Fifteen out of 23 manufacturers invited had pledged to attend, along with nine ACFO representatives and leading fleet managers and representatives of the DETR, Inland Revenue and Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. ACFO director Stewart Whyte said: 'I believe this to be one of the year's most important discussion opportunities. Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown elevated CO2 data to new levels of importance in his March Budget when he announced plans for graduated vehicle excise duty and a new benefit-in-kind tax system, both of which would be based primarily on CO2 and possibly other emissions.
'From that point on, availability of accurate and relevant CO2 emission level figures moved centre stage in the fleet market.' Whyte added: 'At present, all we have to work on is assumptions, guesses and double guesses as to exactly how CO2 will be used to generate different tax charges. However, what concerns our members even more than their inability to plan and reschedule allocation lists at this stage, is the fact that it is proving extremely difficult for the average fleet manager or company car driver to access CO2 data for at least some of their existing fleet, and for all new vehicles to be brought into fleet operation from now on.'