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German Carmakers Going Green


Geneva March 7, 2007; THe AIADA newsletter reported that amid growing consumer awareness of global warming, German carmakers are showing real interest in building environmentally friendly cars.

According to the German paper Deutsche Welle, German carmakers have yet to produce a true hybrid.

In contrast, Japan leads the pack with its two hybrid cars, the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic.

Now, just ahead of the 77th International Motor Show in Geneva, Volkswagen presented its super-efficient, ultra-low emission Blue Motion line, and VW and Porsche have announced they are working together on a line of eco-friendly cars to come out by 2008.

BMW and Chrysler, meanwhile, announced plans to team up to develop a "mild hybrid" transmission system for rear-wheel-drive premium cars.

VW's Martin Winterkorn, who used to lead Audi, dismisses criticism that German carmakers are lagging in environmental advances. "For years we've been investing billions to reduce fuel consumption with direct-injection diesel and gasoline engines. We reduced weight at Audi with aluminum bodies and at VW with lightweight steel, to name a few examples," he told Der Spiegel.