During the process of developing a new product, consciously or unconsciously, a number of decisions are made that affect the environment, thus making a company responsible not only for the technical performance but also for the `environmental performance' of a product. This research paper broadly speaks about this development process and lists the various tools available to the modern decision maker for balancing the ecological, economical and technological aspects of production. The focus of this paper is on the environmental issues in the automobile industry and environmental impacts presently associated with the automobile life cycle. The paper reviews existing tools and opportunities for reducing these burdens in the future through decision-making by industry and other stakeholders. The paper ends with a very latest example from the German automobile industry on the assumption that this automobile (SMART from MCC AG), in the present context, is perhaps an outcome of a very vigorous development process where the impact of the product outside the automobile sector was considered.
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|Published - Apr. 2000