Bloomberg News

Shanghai Car Plate Prices Fall From Record on Increased Supply

June 16, 2012

Shanghai’s car-license plate prices fell in June from a record last month, after the city offered more permits to cater to demand in China’s financial center.

The city auctioned off 9,500 license plates this month, with the average successful bid at 58,227 yuan ($9,145), according to Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co., which conducts the sale for the city’s transport department. The local government made 200 more permits available for sale after average prices rose to a record 64,367 yuan in May.

Major cities including Beijing and Shanghai are restricting the growth of vehicle traffic, even as the pace of auto sales falters nationwide. The state-backed auto dealership association said this month that average inventory carried at showrooms bloated to an unsustainable level exceeding two months of sales by the end of May.

There were a total of 24,774 bidders for license plates this month, a 2.2 percent increase from last month, according to the Shanghai auction company. Shanghai began auctioning plates in 2002. Cars with out-of-town plates are restricted from the city’s elevated freeways during peak hours.

For the average price of a permit in June, a buyer in Detroit, Michigan could purchase a late-model Hyundai Motor Co. (005380) Accent hatchback in Detroit, Michigan, according to car-pricing website Kelley’s Blue Book.

Beijing’s municipal government started holding lotteries for car license plates in January 2011 to curb traffic and exhaust pollution. The Chinese capital’s infamous traffic jams were recognized in a 2010 International Business Machines Corp. survey, where respondents voted the Chinese capital as the city with the world’s most onerous commute.

Statistics released this week in Beijing show gridlock lasted an average of 55 minutes during weekdays in the first quarter, compared with 2 hours and 25 minutes in 2010.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Liza Lin in Shanghai at llin15@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net


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