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October 24, 2010

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Plate prices reach record

CAR plate prices in Shanghai rose to a record high at this month's auction yesterday as auto sales have boomed in the traditional prime season.

The average price for a private car plate increased 1,091 yuan (US$162) from September to 43,271 yuan this month, Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co said.

The lowest bid rose to 43,000 yuan this month, an increase of 1,200 yuan from September's 41,800 yuan. The lowest bid and price increase were both the highest on record.

The government offered 9,000 car plates for auction this month, the same number as in September. The October quota equaled the second largest for this year.

"Consumer buying sentiment was high in the peak months in September and October," said Gu Lei, a Ford dealer. "Auto sales jumped 40 percent year on year during the week-long National Day holiday."

Nationwide, China's passenger car sales increased 18.89 percent year on year in September.

This month's auction attracted 14,941 bidders, 257 fewer than a month earlier.

Analysts attributed the fewer participants to high prices.

But a Lexus dealer surnamed Zhou said car owners seem to be adjusting to high license plate prices.


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