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March 9, 2020

GM urges China to delay new emissions regulations

General Motors is urging the Chinese government to delay the next scheduled tightening of vehicle emissions regulations in the country due to the outbreak of the COVID19 coronavirus at the end of last year.

By bcusack

General Motors is urging the Chinese government to delay the next scheduled tightening of vehicle emissions regulations in the country due to the outbreak of the COVID19 coronavirus at the end of last year.

The Chinese government is currently scheduled to introduce State VI B standards at the beginning of July 2020. 

GM China president Matt Tsien said he hoped the deadline could be extended by several months to allow the market to stabilise and give dealers the opportunity to clear unsold stock of older models.

Visits to car showrooms across the country have plunged since January as the virus epidemic continued to spread. Vehicle sales are estimated to have dropped by over 50% since the beginning of 2020 from already weak year earlier levels as a result of the current health crisis. 

Vehicle manufacturers in China were already under significant pressure from falling sales over the last two years, made worse by a previous tightening of emissions standards in July of last year. 

Tsien expects the vehicle market to decline sharply in the first half of 2020 before staging a recovery in the second half of the year.

By delaying the introduction of new emission standards, vehicle manufacturers would be given more time to upgrade current models.

"This would be of great help to us and the automotive industry as a whole," Tsien said

General Motors is one of the largest foreign vehicle manufacturers in China with its joint ventures having sold 3.09m vehicles last year, down by over 15% year on year.

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