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March 19, 2023

Could Stricter Emissions In China Lead To Cheap Chinese Vehicles In The Philippines?

Is a looming emissions shift in China the reason for the proliferation of mainland Chinese brands in the Philippines? That could very well be the case.

The promos offered by various brands in China are nothing short of outrageous such as offering discounts of up to 40 percent (around P 712,000) of a vehicle’s sticker price to an outright buy-one, take-one offer.

These offers are due to China’s impending shift to the China 6b emissions standard by July 1. With that, more than 40 carmakers, both domestic and global, are rushing to clear inventories of non-compliant vehicles.

The emissions standard is closely linked to China’s car plate licensing system which effectively limits the number of cars allowed in a city. Cars that do not meet the China 6b standard won’t be allowed to register.

Analysts predict that the price war is likely to escalate in the coming months as the deadline nears.

However, sales of purely combustion engine vehicles have been slow to rebound after the relaxation of COVID-19 related lockdowns as buyers in China shift towards electrified offerings. Moreover, Chinese brands are hardest hit since foreign brands have already rolled out models compatible with the new emissions standards.

In some cases, new vehicle stockpiles have risen to an average of a 65-day supply from just a 57-day supply a month ago.

The China Dealers Chamber of Commerce, a Beijing-based industry group has already been vocal in saying that they may not be able to clear their inventories in time.

The softening local market for combustion engine vehicles might lead Chinese carmakers to look elsewhere to clear their non-compliant vehicles.

Like China, the Philippines is a left-hand drive country. Together with more relaxed safety and emissions standards, this means vehicles originally meant for domestic Chinese consumption can easily be exported to the Philippines. Moreover, with Chinese brands already enjoying low cost of production coupled with low import duty for completely built-up units, it could very well result in more Chinese brands and vehicles being brought in.

True enough, according to Chinese industry data, exports of light vehicles that include sedans, crossovers, SUVs, and MPVs from China have already risen 11 percent to 1.65 million in February alone.

To date, there are 17 Chinese vehicle brands, with a further three—Kia, MG, and Volkswagen also sourcing a majority of their vehicles from China. In the past month alone, five new Chinese brands—Chengdu Dayun, Hongqi, Great Wall, Jetour, and Omoda have announced plans to enter the country. Currently, there are 44 major automotive brands in the Philippines.


  1. Hmmnn...No wonder AC motors keep on bringing here old/dated maxus and vw🤫🤫🤫

  2. Currently enjoying the MG5 sedan (Style variant) with my family. We love the bigger space, the leather seats, the features, etc. at a much more affordable price (compared to our prev vehicle).
    As for durability, I personally know several people whose MG5 vehicles are already 3+ years old but with no problem w their sedans.
    I will not argue w those who are against Chinese car brands... I will respect their opinions. I am just stating here what I am personally experiencing in a Chinese brand sedan. Peace everyone :)

  3. I bought 2 Chinese made cars in 2022. So far more advanced and more environment friendly Vs what existing local Japanese car dealers are offering.


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