Analysis by market researcher JATO reveals that in the period until July 2007, Europe's 'big five' markets - France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK - have posted an overall drop of 0.3g/km in average new car emissions compared to the same period in 2006.

JATO analyses emissions from every single new car sold in the markets, and the volume-weighted average demonstrates an ongoing reduction in CO2 figures over the past year. The average CO2 figure in the 'big five' markets, stands at 160.5g/km.

"Clearly, this is an encouraging picture," says Nasir Shah, Global Business Development Director at JATO. "The industry continues to work hard on reducing CO2 and we anticipate an even greater decrease over the next year as manufacturers bring new technologies to the marketplace. However, there is still a lot of work to do before the industry can meet the tough EU objectives."

Unsurprisingly, the City car (A-) segment records the lowest average CO2 emissions, averaging 125.5g/km YtD, while the Small (B-) segment averages 136.9g/km and the lower-medium (C1-) segment at 149.8g/km. The most improved segment within the YtD data is the Medium MPV segment, which has posted a notable drop of 12.2g/km to an average of 186.2g/km.

At the other end of the scale, the large SUV segment is recording the highest average CO2 emissions of the industry at 306.5g/km, followed by Luxury SUVs at 269.7g/km and Luxury cars at 255.2g/km. Untypical for the industry, large SUVs have actually posted an 8.5g/km rise in emissions.
"It's disappointing to see that many consumers still favour the worst polluting large SUVs on the market. This really highlights the challenge that manufacturers face in attempting to change buying habits, but viewed with perspective, these vehicles only occupy a small 0.03% share of the overall market," says Shah. 

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