European automakers might reach an agreement on how to share the burden of reducing carbon dioxide emissions from new vehicles by the end of the second quarter, the head of their association said today.
The automakers have been debating whether to share the burden as a group or leave each member of their association do its part.
The dilemma lies in the fact that the vehicles of some automakers pollute less than those of others.
"The question of how the burden is to be shared equitably is something that needs to be discussed," said Sergio Marchionne, head of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) and CEO of Fiat.
"I wouldn't see anything before the end of the second quarter at the earliest," he said.
"There is an openness on the part of all members to look at what is good overall for the industry notwithstanding the fact that we think there is a high level of unrealism associated with these measures and the time lines," he said.
ACEA has criticised a European Commission proposal to set binding limits on the emissions produced by new cars sold in Europe, saying they would cripple the industry and undermine its competitiveness.
The proposal, part of the Commission's drive to fight climate change, would have automakers cut CO2 emissions to an average 130 grams per kilometer by 2012 through improvements to engine technology. The reduction would contribute to an overall target of 120 g/km by 2012 compared with current levels of about 163 g/km. ACEA has said it would not be able to meet the target by itself, arguing that governments needed to improve road infrastructure, refineries produce better fuel and drivers change their habits.
ACEA's members include DaimlerChrysler, Renault and Fiat.
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