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Phasing out the internal combustion engine by 2035 - except for luxury cars?

The EU Commission has set itself high goals: In July this year, it announced its goal of ending the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines by 2035. That does not suit everyone. In Italy, there are now hopes for an exception for car manufacturers Ferrari and Lamborghini.

The Italian Minister of the Environment, Roberto Cingolani, has expressed this wish to the EU. What is behind this is that the luxury brands have very high emissions of pollutants, but sell far fewer cars than manufacturers in the middle class or small car segment. This makes the conversion of production facilities for the bolides less profitable than for companies that sell high numbers of their vehicles. Cingolani emphasises that Italy, too, is fully behind the EU's goals of significantly reducing emissions of climate-damaging gases by 2025 by banning the sale of combustion cars. However, he pleads for exemption rules for the luxury segment, especially since these cars make up only a fraction of all cars sold.

The minister, who incidentally used to hold an executive position at Ferrari, is confident that a solution can be found with the other European environment ministries. This will take some convincing, because compared to other car manufacturers, sales in the luxury segment suffered less from the pandemic than because potential, wealthy buyers were not as badly affected by the economic malaise. Volkswagen also suffered fewer sales losses for its luxury brands Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini.

Ferrari urgently needs a solution, because unlike other car manufacturers, the icon of motosport has still not launched an all-electric car. According to the then Ferrari boss John Elkann at the beginning of the year, this step is not planned until 2025. But even after that, Ferrari wants to stick to its fuel-eaters. It will be interesting to see whether the Italian environment minister can prevail on his colleagues.