We explain why Ferrari (and other luxury brands) could continue to sell thermal cars after 2035

Will the luxury car brand Ferrari be able to continue selling cars with a heat engine after 2035? The question divided the European Parliament on Wednesday June 8 during the vote on banning the sale of new cars with petrol, diesel or hybrid engines by 2035. If this general rule was adopted (narrowly) by MEPs, an amendment leaves the door open to exceptions.

In question, the amendment says “Ferrari” (document in PDF) which provides that the emission reduction requirements for all manufacturers present on the European Union market must be harmonised, “except for manufacturers who represent less than 1,000 new vehicles registered during a calendar year”. Requests for derogations can also be submitted until January 1, 2036 for “manufacturers who represent between 1,000 and 10,000 newly registered passenger cars in a calendar year”.

Concretely, niche manufacturers who produce relatively few vehicles per year could therefore continue to manufacture gasoline, diesel or hybrid cars without time limits. This could relate to luxury brands such as Bugatti. For their part, manufacturers who produce between 1,000 and 10,000 cars per year would not be subject to the gradual reduction in the sale of thermal vehicles in 2030 and then to the total ban on the sale of these engines in 2035. On the other hand, these manufacturers, such as Ferrari or Lamborghini, should comply a year later, on January 1, 2036.

Behind this amendment hides in particular the lobbying of Italian MEPs, anxious to protect the transalpine flagships of the automobile. As early as September 2021, the Italian government was pushing in this direction with the European Commission. “These cars require very specific technologies and high performance batteries to make this transition”had justified the Minister of Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, former non-executive member of the board of directors of Ferrari, to the Bloomberg channel (in English).

Finally, the Ferrari amendment was adopted on Wednesday with the votes of far-right, right-wing MEPs and part of center-right and socialist MEPs. Enough to make the leftist and environmentalist opposition react. “It is the symbol of social and climatic injustice”pings, for example, Marie Toussaint, MEP for Europe Ecology-The Greens, with franceinfo.

However, this regulation has not yet been adopted. The next stage will be played before the Council of Ministers of the European Union. MEPs still have to negotiate with member states in order to reach an agreement. “The ball is in the court of the French government, notes the ecologist MEP Karima Delli at franceinfo. I call on France to correct the situation so that this legislation is firmer.” Luxury manufacturers have not yet won their showdown with Europe.

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