Car makers set to miss Swiss efficiency target

NGO calls on governments to require reduction in average fuel consumption of new cars

A voluntary agreement made in 1995 between the Swiss government and car importers for the latter to reduce average fuel consumption of new cars by 15% between 1996 and 2001 is not on track, an NGO claimed this week. The Swiss association for transport and environment (ATE) called on the government to legislate to ensure the target was met.

According to ATE, 1999 statistics recently published by the association of Swiss car importers showed an annual efficiency increase of just 1.1% between 1998 and last year. To meet the 2001 target, average annual reductions of 3.2% would instead be required, the group said.

The Swiss agreement is similar to one signed between the EU and European car makers' association Acea in 1998, under which the average CO2 emissions from new cars should be cut by 25% between 1995 and 2008 (ENDS Daily 6 October 1998). Unlike several EU countries, Switzerland has no national car manufacturers, so its deal was made with importers.

In its analysis of the latest Swiss figures, ATE stressed that the 15% target remained realistic even if it was not being met. Four car makers, with 12% of the Swiss market, looked set to exceed the commitment, it said, even though average fuel consumption in cars sold by another seven manufacturers had actually increased since 1996.

The five best-performing manufacturers, according to ATE were Land Rover, Daihatsu, Volvo, Peugeot and Ford. The five worst performing were Suzuki, Hyundai, Audi, Rover and Alfa Romeo.

Follow Up:
ATE, tel: +41 22 734 7064.

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