BERLIN -- Germany's automakers are discussing within their domestic industry association VDA whether to follow the lead of their French rival PSA Group and publish a more realistic guide of cars' fuel consumption to boost consumer confidence.
In March PSA published what it called "real-world fuel consumption" for more than 1,000 versions of Peugeot, Citroen and DS vehicles after using a testing protocol developed with advocacy groups Transport & Environment (T&E) and France Nature Environment.
Volkswagen Group CEO Matthias Mueller said at the company's annual results news conference last month that VW is discussing a similar action with its German competitors in the VDA. "I expect that we will come to a solution in the foreseeable future,"he said.
VDA President Matthias Wissmann was tight-lipped when asked about the status, what testing protocol might be used, or if consumer and environmental advocacy groups would be invited to participate to increase the legitimacy of any such measure.
"We are in constructive talks with the Federal Transportation Ministry on the question how we can improve transparency, but we have not concluded the discussions," Wissmann said during the VDA's annual technology and innovation congress in Berlin.
A spokesperson for the German transportation ministry, which has earned a reputation among consumer and environmental groups of taking the side of the industry, was not reachable for comment.
During a press briefing in Geneva in March, T&E's Director of Clean Vehicles, Greg Archer, said the PSA real world test results indicated that in many cases fuel consumption was more than 40 percent higher than the certified figure in the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC).
Archer said the PSA testing protocol helped to show that fuel economy measurements can be reliable, representative and reproducible. He dismissed arguments from German carmakers that said these could only be achieved on a rolling dynamometer bench where the same testing parameters can be maintained at all times.
"Volkswagen and Co. to follow PSA Group and T&E's lead? Would be good news for consumers," T&E Executive Director William Todts tweeted following Mueller's comments.