September 5, 2017 / 8:26 AM / 16 days ago

Merkel urges automakers to develop cleaner cars more quickly

FILE PHOTO: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a top candidate of the Christian Democratic Union Party (CDU) for the upcoming general elections, smiles during her visit of Karl’s Adventure Village in Roevershagen, Germany, August 31, 2017. REUTERS/Reinhard Krause

BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday Germany should do all it can to avoid a ban on diesel vehicles in cities, adding that her government was willing to help car manufacturers make the change to cleaner models with low-emissions engines.

“We’ll need combustion engines for years and decades - and still at the same time we’ll have to take the bridge, the path towards new mobility and new engines,” Merkel told lawmakers in the Bundestag lower house of parliament.

The center-right chancellor said there was a collective social responsibility in Germany to admit and fix the mistakes made in the auto industry, whose reputation has been hit by a diesel emissions scandal.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Paul Carrel

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