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Higher Parking Fees Ain't Goin' to do it, Fellas!........

Beijing car sales not deterred

TRAFFIC jams and high parking fees had little impact on Beijingers' love for cars, with new vehicle sales in the Chinese capital rising 9.3 percent in the first half of the year.

New vehicle sales reached 209,802 in the first half, three-quarters of which were sedans, said Su Hui, general manager of the Beijing Asian Games Village auto market.

The figure is likely to top 420,000 by the end of the year, accounting for five percent of the Chinese market with 8.5 million in total sales for 2007.

In the first half, about 20 percent of the buyers in Beijing purchased a second vehicle, compared with 15 to 16 percent in the same period last year.

This gave rise to swift sales of vehicles for recreational purposes, including sport-utility and multi-purpose vehicles.

With many Beijingers trading in their cars, 170,000 used vehicles were sold in the first half, up 24 percent from the same period last year. Sales are likely to reach 350,000 for the full year.

Sales of cars with engine size under one liter in Beijing dropped 25 percent in the first half - 13.3 percentage points more than national average - as Beijingers preferred big cars and leading brands, Su said.

At the end of 2006, Beijing had 2.44 million civilian vehicles, with the number of private vehicles soaring 17.6 percent to 1.81 million, 13.7 percent of the country's total.

Shanghai Daily
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