Germany on Saturday strongly objected to Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh's scathing attack on German luxury cars like Mercedes Benz and BMW and asserted that German automakers are known for ground-breaking fuel efficiency standards.
"It is very difficult to imagine that Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Environment and Forests, has made such specific comments on fuel technology with reference to German automotive manufacturers," Germany's Ambassador Thomas M. Matussek said in a statement.
Underlining that the German auto industry has "the most outstanding expertise in the area of engine development", Matussek said the German automotive technology is far advanced in reducing both fuel consumption and fuel emissions.
"The German industry is also proud to have some of the most sustainable car companies in the world who have pioneered CO2 emission cuts and have next generation fuel efficiency standards in engines," he said, while highlighting Germany's success in reducing CO2 emissions.
"Leading German automotive manufacturers are already engaged in developing ground breaking fuel efficiency standards which may define how cars of tomorrow may be conceptualised," he said.
At a UN function, Ramesh Friday said people should not be encouraged to buy vehicles such as powerful German luxury cars and gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles and said driving big-engined luxury models from BMW and Mercedes-Benz in India was "criminal".
"The luxurious growth of large-size vehicles like SUVs is really a growth of concern, use of vehicles like SUVs and BMW in countries like India is criminal," he said at a UN function in New Delhi.
"I think we seriously need to think about fuel policy regime," Ramesh added, suggesting that these luxury models were still made because they run on subsidised diesel fuel, making the real beneficiaries the owners of "BMWs, the Benzs and Hondas". The country should levy extra fees and mandatory fuel efficiency standards on these cars, the minister suggested.