China to focus fuel economy targets
Punitive measures outlined for offenders of the already-announced fuel economy rules reflect Beijing's latest effort to fight pollution and promote more efficient use of energy.
They are also likely to push automakers, both foreign and Chinese, to embrace more cutting-edge technology such as gasoline-electric hybrids and all-electric cars.
China's fuel economy rules, as stringent as those to be enforced in the United States, Europe and Japan, involve a fleet-wide corporate average target of 34 mpg (6.9 liters per 100 kilometer) in 2015 and 47 mpg (5.0 liters per 100 kilometer) in 2020. They take effect on Nov. 1.
China said it would publicly name carmakers who fail to meet the 2015 target and would ban the production of new models that do not meet fuel economy targets, to be determined by a special weight-based formula. The government will also reject expansion plans by offenders, who will be required to submit improvement plans.
The rules were published by five government agencies including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
China has already taken a series of measures to fight pollution, including restricting car sales in major cities and providing incentives for selling electric vehicles. But the latest measures would put further pressure on carmakers.
Last year, 85 car manufactures in China measured their corporate-average fuel consumption, and about 30 percent of them, mostly domestic brands, failed to meet their annual target for 2013, according to results published by MIIT earlier this year.
No punishments were imposed at the time but China's desire to tighten government oversight of fuel economy rules is behind the punitive measures backing the 2015 and 2020 targets.
The rules also apply to importers of foreign passenger vehicles. Last year, 13 importers of foreign brands, including General Motors, Nissan Motor Corp., Porsche, and Hyundai Motor Corp., failed to meet their annual target, partly reflecting the fact that most imports are bigger and more powerful models.