France at War With Germany... Over Car Emissions

Europe is heating up over vehicle emissions (someone tell the Archduke of Austria to hide), and it's France on the offensive this time. A report recently came out detailing that while most European car companies were reducing emissions, German car emissions actually rose by 1.9%. Germany wants different limits for the heavier luxury cars it produces, compared to the smaller models produced in Italy, Spain, France and other countries.

The point the French are making is that the amount they make per small car is so low that a differentiated requirement would make it less profitable to produce small cars. And that's actually the right point. As we've seen in America, luxury buyers will pay a high premium for just about anything you throw on a car. Just call it "electronic air freshening" and tack another few hundred on that S-Class. [Financial Times]