German Car Industry Calls On EU To Drop Tighter CO2 Emission Targets

  • Date: 03/04/20
  • GWPF & Clean Energy Wire & The Local

The German car industry is calling for stricter EU climate requirements to be overturned or to be delayed as car sales plummet to lowest level in nearly three decades.

The German car industry has urged the government to back them in efforts to make the European Union drop a planned tightening of emission limits on cars, reports Süddeutsche Zeitung. Leading industry and trade union representatives met with Chancellor Angela Merkel, economy minister Peter Altmaier, and transport minister Andreas Scheuer on 1 April for a crisis meeting in light of the economic difficulties car manufacturers are facing due to the coronavirus. “This not the time to think about further tightening of the CO₂ regulation,” Hildegard Müller, president of in the influential carmaker lobby group VDA later said.

Meanwhile, analysts from the Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg (LBBW) called it “absolutely necessary” to discuss the European Commission’s CO2 fleet regulations in light of the coronavirus crisis, writes media FAZ. The analysts expect 12 to 15 percent fewer cars being sold worldwide this year, while manufacturers may have to pay 15 billion euros in fines to the EU for failing to comply with CO2 limits. “Surely it cannot be that the state is supporting the economy with short-time work and liquidity aid and at the same time the car manufacturers are supposed to transfer 15 billion euros to Brussels,” said LBBW car analyst Gerhard Wolf. The bank proposed suspending fines for a year, slowing down the tightening of CO2 fleet limits, or introducing a bonus system to reward progress on green mobility.

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German car sales plummet to lowest level in nearly three decades

German car sales plummet to lowest level in nearly three decades
The A4 in Dresden, completely carless on Sunday. Photo: DPA

New registrations of cars on German roads plunged in March to the lowest in almost three decades, official data showed Friday, as restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus inflicted a heavy blow.

Sales tumbled 38 percent year-on-year to just over 215,100 according to data from the KBA vehicle licensing authority.

“Necessary health policy measures, like the massive limits on public life, closure of car dealerships and limited ability to work in the licensing  offices” had braked the car trade, the VDA carmakers’ federation said.

Domestic demand fell 30 percent, while foreign orders were down 37 percent.

In a quarterly comparison, sales in January-March were down 20 percent year-on-year.

“April is likely to be even more catastrophic,” analysts from consultancy EY predicted.

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