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Thailand's rush to cut emissions leaves automakers in the dust

Sudden push for strict standards gives R&D little time to keep up

Autos are a major source of the air pollution that plagues Bangkok. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

BANGKOK -- Thailand's move to adopt stringent international emissions standards in just two years is causing consternation among automakers in Southeast Asia's largest vehicle manufacturing hub.

Autos are a major source of the harmful PM2.5 pollutants that blanket Bangkok on a near-daily basis. Public anger and risks to the crucial tourism sector have spurred the Industry Ministry to order automakers to meet Euro 5 standards by next year and Euro 6 requirements by 2022.

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