The European car industry sent a strong message to the EU legislators threatening to clamp down hard on carbon dioxide exhaust emissions from new cars earlier this week; it was simply "give us more time".At a reception attended by European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, Fiat Group boss and president of the cross-industry European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) Sergio Marchionne made a stand for the continent's threatened auto makers."The motor industry must be granted sufficient lead time to meet any new requirements," he said, in reference to the 130g/km carbon dioxide emission target fleet average proposed in February by the EU, to come into force in 2012. "The first feasible date for that to be accomplished is 2015," he went on.Marchionne argued that, although EU executives have promised that the new European emissions law would be ready within a year, it could take longer to finalise workable legislation for the entirety of the European car industry, and that wouldn't leave long enough for companies to adhere to it."The announced legislative framework will most likely not be ready before 2009," he said. "By then, the cars of 2012 will have left the drawing tables."The ACEA, lead by Marchionne, has previously labelled plans to impose a mandatory 130g/km emissions fleet average on European car-makers "arbitrary, too severe and damaging to the economy." However, EU policy makers have insisted that the move is an essential part of the plan to cut emissions from the transport sector and to meet the obligations imposed by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. As such, it is likely to be a non-negotiable.