SUV Sales Down in the UK. Or Are They?

The Guardian last week ran two separate stories here and here that referred to an apparent drop in SUV sales in the UK. The second of these articles also reported that Chelsea, one of the wealthiest areas of London, is suffering some of the highest levels of air pollution. Apparently these excess emissions are a result of Chelsea residents' love affair with the SUV (or "Chelsea tractor", as it has become known). Could it be that the UK is following the US in more than just foreign policy? SUV sales have reportedly fallen in the US by around 28% this year after all, and many UK environmentalists are itching to celebrate a similar downturn on this side of the pond too. A closer inspection of the figures by Channel 4 News, however, reveals that we have not yet turned the corner. Whilst it is true that SUV sales dipped for the first time in years, this was part of an overall downturn in car sales. In fact, whilst SUV sales were down a mere 0.1%, overall car sales were down 4.2%, meaning that SUVs actually accounted for a larger proportion of overall sales. Looks like environmental campaigners won't be putting away their controversial fake parking tickets just yet... [Written by: Sami Grover]