China’s love affair with multi-modality

30 11 2009

It has been asserted elsewhere that China has a love affair with automobile mobility based upon a China Daily report “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.”

But when one steps back and takes a gander at the BIGGER PICTURE, the greater point in fact is that China’s exhibiting symptoms of a love affair with Multi-Modality, as evidenced by this:

And thusly: “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.”[source]

And as they say that, my friends, is the rest of the story.

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