MORE than 140 Chinese automakers have been ordered to shut down production as the government moves to better allocate manufacturing resources and rein in excess capacity.

The names of the 144 companies destined for production cuts were posted by the National Development and Reform Committee. They will be shuttered by February 10 unless they can convince the committee they should be allowed to remain in business.

Most of the companies are small private firms that make cars, trucks and motorcycles. Within the target group, 124 manufacturers will not be allowed to make any auto-related products. Twenty others must reduce production. The order also rescinds vehicle identification numbers held by the companies and prevents them from passing on the numbers to other manufacturers.

China now has more than 6,222 auto-related vehicle manufacturers, and the country is producing 2 million more vehicles than the market demands.

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