According to a local industry group, last month’s China passenger-vehicle sales increased 13%, with many buyers rushing the purchase in anticipation of more pollution and congestion related restrictions.
The world’s largest single auto market in the world has been lately facing serious problems when it comes to its huge cities, which begin to show the clout through increased traffic congestion and pollution. While the country still has a small motoring footprint, mainly inland, the huge coastal cities have been driving auto sales so far.
The Passenger Car Association revealed in a statement that retail deliveries of cars, multipurpose and sport-utility vehicles in April went up to 1.5 million units. So far, six cities, with the latest being Hangzhou in eastern Zhejiang province have so far imposed new license plates limits in an attempt to control smog and traffic, as Premier Li Keqiang has moved to declare “war” on pollution.
“After Hangzhou imposed restrictions, it stimulated demand as people brought forward purchases,” said Harry Chen, a Shenzhen-based analyst at Guotai Junan Securities Co. “This could be a factor for the next few months.”
For example, the Nanjing city, which is the capital of eastern Jiangsu province saw April’s sales at many dealers increased by 40% after consumer worry that it would be the next one to impose quotas on new car sales.