Beijing cars: 1,200 new arrivals daily

August 19, 2009 | Posted by Chris

From January through the end of July this year, each day 1,200 new cars hit the streets of Beijing, amounting to 261,000 new vehicles, Chinese state media reports. The overwhelming majority of the new vehicles -- 97% -- are private cars, and the figures represent a 9% increase from the same period last year. Visitors and residents alike are acutely aware of Beijing's traffic congestion and poor air quality; what may be harder to discern is how hard people are working to improve their quality of life, of which owning a car is a major benchmark. Even with the steep increase in car ownership, only 5.5 million of Beijing's 17 million residents own one or are drivers -- about 32% of its population.

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