BMW CEO raps EU calls for stiffer car emissions goals

Tue May 14, 2013 4:15am EDT

* EU "will go step too far" with 2025 emissions proposal

* EU 2020 target already tough to meet

* Affirms goal of record 2013 car sales, match opg. profit

MUNICH, Germany, May 14 (Reuters) - German carmaker BMW has criticised calls by European Union lawmakers for even greater fuel efficiency by 2025, warning their demands would hurt European industry in competition with the United States and China.

EU politicians last month backed a 2025 target to cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles to a range of 68 to 78 grams per kilometre (g/km) as an average for new EU cars.

"This is all about political wish-lists and has nothing to do with technical analysis or feasibility," BMW Chief Executive Norbert Reithofer said at the group's annual shareholders' meeting on Tuesday.

"At some point, politicians will go a step too far," the CEO said. "Europe is currently not in a strong enough position to isolate itself from global competition in this way."

A compromise target of 95 g/km by 2020 already requires "billions of euros" of investment and can't be met without alternative drive technology, Reithofer said.

Munich-based BMW will this year start to mass produce its Megacity electric vehicle, dubbed the i3.

Separately, the CEO affirmed targets to raise group auto sales - including Mini and Rolls-Royce vehicles - to a new record this year and to match last year's record pretax profit.

BMW also aims to increase investments and spending on research and development beyond last year's levels, he said.

The company earlier this month posted a 15.9 percent drop in first-quarter operating profit from its core car business, weighed down by discounting in some markets and technology costs, and Reithofer said the business environment was getting "ever more uncertain and volatile". (Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by David Holmes)

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