China will end production of 553 car models due to fuel economy

Volvo S90 production in Daqing, China reported on Thursday.

The reason is that the 553 vehicles do not meet new fuel economy mandates. Notable vehicles on the list come from well-known brands, too. Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and Chevrolet are all included on the list.

It’s the first time China has produced such a list to halt production of inefficient cars, though it likely won’t be the final action taken. In September, China announced it will decide on a deadline to ban the sale of new cars powered exclusively by fossil fuels in the near future. China would become the largest country to enact such a ban; the Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, and France have all announced their own fossil-fuel bans. In the United States, California will examine similar legislation in 2018.

Although 553 models seem to encompass a lengthy list, Cui Dongshu, secretary general of the China Passenger Car Association, told the vehicles represent a “very small” portion of cars currently in production.

The country has moved to aggressively pursue new-energy vehicles (NEVs), primarily electric cars and vehicles powered by electrified powertrains. In 2019, China will require electric cars and plug-in hybrids to represent 10 percent of new car sales. Translation: any automaker doing business in the country will need to electrify their lineups, and do it quickly. Automakers will earn credits for the NEVs, which may also be purchased or sold for more flexibility.

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