Fuel Efficiency Rules In China Threaten American Gas Guzzler Sales

The Chinese government has not spelled out what will happen to vehicles that don't meet fuel efficiency standards.

Published: 19-Mar-2005

INKI, March 18 (Reuters) - Most American cars and half of European models do not meet new fuel consumption standards that China will introduce at mid-year, a European Commission official said on Friday.

But car industry officials played down any concerns that their sales in a crucial market might be at risk. "China plans to introduce next summer tough environmental norms. Eighty percent of U.S.-made cars would not fulfil these and 50 percent of European cars," Timo Makela, director of sustainable development and integration at the European Commission, told a seminar in Helsinki.

"For some reason, most of French cars would fulfil the demands," he said, adding his information came from industry sources.

Volkswagen <VOWG.DE>, Europe's biggest carmaker and market leader in China, said it was relaxed about the new norms for cars and light commercials vehicles to be launched in July and toughened in 2008.


Removal of the ban came as pressure mounts on city administrators to tackle horrible traffic congestion, air pollution and possible fuel supply, caused to a large extent by a rapidly growing number of cars on the road. PHOTO: First snow in Beijing Dec. 31, 2005, courtesy of China Daily.

In the first 10 months of 2005, China's exported autos increased 133.6 percent year on year. For the first time, auto exports exceeded the import by 7,000 units, including 105 electric cars exported to the U.S. Photo of Miles ZX-40, an electric car it plans to import from China.

Chinese vehicles will be a threat to established U.S. auto sellers because vehicles from China are likely to be much cheaper than those from Europe, Japan or North America.


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