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  • Weakened van deal agreed as industry signals crisis is over

    MEPs last month approved fuel efficiency standards for vans, just as the van industry, which had lobbied hard for the standards to be weakened because of the economic crisis hitting the automotive industry, gave indications that the crisis was ending.

    [mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]The Commission originally proposed a limit of 135g of CO2 per kilometre for 2020, which evidence showed was technically feasible and could have even led to lower purchase prices for new vans. But strong lobbying from the van industry, which claimed it was in economic crisis, led to the limit being raised to 147g per kilometre. Yet in January, one of the largest van makers Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles said: ‘After the great crisis of 2009 and the associated market declines, we last year returned to the level of our record sales in 2007 and 2008’.

    T&E senior campaigner Kerstin Meyer said: ‘The industry used a short dip in sales to justify weakening a 10-year strategy to improve fuel efficiency that would have saved van operators – largely small businesses – money for years to come. When vehicle manufacturers cry wolf yet again, policy makers should take a long-term view.’