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Oracle of Delphi

Shift starts to smaller cars

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Visions of things to come in North America?

Lawrence J. Speer

Automotive News Europe

March 17, 2008 06:01 CET

PARIS -- CO2 taxes are convincing car buyers across Europe to shift from mid-size and larger vehicles to smaller models with lower emission levels.

Industry experts predict the shift will accelerate over the coming years, as most EU member states enact emission-oriented tax regimes to fight climate change.

" The market is changing, and we feel the market will continue changing," said Patrick Blain, Renault's executive vice president of sales and marketing.

Fourteen of the EU's 27 member states currently tax vehicles based on CO2 emissions, fuel consumption or a combination. Most are expected to have CO2-based levies by 2010.

The shift to smaller cars is already forcing some automakers to adjust their product plans. Such action is essential to meet profit targets as a move to smaller cars will be at the expense of more profitable bigger models.

Clear air patrol

Maximum CO2-based taxes in EU's major markets

France: €2,600 for new cars that emit more than 160g/km

UK: £300 annually for cars with more than 225g/km

Spain: 14.75% on price of new car that emits more than 200g/km

Germany: Considering tax for 2009

Italy: None

Sources: ACEA, countries

New and planned CO2 taxes " will progressively push the segment mix downward," Renault's Blain told Automotive News Europe. At Renault, the mix is shifting because the new upper-medium Laguna is selling fewer than expected, while sales of the low-cost Logan are soaring.

The shift toward smaller, low-emission cars has been most evident in France, which enacted a new system of CO2-based purchase price taxes on January 1.

Sales of SUVs and large sedans are down significantly in the first two months of 2008, as are those of all vehicles with CO2 emissions topping 160 grams per kilometer, the level at which the new taxes kick in, according to data from the French carmakers association (CCFA).

Market share for vehicles forced to pay the tax -- which runs from €200 to €2,600 -- has been cut in half, while

market share of fuel-efficient smaller cars is soaring, according to CCFA data.

" The shift toward lower-CO2 products is quite obvious," said Neil Hall, market analyst with researchers JATO Dynamics.

The early winners in France are manufacturers with competitive smaller models such as Renault's Twingo and Clio, Peugeot's 207, and the new Fiat 500.

At the other end of the scale, companies focused on large sedans, such as Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz, or luxury SUVs, such as Nissan and Mitsubishi, have seen sharp declines, as the CO2 tax convinces consumers to downsize.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said he hasn't seen a major change in buying habits yet. But, in a reference to London's congestion charge, Stadler said: " If you have a daily penalty of £25 a day for bringing your car into the city, I'm sure it's going to affect your decision."

The new French data echo the dramatic shift seen in the UK in 2001, when a CO2-based road usage tax on new cars was introduced.

Sixty-one percent of all cars sold in the UK today are in the lowest CO2 bands, compared with just 43 percent in 2000, according to the SMMT, the British motor industry association.

Mercedes-Benz Cars Chief Operating Officer, Rainer Schmückle predicted the industry will see " huge stresses and strains around CO2 challenges."

As customers are not likely to pay for cleaner technology, Schmückle says, " We have to find balancing potential."

PSA/Peugeot-Citroen CEO Christian Streiff agrees the focus on CO2 is redefining priorities in the industry. " It's changing the business for the coming decades," Streiff told ANE. " The average power of the car will go down, the average weight of the car will go down, it's changing the shapes of the car."

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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I love how they are forcing people to "want" to downsize by slapping taxes on the vehicles.

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I love how they are forcing people to "want" to downsize by slapping taxes on the vehicles.

US Lawmakers are intently watching how the EU is enforcing the new CO2 regulations. I would get ready for some new Federal vehicle taxes, coming after a November election near you! :AH-HA_wink:

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This is like communism.

Your post has been corrected. Good day! :smilewide:

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i think this sort of thing could be tested in the courts. not neccessarily the tax itself, but the type of tax.....i.e. they could easily prove in court that evidence of the theory of global warming is in no way conclusive enough to base a taxation policy off of.

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What a crock of $h!. :rolleyes: Edited by ocnblu
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What a crock of $h!. :rolleyes:

Bob?! Is that you?! :P

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i think this sort of thing could be tested in the courts. not neccessarily the tax itself, but the type of tax.....i.e. they could easily prove in court that evidence of the theory of global warming is in no way conclusive enough to base a taxation policy off of.

