After watching the new episode of Top Gear last night, we learned that the EU has passed new CO2 emission laws that may hinder some auto manufacturers.
The new rules stipulate that auto manfucturers must maintain an average CO2 emission level across their fleet as a whole. Simply put, if you have a big motor`d sports car that is heavy on emissions and a small compact eco friendly car from the same manufacturer, then their average will be somewhere in the middle and may comply.
For example, manufacturers like Aston Martin or Ferarri may have difficulty in complying because they only produce sports coupes and sports saloons.
In response to this, Aston has come out with a compact (almost kei) car that is low on emissions. It looks like a Toyota Yaris with Aston badging. This is bad news for such auto makers. They have built their reputations on their sports cars and now must comply by creating lower cost vehicles that are not part of their expertise. This may diminish their brand which spells trouble.
The new regulations do not take effect until 2012 (first stage) and continue well into the new decade. It will be interesting to see who comes out with what over the next 10 years.