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Record number of models hit car showrooms

Experts attribute surge to low-CO2 models

Ford Fiesta Econetic

Greener versions of popular cars are being launched all the time

Changes to the UK’s car tax rules have led to a surge in the number of ‘green’ model variants being launched, according to industry analysts.

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Data experts at CAP said nearly 1,500 new car variants were launched in the first four months of the 2009 and, that in April alone, 653 new model variants were recorded – the highest number ever in a single month.

CAP said the ‘unprecedented’ lift is being driven by carmakers’ attempts to offer greener versions of their popular cars.

New tax rules

David Saville, quality control supervisor for new vehicle data at CAP, said: ‘At the core of all these new variants appears to be the race to reduce CO2 as manufacturers seek to benefit from new tax rules in the company car market and attract private customers who wish to avoid punitively high VED rates.’

He added, ‘In particular there have been a lot of stop/start technology variants introduced by Volvo and Audi. We are also seeing many more special edition variants as manufacturers attempt to send a stronger value for money message into the currently troubled new car market.’

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