Beijing rules out license plate fee rise to stem car numbers

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, November 4, 2010
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The government will not limit the number of cars by making license plate numbers more expensive, the city's transit authorities told the auto market. The auto market had been concerned with rumors of such a policy change.

Beijing traffic jam.[File photo]

Beijing traffic jam.[File photo] 

"Beijing is not going to copy Shanghai's car control measure that enforce high registration fees to discourage buying," an anonymous official of the Beijing Commission of Transport was quoted Wednesday by the Xinhua News Agency.

But the city will explore other measures to rein in the skyrocketing number of cars on the roads, the official said, echoing an official statement made last month.

On October 20, officials of the Beijing Commission of Urban Planning announced the government was working on a package plan to keep road traffic flowing, including measures to control the overall number of cars. It was the first time the city had officially suggested it was considering policy leverages that might end up slowing auto sales, according to Xinhua.

Instead, fears about buying restrictions have started pushing sales up, Xinhua reported. "People rush to make purchase decisions lest policy changes make it harder to buy and own a car in the future," the news agency quoted Chery's Chengxinda store manager Wang Changqian as saying.

"We do hear the media speculate on sales rises, but organizations such as China Auto-motive Technology & Research Center have not released their figures for October," an editor of an auto information website told the Global Times on condition of anonymity.

Beijingers bought about 72,500 private cars in September, 2,300 fewer than in Au-gust, thus far the best month of the year for automakers, he said.

"I think any policy leverages will be more about how you use your car than about when or what to buy," he said. "The auto industry is on the rise for China, which has an ambitious plan to lead in clean energy cars. I don't think the government will discourage buying."

Sales rises are expected for the end of year anyway, said Li Xiaojun, sales manager of Nissan's Huijing Furui Store in Tiantongyuan, Changping district.

"November, December and January are always the best months with or without a policy leverage," he said.

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