With fuel imports continuing to soar and international oil prices showing little sign of slowing, China has issued a new set of fuel efficiency standards for passenger vehicles. In the first phase, running from July 1, 2005 through January 1, 2008, Chinese passenger vehicles will be required to meet the current average efficiency of Chinese-made passenger vehicles. In the second stage, fuel consumption must drop by 10% from the first-stage level. Models under production are granted a one-year grace period to meet the standards. Automobile fuel consumption currently accounts for one-third of China's crude oil imports.
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