Better embrace to be a greeny now rather than joining them later.

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US Lawmakers are intently watching how the EU is enforcing the new CO2 regulations. I would get ready for some new Federal vehicle taxes, coming after a November election near you! :AH-HA_wink:

...just waiting for the second Clinton presidency for this to happen...

Chris

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f@#k 'em

I'll drive old cars.

Besides, I'll have plenty of disposable income to pay whatever taxes they want. (If something like this ever gets passed here, which I'm sure it won't)

If that were the case, we would've passed it already.

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Well, if the shift to smaller cars is apparent, GM better get their product plans for all of their makes going on smaller cars.

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I hate small cars, and that won't change because some myopic legislators have their panties in a bunch.

I will never buy some little POS just because some twit in DC thinks I should.

There will be no debate, If what I want isn't on the market I'll just buy older cars.

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There will be no debate, If what I want isn't on the market I'll just buy older cars.

If you can afford $10/gallon for gasoline. Which is likely if the dollar keeps falling and especially if oil is priced in Euros instead of the dollar.

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If you can afford $10/gallon for gasoline. Which is likely if the dollar keeps falling and especially if oil is priced in Euros instead of the dollar.

At that price, I'll brew my own fuel.

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Better embrace to be a greeny now rather than joining them later.

push comes to shove the majority of folks in this country will prove they think GW is a crock, just like Lutz. they have not been provoked far enough yet.

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I think I read that the car's contribution the man's CO2 output is a small percentage anyway. Is this right?

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I think I read that the car's contribution the man's CO2 output is a small percentage anyway. Is this right?

Microscopic.

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I cannot stress enough how disgusted I am with how the car has become a scapegoat for emission, allowing the huge, filthy, unregulated factories and refineries to dump tons of CO2 and other toxic gases into the atmosphere. That is where much of the problem lies. How about aircraft? I'm sure those aren't economical, and I haven't heard anything about emissions control and improved fuel economy for them. The automotive industry is just a convenient scapegoat the politicians like to use because they're either pussies and don't challenge the real culprits or are getting their pockets lined by them.

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I cannot stress enough how disgusted I am with how the car has become a scapegoat for emission, allowing the huge, filthy, unregulated factories and refineries to dump tons of CO2 and other toxic gases into the atmosphere. That is where much of the problem lies. How about aircraft? I'm sure those aren't economical, and I haven't heard anything about emissions control and improved fuel economy for them. The automotive industry is just a convenient scapegoat the politicians like to use because they're either pussies and don't challenge the real culprits or are getting their pockets lined by them.

Quoted for truth.

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I cannot stress enough how disgusted I am with how the car has become a scapegoat for emission, allowing the huge, filthy, unregulated factories and refineries to dump tons of CO2 and other toxic gases into the atmosphere. That is where much of the problem lies. How about aircraft? I'm sure those aren't economical, and I haven't heard anything about emissions control and improved fuel economy for them. The automotive industry is just a convenient scapegoat the politicians like to use because they're either pussies and don't challenge the real culprits or are getting their pockets lined by them.

I think that's the answer right there...or how about the buses and big rigs spewing out their filth? I blame the corrupt, vile people that manage large corporations.

And don't forget the cattle, burping and farting mEthane. They need to be fitted w/ catalytic converters..

Edited by moltar
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And don't forget the cattle, burping and farting mEthane. They need to be fitted w/ catalytic converters..

People need to be fitted with the catalytic converters too, with all that burping and farting, any volunteers for that job? :smilewide:

Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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People need to be fitted with the catalytic converters too, with all that burping and farting, any volunteers for that job? :smilewide:

Human catalytic converter:

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:blink:
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Europe is an entirely different culture than America.

Just let a lawmaker try to introduce something like this here and listen to what folks have to say.

It won't be pretty

As far as gas at $10/gallon... It'll never happen before we find an alternative. And the reasson I say that is because it CAN'T. Imagine what would happen to our economy if something like that occured. SOMEONE would have to step in and do something or else there would be widespread war, hunger and pillaging. When people get desperate, they'll start doing desperate things and it won't be pretty.

I've got my guns... Do you?

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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