Global automakers have urged China to delay and soften planned quotas for sales of electric and hybrid cars, saying the current proposals are impossible to meet and would cause big disruption to their businesses, according to a letter seen by Reuters. David Pollard reports.
Going green is going mainstream. But for foreign carmakers selling or operating in China, perhaps a little too fast. American, European, Japanese and Korean carmaker associations now calling on Beijing to slow the process down. China wants a fifth of all vehicle sales to be electric and hybrid by 2025 - with quotas staggered from next year. In a letter to the government, the carmakers say enforcement dates are impossible to meet. And if, unchanged, will lead to widespread disruption of their business. They also call for equal treatment of Chinese and foreign makers - who are currently excluded from full subsidies for NEVs and batteries. It is, says one analyst, little surprise given the possible intent of the quota system itself. SOUNDBITE (English) CMC MARKETS, MARKET ANALYST, DAVID MADDEN, SAYING: "This is a classic move by Beijing to actually ensure that Chinese customers are buying Chinese-purchase cars. This is very much a protectionist decision by Beijing. The ball is very much in their court." Chinese-owned Volvo pledged this month to make all its new vehicles fully electric or hybrid by 2019. A move seen as putting it in direct competition with Elon Musk's Tesla.