Sales of passenger-vehicle surged 13 percent in China in April 2014 to 1.5 million units, as consumers flocked to showrooms anticipating more cities implementing ownership restrictions to curb pollution and congestion, according to the Passenger Car Association.
Six cities, including Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, have implemented quotas on new license plates to curb vehicle population – a move in support of Premier Li Keqiang’s "war" against pollution.
The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said in 2013, that more municipalities are mulling imposing restrictions. Harry Chen, an analyst at Guotai Junan Securities Co., remarked that Hangzhou’s move to impose restrictions stimulated vehicle demand as people “brought forward purchases."
He added that this could be a factor for the next few months. Premier Li remarked in March that fighting air pollution is one of the Chinese government's top priorities.
According to the World Health Organization, around 40 percent of the 7 million global deaths caused by air pollution come from the region dominated by China under organization’s classification system.
Vehicle consumers in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, blitzed to an auto show at the start of the month to purchase vehicles, over worries that the city will impose purchase limits, according to a report by China National Radio on its Web site.
The station reported that around one vehicle was sold every three minutes at the show, with sales jumping up to 40 percent in April at some dealerships.