BMW is leading the way in reducing the carbon dioxide emissions of its cars, but the industry is struggling to meet tough emissions laws due to come in to force in 2012.
That's the view of Transport and Environment, a sustainable transport campaign group, who claim the average new car sold by BMW in 2007 typically consumed 7.3% less fuel than in the previous year.
That lead to a cut in average CO2 emissions from 186g/km in 2006 to 170g/km last year.
However the average improvement for all car brands sold in the EU was just 1.7%.
In November last year the European Commission proposed that new cars should emit on average 130g/km of CO2 by 2012.
Jos Dings, director of Transport and Environment said: 'With the threat of legislation looming, BMW has shown that even premium car makers can seriously reduce CO2.
However the slow response of other car makers shows that the EU needs to keep up the pressure with challenging long-term CO2 targets.'
Transport and Environment said that Hyundai also made a significant drop in its average CO2 emissions (3.9%) as did Mercedes (3.5%), although it claimed this was down to the manufacturer selling off Chrysler.