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April 28, 2010

ITALY: Alfa accuses rivals of ‘magical’ CO2 figures

Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester has accused rivals of producing unrealistic CO2 figures in their special eco-models.

Alfa Romeo CEO Harald Wester has accused rivals of producing unrealistic CO2 figures in their special eco-models.

Answering a question about why the new C-segment Alfa Romeo Giulietta didn’t have a lower CO2 figure compared to the 99g/km Audi A3 1.6TDI, Wester described the ultra-low CO2 cars as “magical”, “extraterrestrial” and “miracles” and not real-world.

Wester, who was appointed Alfa Romeo CEO at the start of the year, said he didn’t know how these figures were achieved and added: “We need to be a little bit more serious about these figures in the long-term.”

A spokesman for Audi defended the firm’s CO2 figures saying: “The ultra-low emission 99g/km 1.6 TDI is an advance that we are of course very proud of, but this engine is just one of a rapidly growing number of compact capacity Audi power units with forced induction that have yielded a dramatic fall in our range-wide weighted average CO2 output to 152g/km.”

Alfa Romeo’s Wester was speaking at the launch of the Giulietta which goes on sale on the Continent next month and in right-hand drive markets in July. He said the C-segment car is expected to hit a maximum production level of 100,000 a year with 20% of buyers upgrading from smaller cars and 32% downsizing from the segment above.

Despite the reintroduction of the sporty Cloverleaf brand for Alfa’s quickest car in each model line-up Wester said he was not planning to take the brand into motorsport.

“We’re currently fully focused on repositioning the brand and developing new products. So probably for the next 18-24 months motorsport will not be a top priority for Alfa Romeo.”

Tristan Young

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