week before the show, an accident involving a Porsche Macan claimed the lives of four pedestrians and this has led to protests calling for a ban on SUVs in cities.

Land Rover claims that it is the drivetrain that matters in lowering emissions and not the bodystyle of the vehicle. The company offers plug-in hybrids of some of its SUVs and the new Defender could also get a plug-in hybrid variant. PSA Group CEO, Carlos Tavares, claims that the emission regulations are pushing automakers to big SUVs, which offer a higher driving position and more rugged styling. It is said that it is easier to meet emission regulations with SUVs than with smaller cars.

The report also suggests that in the first half of 2019, SUVs accounted for 37% of car sales in Europe. However, demand seems to be slowing down as the growth in European SUV sales was just 0.7% in July. It is said that demand for SUVs may be peaking after years of growth.

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