With more Chinese in south China's Hainan Province getting behind the wheel to celebrate their Spring Festival, automobile leasing was a hot business this year.
During the week-long holiday period, the province's four major auto-leasing companies, Sanjiu, Huajia, Changdao and Zhonglu, leased an average of 90 percent of their vehicles.
Sources with the Sanjiu Automobile Leasing Company said orders were placed by telephone or web site two months ahead of the festival. As all their 100-plus automobiles were booked, explanations to customers became a routine work during the holiday.
Zhang Yujun, general manager of the Huajia Auto-Leasing Company, claimed the market demand reached at least 1.5 times as much as the supply.
Based on the customer lists, Zhang said young people aged 25-35 and tourists from outside the province took up the greatest proportion.
A survey made by the Haikou Automobile Leasing Company showed most families rent cars to avoid crowded trains. The daily cost varies with the automobile's quality, ranging from 90 yuan (about US$10.84) to 1,800 yuan (about US$217).
(Xinhua News Agency February 9, 2003)