Image credits: Florian Rieder
News Article

Heavy Vehicle Sector Calls for NOM-044 Revision

By Alejandro Enríquez | Tue, 04/13/2021 - 17:06

Leaders from ANPACT and AMDA, representing Mexican truck and passenger vehicle producers and distributors, called on Mexican authorities to review NOM-044. As it is now, the norm will make Euro VI / EPA 10 models the sole units to be exported and produced in the country. “It is necessary to generate the conditions to strengthen the domestic market and for that we need to modify NOM-044 to adapt it to the country’s reality,” said Miguel Elizalde during a conference call.

NOM-044 is a norm that regulates diesel emissions of heavy vehicles for units that weigh 3.8 tons or more. The norm follows both Euro and EPA environmental standards. The story of the norm is closely intertwined with NOM-016 which contemplates the availability of ultra-low sulfur diesel, which was supposed to be nationwide by the end of 2018. In that year, Mexico allowed Euro IV / EPA 04 models, so the norm stipulated that by mid-2019 only Euro V / EPA 07 would be available for imports and domestic sales.

"Euro V and EPA 07 vehicles can work with regular diesel if it is close to 50 ppm. The next deadline was set for Dec. 31, 2021,  when only Euro VI / EPA 10 vehicles would be allowed to be imported or produced locally for the domestic market. These vehicles only work with ultra-low sulfur diesel. As PEMEX received authorization to continue distributing regular diesel, the planned process to implement NOM-044 was interrupted," told Miguel Elizalde to MBN.

The deadline is particularly important given the effects the pandemic has had on the heavy-vehicle sector in Mexico. “An estimated 16 percent growth in 2021 compared to 2020 will remain highly insufficient to cope with the sales downturn of last year,” said Guillermo Rosales, Director General of AMDA, during the conference call.

Heavy-vehicle wholesales grew 13.5 percent during 1Q21 compared to 1Q20. However, trucks and passenger vehicle segments performed quite differently. While trucks sales grew around 18.6 percent, passenger vehicles actually decreased by 11.6 percent. Production figures also tell a similar story. Production overall decreased by 1.1 percent in 1Q21 compared to last year, while bus production decreased by 46.7 percent. Inter-city bus production, in particular, decreased by 94 percent.

“It is reasonable, intelligent, necessary and urgent, that the federal government and all agencies involved push forward to modify NOM-044 to guarantee certainty for fleet owners’ investments, while guaranteeing an adequate functioning of the commercial-vehicle market in Mexico. We are confident there will be a positive response but we consider there is no justification to delay the modification of the norm,” said Rosales.

“This norm is overseen by SEMARNAT, but also CRE due to NOM-016, PEMEX, SENER and the Ministry of Economy, as well as SCT. We know SEMARNAT is aware of this issue but we are eight months away from the enforcement of a norm that does not agree with the economic reality of the country. The call is for everyone, including the industry, to actively work to evaluate the impact this norm will have and adjust the norm for Euro V / EPA 7 and Euro VI / EPA 10 technologies to coexist together until ultra-low sulfur diesel is fully available,” said Elizalde.

Both industry leaders agree that ultra-low sulfur diesel availability will arrive no sooner than Jan 1, 2025 due to the extensions granted to PEMEX to supply regular diesel in different regions. Both AMDA and ANPACT will later present a full report on the current availability of ultra-low sulfur diesel in the country.

Photo by:   Florian Rieder
Alejandro Enríquez Alejandro Enríquez Journalist and Industry Analyst