IT was stop-start sort of week last week. On Wednesday your MP was to be seen battling the increased traffic around Westminster caused by closure of roads to allow the Queen’s carriage free passage to make the Queen’s Speech to Parliament.
My destination was Battersea Power Station; my object to test drive the new Freelander ‘stop-start’ around a specially constructed course that I can only describe as hair-raising.
From next Spring, all new Freelanders will have this fantastic, energy-saving capacity. As well as it’s truly amazing off-road abilities, it will become up to 18 per cent more fuel-efficient in traffic too.
When the vehicle stops in traffic the engine automatically cuts out. When you depress the clutch to move on again, the engine automatically cuts in.
Just think what a difference this would make in towns if all vehicles were fitted with this technology!
Jaguar/Land Rover have invested £800m in environmental technologies, and coming down the line are hybrid vehicles which will make even further emissions savings.
The problem is that as long as the car market remains stagnant, the research and technology that went on in the good times becomes less affordable.
When you consider that 78 per cent of Land Rovers go for export, you can see how important this iconic marque is for our world-wide reputation as a manufacturer.
That is why we must stand behind our traditional quality companies.
When we emerge at the other end of this financial crisis we will need them in a fighting fit state to compete and win on the world markets once more.