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Beijing Introduces Measures to Curtail Number of Cars Sold

Beijing is a city that is choking on its own success, with smog, traffic and congestion becoming an ever greater problem in the Chinese capital. Over 4.7 million cars were sold in the city this year, nearly twice the number sold just five years ago.

So Beijing's municipal government was forced to take drastic action, unveiling a number of measures meant to reduce car sales in the city. The number of new car and microvan license plates issued in the city will be reduced to 240,000 next year, about a third of this year’s figure.

“Auto makers may have to adjust their production and sales plans next year. The move by Beijing will basically cost auto makers half a million new car sales next year. But Beijing as the capital city can become an example for other cities in the future,” says Yale Zhang, an independent auto analyst who was quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

Shanghai has had similar restrictions on car sales for almost 10 years, but during that time Beijing has "insisted it would not do so," according to Mr. Zhang. The eastern Chinese provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang are considering similarly measures, including requiring residents to purchase a dedicated parking space before buying a car.

“Definitely this will impact our sales in Beijing next year, But it's hard to say what percentage will be affected specifically. In fact, what worries me more is that other cities will follow Beijing's lead to issue such regulations, and that will have a bigger impact,” said Chery spokesman Jin Yibo, who is expressing his growing concern about China’s car market.


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