BEIJING, Dec 31 (Reuters) - China will suspend the production of 553 passenger vehicle models that have failed to meet the government's fuel consumption standards, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday.
The suspension will take effect from Jan. 1, Xinhua said, citing the China Vehicle Technology Service Centre.
The models include products from several major domestic producers and joint ventures such as FAW-Volkswagen, Beijing Benz Automotive, Chery and Dongfeng Motor Corporation.
"With the war on pollution in full swing, China has been pushing for green transportation by toughening emission limits and encouraging the use of new energy vehicles," the report added.
China will extend a tax rebate on purchases of new-energy vehicles until the end of 2020, the government said last week, a boost for hybrid and electric car makers amid a shift by policy-makers away from the traditional internal combustion engine.
Pollution is a hot button issue in China, with large swathes of the country regularly engulfed in smog, though the government has vowed to tackle the problem and the country may already have begun the turn the corner. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Kim Coghill)