Europe’s Sports Car Makers Feel Endangered by New Regulations

by | Aug 11, 2008

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lamborghini.jpgWhile European giant car makers are battling with environmentalist and lawmakers over emissions curbs, classic European sports cars like Lamborghini, Ferrari and Maserati say they are struggling to be heard, Reuters reports.

As part of EU’s drive to battle climate change, its executives are proposing to cut GHG emissions from new cars to an average of 120 grams per km by 2012, compared with the current EU average of around 160 grams. Sports cars, which typically pumps out anywhere between 200 to 500 grams of GHG emissions a km will be handled differently to avoid damaging their competitiveness in global markets.

Even though the European Commission has already differentiated the emissions curbs for sports cars, and allowed niche manufacturers making less than 10,000 vehicles a year to negotiate individual targets, some classic sports car makers are still not protected. That’s because some of them, such as Lamborghini, are divisions of larger auto groups and cannot argue their own targets, according to the article.

“We are committed to reduce CO2 emissions heavily in the next years … but you have to understand, it will never meet the 120g or 130 g per km,” Lamborghini’s CEO Stephan Winkelmann told Reuters.

With its acquisition of Volkswagen, according to a recent article, Porsche will be able to offset the emissions of its high-performance sports cars with those of VW’s more emission-efficient cars.

Like Lamborghinin, Ferrari and Maserati are also not covered– even though they each sell less than 5,000 cars a year in the EU– because they are part of the larger Fiat group, which sells around 1.2 million cars in western European.

The European Commission says Fiat could spread the burden of the sports car emissions across the group. But Fiat says that would add around 1 gram per km to every car.

The exemption for niche manufacturers, however, will cover Aston Martin, which hopes to sell 7,500 cars this year, and smaller marques like Britain’s Lotus and Morgan.

Previous coverage here.

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