Some 55% of new car buyers in Germany would consider CO2 emissions when purchasing a new vehicle, according to a new study by ACI Trendmonitor.

And 38% said CO2 emissions levels were not important. The remainder did not answer the question fully, reported Automobilwoche.

Market research company, Puls Marketforschung concluded that dealers and car salespeople should use CO2 emissions in their sales and marketing communications. Consumers will increasingly require more information.

A debate about CO2 emissions from cars has been raging in Germany as German vehicle manufacturers have tried to defend themselves from attack by environmentalists. A deep divide has emerged in the country, with vehicle manufacturers arguing that automotive industry jobs are under threat, if CO2 emissions requirements are imposed. According to the authors of this latest research report, the public debate about CO2 emissions and the environmental-friendliness of cars has made car buyers much more aware of the relative emissions values of different vehicles.

Women are much more aware of the situation than men. Some 66% of women would pay attention to emissions values when purchasing a new car, compared to 55% of men. But 75% of people over 60 years of age compared with 44% of those under thirty would taken into account the vehicle’s carbon footprint. Similarly there is a difference between new and used car buyers. 62% of new car buyers would consider CO2 emissions levels, compared with 53% of used car buyers.