Beijing to limit new car sales at 240,000 next year image

The Beijing municipal government says it will limit issuance of new car plates to 240,000 annually in an effort to ease the capital city’s traffic jams.

A monthly average of 20,000 new vehicle registrations will be allowed this year, with private buyers accounting for 88% of the allocation, or some 17,600-passenger vehicles per month.

The number is much smaller than this year’s total sales estimated to reach 700,000 by the end of December. The new policy will take effect on Jan 1, 2011, the BMCT said.

“It will be difficult to dramatically improve the traffic situation in a short time,” said Liu Xiaoming, deputy director of the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau.
“But it can slow down the pace of worsening traffic congestion.”

Car registrations will be allocated by a license plate lottery system from Friday.
The impact of this scheme on the national market is expected to be limited.

“It could potentially reduce vehicle sales by up to 300,000 units”, according to John Zeng – an analyst at IHS Global Insight based in Shanghai.