SHANGHAI -- Facing uncertainty about government policy, General Motors and Ford Motor Co. are proceeding cautiously to introduce green technology in China.
China's new auto policy favors hybrids, but diesels and fuel cells are supported, too.
GM is pursuing a modest hybrid bus project. Ford is taking a wait-and-see approach.
"The Chinese government is using a very broad-based approach and actively pushing all technologies," says Philip Murtaugh, CEO of General Motors China.
But the government seems to favor hybrid technology. The policy, released July 1, says: "The state will undertake necessary measures, including policy support, to facilitate the production and application of hybrid-powered automobiles."
Hybrids use a gasoline or diesel engine and an electric motor to power the wheels.
In China, policy support can make the difference between success and failure. But the government hasn't indicated which technology will be viewed most favorably by regulators.
"There are no regulations yet. We don't know how that will cover the different areas," says Kenneth Hsu, spokesman for Ford Motor China.