The president of an influential German trade organisation has been highly critical of the German automotive industry’s recent model policy.

Ludwig Georg Braun, president of the German association of chambers of commerce, said the German automotive industry had been falling asleep and failing to notice that demand for cars with alternative powertrains will grow.

“The Germans have had the technology for a long time, but others have been much quicker to apply it. Now it needs to quickly develop a wave of models capable of meeting future demand.”

Braun called for better labelling of CO2 emissions of new cars on sale. This would help customers chose more environment-friendly vehicles.

As part of its package of proposals designed to reduce average CO2 emissions to 130g/km per vehicle by 2012, the European Commission is inviting car manufacturers to sign up to an EU code of good practice.