‘We are becoming very superficial people’ – PSA boss Carlos Tavares lambasts European Parliament over ‘extreme’ CO2 stance

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With a decision expected today on proposed carbon dioxide limits for Europe’s car makers, Carlos Tavares, chief executive of PSA Peugeot Citroën and president of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), has gone on the offensive attacking the disinterested ministers of the European Parliament for taking “extreme positions” on the vote and the “superficiality of thinking” around the issue of CO2 reduction.

Today’s plenary vote is largely seen as a rubber stamping exercise, with most observers expecting a requirement for 45 per cent reduction in CO2 by 2030 and a 25 per cent decrease by 2025. These reductions are a big increase from the earlier European Commission proposals of a 30 per cent reduction by 2030 and a 15 per cent reduction by 2025; they were increased after an intervention by the European Parliament.

“There have been extreme positions coming from countries which don’t have an automobile industry,” says Tavares, although in fact there’s been a big debate about the new statutory limits even in car-producing Germany with positions taken on the lenient side by the German transport and economy ministries and on the tougher side by the environment and finance ministries.  

ACEA has been warning all year about the effects of a forced move into electric cars on the fortunes of the European car industry. Early this year it commissioned a report into the potentially negative effects citing the relative simplicity of battery electric cars, which would lead to a 38 per cent fall in parts sourced from European-based automotive suppliers, which will have knock-on effect on profitability, employment and high skills training.

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