The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has announced that it will severely limit the number of new car registrations that it will issue this year in order to fight against ever-increasing air-pollution and paralyzing traffic jams.
City officials explained that the measure is part of a year-long pilot program and that it is not permanent. However, many analysts expect that it will become the norm once the pilot program is finished.
In effect since last Sunday, the limit has been placed at 120,000 registrations per year which are spread out evenly at 10,000 per month. The quota only applies to new passenger cars, which is expected to considerably drive up the price of late-model used cars.
How the city decides who gets to buy a new car was not specified but the creation of a lottery system similar to the one that was implemented in Beijing, China, several years ago is a plausible scenario. A full set of details about the controversial program will be released towards the end of this month.
China Daily reports that consumers in Guangzhou rushed to showrooms last week to buy a new car before the ban came into effect. Buyers are scared that they will not be granted the right to buy a car.
With over 12 million residents Guangzhou is the third largest city in China.
Photo by Ronan Glon.