Auto sales soar in Guangzhou

08:46, December 10, 2010      

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Beijing is not the only city taking action to tackle traffic congestion. A month of traffic restrictions for the Asian Games in the southern city of Guangzhou allowed vehicles to run smoothly and cleared the air. But problems have reappeared as emptier roads have encouraged people to rush out and buy new cars.

Traffic restrictions based on odd and even license plates reduced the numbers of cars on Guangzhou's roads by more than half last month.But the move has been a two-edged sword, encouraging people to buy cars because of the good road conditions.

Guangzhou resident Mr. Du said, "The traffic was a mess. Now it is good, so I'm thinking about buying a car."

Ms. Xie has just bought a second car. She is now registering it.

Car owner Ms. Xie said, "My husband always goes out. We have a car with an even number, so we need another one with an odd number so we can alternate."

Ms. Xie is not alone. Mr. Tian says that buying a second car has become the trend at his workplace.

Car owner Mr. Tian said, "Many of my colleagues have bought cars recently. Some of them even have several.Now there's a shortage of parking spaces in my community."

Sales of new cars soared in November.

Miss Wu, sales manager of 4S shop, said, "Take a new car with a 1.3 liter engine for example, sales increased by a fifth in November. Many customers want a specific license number, because they already have one car."

In November, the number of new licenses registered each day was up by nearly a quarter, a record. Many car owners fear that the extra cars will cancel out the smoother traffic flows brought by the traffic restrictions Guangzhou's vice-mayor says traffic restrictions won't continue after the Asian Para Games ends on December 19th. He says the city will develop more public transport to solve the traffic congestion.

Gan Xin, Vice mayor of Guangzhou said, "We will increase the length of subway lines by 300 kilometers in five years. And we plan to put 427 kilometers of lines into operation by 2015. We only have 227 kilometers at the moment."

The vice-mayor says that traffic restrictions will not fundamentally solve the traffic problems. Developing public transport is the key.



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