Shanghai’s licence plate law is determining automaker strategy

37% of China’s new vehicles are sold in in Tier 1 cities, and restrictions on licence plate quotas are shaping automakers’ strategies. By Xavier Boucherat

Like many major Chinese cities, Shanghai imposes severe restrictions on vehicle ownership among residents. It does this by limiting the number of city licence plates issued every year, ownership of which is necessary to buy a car. Unlike that of the capital, which runs a lottery-style system for licence plates, Shanghai uses an auction-style system in which people bid for plates. Overwhelming congestion and dangerous levels of local pollution were the primary drivers for the system’s introduction….

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