Finally, a rational policy in China free of auto-indutry interests?

Shenzhen plans to raise parking fees by an average of 130 percent to alleviate downtown traffic congestion and encourage public transport.

Good news:
  • China is finally willing to face the problem brought by its dubious industrial policy that favored the auto industry (Chinese leaderships seem to be obssessed with Auto, like Mao's obssession in steel in Great Leap Forward)
  • Hopefully there will be more measures to follow, and will spread to other cities (learn from Singapore)
  • But raising gasoline price (and even taxing on gasoline) is needed, like in Europe

Not so good news

  • This is from Shenzhen, one of the few major cities without its own auto plant (others being Dalian and Qingdao. I can't think of any more in the top 20)
  • Shanghai have some half-hearted restriction (alternate days for odd/even license plate digit), because it is home to the largest car factories in China. It was not successful
  • Beijing discriminates out-of-city vehicle, setting up road blocks at the city boundary. It still boasts the worse traffic jam in China
  • Partial list of cities with auto plants includes (passenger cars, jeeps and SUV):
    • Shanghai: VW/GM
    • BJ: Jeep/Mercedes/Hyundai
    • Shenyang: BMW/Zhonghua(Huacheng)
    • Changchun: VW/Audi/Redflag/Toyota(SUV)
    • Guangzhou: Honda/Mitsubishi
    • Tianjin: Toyota/(Daihatsu)
    • Nanjing: Jinling/Rover/Fiat
    • Chongqing: Changan/Ford/Suzuki
    • Zhengzhou: Nissan
    • Chengdu: Toyota Prado
    • Wuhan: Citroen
    • Even Haikou has Mazda, Baoding has Great Wall, Yancheng has Kia, Wuhu has Chery(SAIC), Harbin has Hafei, Xiangtan has Jiangnan
    • Why does China need so many car factories? This is reminiscent of the white goods industry 10 years ago. Soon it will be consolidated into 3-5

I am not very optimistic that China will do the right thing this time. The auto interests are too powerful (see the city list above, each one favors its own product as the sole local taxi car), and the leadership themselves like driving (officials of vice-major in big cities or above are entitled to an Audi as benefit, plus free gasoline). The good thing is these privileged minorities do not have worry about gasoline price and other restrictions such as parking, so that there is no real conflict of interests, at least it "seems" so.

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