June 30, 2005

GM’s Opel offers particle filter on all German cars

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Adam Opel will offer a particlefilter on every diesel-powered car it sells in Germany as ofJuly 1, the General Motors unit said on Thursday.

The move comes amid a debate in Germany about the harmfuleffects of diesel soot on people's health. Particle filterstrap the soot.

Although industry officials have played down the debate'simpact on sales of diesel cars that account for around half ofthe overall market, analysts have said cars without filterscould have lower resale values.

The German federal cabinet last month approved tax breaksfor particle filters on new cars and for motorists who retrofitthem on used cars, but the legislation is stalled inparliament.

Diesel-powered cars are popular in Germany and many otherEuropean countries due to their efficiency, durability andrelatively lower fuel prices.

DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz brand also offers a broadrange of filters, as does French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen .