More than 20,000 cars were sold in Beijing in the first week of December as citizens scrambled to buy vehicles ahead of curbs aimed at reducing the city's massive traffic jams.
Rumors drive Beijing car-sales boom
More than 20,000 cars were sold in Beijing in the first week of December as citizens scrambled to buy vehicles ahead of curbs aimed at reducing the city's massive traffic jams, the Economic Observer reported. Sales were driven by rumors that the government plans to restrict vehicle purchases to people with Beijing residence permits, and may insist prospective buyers obtain parking permits in advance. The number of people on car-purchase waiting lists jumped sharply over November figures. All types of vehicle now have waiting lists of about one month, and demand for used cars has outstripped supply.
When the government announced its proposals yesterday, it confirmed it was considering restricting car purchases, but did not give details of exactly how. It also said it may reintroduce the odd-even license plate restrictions seen during the 2008 Olympics, but in central Beijing only, and that it plans to impose a congestion charge when the time is right. The government has called for feedback on its plans from citizens and experts.
(China.org.cn December 14, 2010)