PSA Peugeot Citroën was again French market leader in CO2 emissions performance with a corporate average of 140 g/km in 2006.

For the second year in a row, the automaker led the French market in corporate average CO2 emissions in rankings compiled by France's Agency for the Environment and Energy Management (ADEME).

During the year, the group sold nearly 1m vehicles in Europe with emissions of less than 140g CO2/km (ie consuming less than 5.3 litres of fuel/100km for diesel-powered models and less than 6 litres/100km for petrol models). Of these, more than 450,000 units emit less than 120 g CO2/km, for a 38% share of the segment in Europe, and 200,000 emit less than 110 g CO2/km.

"This performance reflects an assertive commitment that has long led the group to focus its research and development on lowering CO2 emissions," PSA said in a statement.

"One of the determining factors in meeting this goal has been the comprehensive revitalisation of the engine lineup. The broad deployment of modern HDi common-rail technologies across the Peugeot and Citroën model ranges has driven a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions compared with the previous generation of engines. More than 9n vehicles equipped with HDi common-rail engines have been sold to date.

In petrol engines, the joint development with BMW Group of the recently introduced family of small, advanced technology 1.6-litre engines with variable valve control or turbo direct injection has led to a further 10% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to the engines they replace, PSA said. These engines are already being offered in the Peugeot 207.

Other technologies, such as the Stop & Start system introduced on the Citroën C2 and C3, can cut CO2 emissions by 8 to 15% in city driving.

PSA Peugeot Citroën is pursuing other research projects to reduce CO2 emissions, especially through the Hybrid HDi program. The Peugeot 307 and Citroën C4 Hybrid HDi demonstrators have set new performance standards with fuel consumption of 3.4 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 90g/km.