Alain Visser, sales and marketing head of GM Europe’s Opel and Vauxhall brands, would like to see some evening out of environmental standards across Europe.

“Every country has its own variations and tax levels on emissions and, despite the fact we have a European Union, many of these standards have become too ingrained in each country – we would expect some consistency or guidelines.”

Half of the automaker’s sales are now ‘EcoFLEX’ models equipped with technologies aimed at reducing emissions and fuel consumption.

The first was introduced four years ago and the brands now offer 60 derivatives. Other carmakers may have models with a lower CO2 than their Vauxhall Opel rivals but that does not worry Visser.

“To have the lowest CO2 in a single model is not our strategy, we want to have a low average across the whole range of our cars. The important thing also is to ensure our vehicles remain good to drive.

“There are still improvements to be made in conventional engines and we are in the middle of developing a small petrol engine, which can go down to one litre and this will be ready in the next couple of years.”

GME has previously offered a self-developed three-cylinder, one-litre engine in its entry-level Corsa.