The Group’s products and activities are subject to numerous environmental laws and regulations (local, national and international) which are becoming increasingly stringent in many countries in which it operates (particularly in the European Union). Such regulations govern, among other things, products – with requirements relating to emissions of polluting gases, reduced fuel consumption and safety becoming increasingly strict – and industrial plants – with requirements for emissions, treatment of waste and water and prohibitions on soil contamination. In order to comply with such laws and regulations, the Group employs considerable resources and expects it will continue to incur substantial costs in the future.
In addition, government initiatives to stimulate consumer demand for products sold by the Group, such as changes in tax treatment or purchase incentives for new vehicles, can substantially influence the timing and level of revenues. The size and duration of such government measures are unpredictable and outside of the Group’s control. Any adverse change in government policy relating to those measures could have material adverse effects on the Group’s business prospects, earnings and/or financial position.