FILE PHOTO: Ola Kaellenius, chairman of Daimler AG talks to Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, economics minister of state Baden-Wuerttemberg before CEOs of German carmakers meet to discuss the industry’s challenges and strategy in Berlin, Germany, July 4, 2019. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Cutting average emissions from the Mercedes-Benz passenger car fleet to meet the European Union’s 2021 target is going to be a significant challenge, Daimler Chief Executive Ola Kaellenius said on Tuesday.

“We have all the right vehicles on offer to reach those targets. Having said that, we cannot mandate what the customer buys. The 2021 targets are a significant challenge,” Kaellenius said.

Customers are still opting to buy Mercedes sports utility vehicles (SUVs), which now amount to around a third of total sales. The trend toward increased sales of SUVs has not changed over the past 25 years, Kaellenius said.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; Editing by Tassilo Hummel

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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