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April 10, 2020

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Govt may delay tougher rules to help automakers

China is considering postponing implementation of new vehicle emissions standards in areas yet to adopt the stricter rules, to cushion the COVID-19 outbreak’s impact on the auto industry.

Wu Xianfeng, a senior official with the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said yesterday 16 provinces and cities, including Shanghai, had already implemented the new National VI measures, but other areas could be allowed to delay the transition to help the auto industry and sales of National V standard vehicles already produced.

The new standards were initially set to take effect nationwide from July 1. They set tougher rules for pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter and set limits on ammonia, similar to Europe’s Euro 6 standards.

“This outbreak of COVID-19 has had a great impact on the automobile industry,” said Wu. “From the perspective of environmental protection, it has mainly affected the supply of auto parts for new vehicles, the certification of new cars and sales of existing-inventory vehicles.”

Hubei Province and its capital, Wuhan — worst-hit by COVID-19 — are major auto production centers, so the impact there is being felt nationwide.

The spread of COVID-19 around the world has also hit he global automotive supply chain, including China.

At present, more than 97 percent of newly produced light vehicles in the Chinese market meet National VI.

Tthe China Association of Automobile Manufacturers had urged a delay in implementing the new standards.

A postponement would give automakers more time to clear existing inventories and prepare for applying the new rules, CAAM said.

And Cui Dongshu, the secretary general of the China Passenger Car Association, said:

“The decision is a protective policy for the steady growth of the auto industry.

“Delaying the implementation of the new emissions standards will not slow down automakers’ product upgrades, but allows existing inventory to be sold to prevent car dealers from taking huge losses due to low-price sales.”


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