While the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers will release monthly sales later on, we already have the March figures, courtesy of the Passenger Car Association.

The data shows the world’s largest auto market is still going up, with a 9% monthly increase year-over-year in March – as experts say customers rush to make their purchase before more cities start to limit ownership.

Data shows that retail deliveries of cars, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles tallied 1.59 million units last month, while Hangzhou, the capital of eastern Zhejiang province, joined cities like Beijing and Shanghai to impose limits on new car purchases – in an effort to curb down traffic and especially pollution.

“People don’t want to risk their chances of owning a car and they would rather buy sooner than later given that it is unpredictable when purchase limits would be imposed,” said Han Weiqi, an analyst at CSC International Holdings Ltd. “The rush in orders helped push up sales last month.”

Last July, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said eight cities might follow next in putting quotas on new car purchases. Two of them – Hangzhou and Tianjin – have moved to enforce them, while the remaining “free” cities are Shenzhen, Chengdu, Shijiazhuang, Chongqing, Qingdao and Wuhan.

Via Bloomberg


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