Fifteen leading car companies in the mainland have agreed to impose price controls from next month to minimise the damage caused by a bitter price war. The move was in line with the 'self-discipline' in pricing advocated by the State Economic and Trade Commission to protect the profitability of businesses. Under a pact signed by 13 car-makers and two car-dealers under the auspices of the central government, price floors will be set for 25 models, with effect from October 15. Participating companies included joint ventures such as FAW-Volkswagen, Dongfeng-Citroen Automobile Corp and Shanghai-General Motors, the China Daily reported. Others are Tianjin Automobile Industry (Group) and its sales company. The commission would soon issue 'guidance prices' based on production costs and market demand, which would be adjusted twice a year to take into account market changes, the report said. Companies that failed to comply with the measures would face public censure and a ban on production. Authorities introduced 'guidance prices' in 1994 which allowed car-makers to sell their products within a range. But prices have not been revised since then and keen competition had led to undercutting, industry players said. 'Price undercutting has dragged down profits of some car-makers, reduced tax revenues and caused redundancies among workers, thereby incurring losses to state investment,' Zhou Jianping, director-general of the State Machine Building Industry Bureau, was quoted as saying. Another bureau official said the initiatives of industry players would include setting up self-regulated standards for marketing operations and sales conduct. An official at Tianjin Automotive Industrial Sales said the initiatives would help restore order to the market but said it was not clear when the benefits would show. 'They [the measures] take time to take effect,' she said. The shake-up comes as Citroen, one of the signatories of the pact, is making the mainland's biggest product launch yet with its 988 model.