China’s Love Affair with Mobility

China Daily reports that car (light vehicle) sales reached 10.9 million units in the first 10 months of 2009, surpassing sales in the United States by 2.2 million. This was a 38% increase over the same period last year. Part of the increase is attributed to government programs to stimulate automobile sales.

China’s leading manufacturer is General Motors (GM), which experienced a 60% increase in sales compared to last year. By contrast, GM’s sales in the United States fell 33% in the first 10 months of the year on an annual basis. GM sold nearly 1.5 million cars in China, somewhat less than its 1.7 million sales over the same period in the United States.

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China's Love Affair with Multi-Modality

"The Chinese Government's grand plans to link the entire nation by high-speed electric train are steaming ahead, with 2012 now set as the date when the system will overtake Europe's as the world largest...At the moment, it costs on average 1,258 yuan (€123) for a one-way economy-class air ticket between Beijing and Shanghai. When the fast-rail line between China's two major cities opens in 2012, a one-way ticket on that service is expected to cost just 500 yuan (€49). China's rail service has developed at a remarkable rate over the past few years. In 2007, there were 1,109 kilometers of high-speed rail lines in the country, by 2012 there will be 13,000 kilometers linking most of the country's major cities, according to figures being trumpeted by China's railways ministry. In 2007, there were 105 fast-speed trains in service, by 2012 there will be 800, they say...As well as being environmental and economically attractive - to those using the system, not those footing the estimated US$300 billion (€201 billion) construction bill - the high-speed train system is designed to give an attractive option in terms of commuting times between China's major cities."[i]


David Parvo
Most Senior Fellow
THE Placemaking Institute