The West German government recently announced that, as from January 1, 1986, all new cars with petrol engines must be adapted to run on lead-free petrol.
GV Opel factory.
SV Man fills up with lead-free petrol.
SV PAN Underneath of car and exhaust system.
SV GRAPHIC Explanation of new exhaust.
SV Workers assemble cars and test parts. (2 SHOTS)
GV Cars roll off assembly line. (2 SHOTS)
LV New cars outside factory. (3 SHOTS)
GV Cars in street.
CUs Car exhausts. (3 SHOTS)
SV Car signs for British cars, and British cars in forecourt.
SVs Japanese cars.
SV PAN Other cars, unsold.
GV Cars on street.
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Background: The West German government recently announced that, as from January 1, 1986, all new cars with petrol engines must be adapted to run on lead-free petrol. The law was passed through the Bonn cabinet by Interior Minister Friedrich Zimmerman, who also ordered that petrol stations must sell unleaded petrol from the same date. Reuters reported that West Germany was alone in Western Europe in making lead-free petrol compulsory, and that the government hoped the move would encourage other EEC (European Economic Community) countries to pass similar legislation. The West German government regards exhaust gases from cars using leaded petrol as a prime cause of pollutant acid rain which has affected nearly one third of the country's forests. With experience gained in manufacturing lead-free engines for the United States, the German car industries should be quickly able to alter domestic models to comply with the new laws, and so gain an advantage over their foreign competitors. Reuters estimated that fitting a new petrol converter would raise the cost of a new car by about 600 U.S. dollars and that compulsory lead-free engines would increase fuel consumption by an overall 10 per cent. This could offset the environmental benefits of less polluted petrol, said Opel chairman Ferdinand Beickler. His company, however, recently reported an increase in business for the first six months of the year by 17.3 per cent - over 270,000 new cars. Other car manufacturers recently recorded an upturn in business, with only 200,000 vehicles in stock altogether - just two weeks production. Over 1.6 million new cars were registered in West Germany by the end of June, an increase on last year by 12.7 per cent.