BMW UK boss Jim O’Donnell has hit back at Livingstone, describing the proposals as ‘unfair’ and ‘ludicrous’ during a recent speech, as reported by the British media. He went on to claim they were ‘introduced as a congestion charge - now it’s a green tax. Make up your mind, Ken.’
‘The government must stamp out this regional tax spree by out-of-control councils now. It must restore some sort of respect for CO2 tax planning by leading from the front and putting the petty local politicians back in their boxes,’ he said. ‘We are dealing with a serious global issue, not a local tax-raising initiative designed to further a public servant’s career through old-fashioned “soak the rich” schemes.’
Most of the vehicles being targeted already sell in very limited numbers and as O’Donnell pointed out during his speech many of them, the high-end flagships, are the first cars to feature the latest in safety and environmentally-friendly technologies.
O’Donnell also brought up the issue of the demise of the UK automotive industry, claiming “poor management, unrealistic unions and the apathy of successive governments” has killed the local industry and that these new taxes will seriously hurt what’s left of Jaguar and Land Rover.