by MONITOR
European-made car manufacturers are making much greater progress in achieving carbon emission reductions than their Japanese counterparts. But a European Union analysis of vehicles produced by 20 leading international manufacturers showed that the industry as a whole still has a long way to go to reach the target for carbon emission reduction in new cars of 25 percent between 1995 and 2008; by 2004 the average reduction was only 12.4 per cent. Fiat, Citroen, Renault achieved the best results whereas the performances of Mazda, Suzuki and Nisssan put them at the foot of the table of twenty cars. These leading European manufacturers have concentrated on developing cars with snmaller engines and have also invested in low-emission diesel technology. For instance, the Renault Megane 1.5 diesel, a medium-sized family car, emits only 120g/km of carbon, whereas the Nissan Patrol GR produces more than twice that amount. The UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has accused the EU of overlooking the pressure on manufacturers to build heavier heavier in order to comply with safety requirements. The new Mini and the new Volkswagen Beetle are said to be twice as heavy as earlier versions and require bigger engines. Chris McGowan, the Society's chief executive said that legislation over carbon emission would be "immensely damaging" to the industry and claimed that "Cars are an extension of your DNA. You've got to fall in love with your car. We can't all be driving a Trabant."

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