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August 22, 2010

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Grants boost plate price

SHANGHAI car plate prices rose in August after dropping for two consecutive months, reflecting recovering auto sales boosted by government grants for fuel-efficient vehicles.

A total of 9,000 plates went under the hammer yesterday, the same number as last month and also the second largest quota this year.

The average price rose 807 yuan (US$119) from a month earlier to 40,169 yuan (US$5,933), Shanghai International Commodity Auction Co Ltd said yesterday.

The lowest bid also climbed to 39,800 yuan, up 1,400 yuan from July.

The monthly auction attracted 16,855 bidders, 3,466 or 26 percent more than in July.

The central government announced a 3,000-yuan subsidy for fuel-efficient vehicles in early July. Industry observers said that would boost sales at a time of slow demand and fuel the market for plates.

The 71 fuel-efficient vehicles rolled out by 16 car makers that are eligible for subsidies achieved total sales of 57,353 units in July, an increase of 12 percent from a month earlier, according to the China Automotive Technology & Research Center.

Shanghai General Motors reported a sales gain of 20 percent from a month earlier for its 12 energy-saving models on the subsidy list.

"As the government added another 61 models to the list last week, we are confident it will be a good start to continue the growing sales momentum in the second half of this year," said Shanghai GM dealer Zhang Wei.

Before this month's auction, car plate prices on the used car market were around 41,000 yuan.


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