Alex Theissen
View from the Top

Aging Vehicle Park to Be an Ongoing Issue

Thu, 09/01/2016 - 16:58

Q: From a user’s standpoint, what is your position on the implementation of the NOM-044 regulating hydrocarbon emissions?

A: Our position is that the availability of ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) must be secured before the legislation is established. We came to an agreement with the government for the NOM-044 not to be published until it reflected the industry’s reality. Both the government and the industry must come to an agreement and I believe this will be achieved by the end of 2016. The government is trying to solve the recurring air quality problem but the aging vehicle park and vehicle costs must be taken into consideration for the NOM to have a positive effect. If we do not have the right fuel, we cannot implement new technology. Hence the issues caused by an aging vehicle park will continue to affect the country.

We are ready to help and create laws that can be upheld. When countries in Europe and North America move toward new technology advancements, they do so with a vehicle park that is not as old as ours. Our transportation is less efficient and legislation must take that into account. Mexico’s fleet averages 17 years of age, compared with seven years in the US. Furthermore, although vehicles in the US may be more expensive, the country’s infrastructure and driver skills allow companies to use their assets for a longer period.

Q: What strategies are being implemented to improve the age of Mexico’s vehicle park?

A: The industry’s associations suggested a two-stage renovation scheme, which has already been accepted by the government. Instead of purchasing a new vehicle, users could upgrade to preowned technology, which would come from users ahead of the technological curve. After selling their used trucks of no more than eight years of age, the larger fleets could apply for an incentive to acquire a new vehicle. These steps allow the inclusion of new vehicles and the removal of older models. Unfortunately, private fleets are not subject to this program but we are working to solve this. The industry as a whole can benefit from these fleet renewal mechanisms. If the Ministry of Finance runs out of funds to cover the market’s demand for this program, this is a good problem to have and we can then offer a solution.

Q: What are the biggest opportunities that ANTP sees in logistics and infrastructure?

A: The country’s infrastructure is facing its biggest challenge as a result of the rules that have been traced out so far. NOM-012, which regulates weight and dimensions, limits specific connectivity between main and secondary roads. The system is not yet well organized and there is no process in place to obtain the necessary permits. ANTP developed road infrastructure connectivity software in response to this gap and we presented it to the government with the help of other automotive associations.

Q: What are ANTP’s main priorities for 2016?

A: Our number one priority is always to improve safety. We will promote this through our National Safety Award, which has grown more than we expected leading us to implement stricter requirements for potential recipients. The safety-related regulation ISO 39001 uses the same basic criteria as ANTP when distributing approvals, such that companies that are granted the National Safety Award will also receive their ISO 39001 certification after filing an application. The global market is moving toward bigger vehicles, provided logistics efficiency improves. If we do not reach high-efficiency standards, production will migrate to other countries. We have found that doubletrailer combination vehicles cover all the necessary requirements to achieve this.

ANTP is also working to certify the industry as a whole. Companies that do business in the US must acquire US certifications so it would be logical to introduce similar regulations in Mexico. Transport associations must work together to foster these initiatives and ANTP will continue to work in the National Freight Forum. This is one of the industry’s biggest pursuits. Similarly, we will be working at this year’s Logistics Summit and at Expo Mexico. At ANTP, we are interested in road safety, protecting the environment, improving infrastructure and industry competitiveness in Mexico.