Car Numbers Explode in Shanghai

I went to Decathlon at Long Yang Road Station in Shanghai with friends yesterday. It was 3:00 PM. To my surprise, the parking lot at B&Q and Decathlon area was completely packed. Not only big area (with about 10 rows of 10 cars) was full, the back yard – which typically not used are also fully parked. There are many volunteers guiding cars into the underground parking area under Decathlon.

With the continuous “immigration” from Puxi to Pudong, and the popularity of cars, the once empty parking lot at B&Q area becomes so crowded. I remember when I just moved to Pudong less than 2 years ago, something I didn’t understand was, why B&Q built so large parking lot. At that time, only 1/3 of the parking was used. I LOL when I saw there were entrance to the underground garage. Whenever I drive there, I can easily find a place very near to the entrance.

Today, everything changed. The area looks so crowded. Of cause, it will become more and more crowded in the future. The good thing is, they still have underground garage for future expansion.

How I miss the old days when there is barely no any customers in Decathlon (as a customer). Now it is fully packed of people, and you have to wait in line to try out some cool equipments.

© Jian Shuo Wang. First posted in May, 2005, under Running in Pudong.

Two years means a lot in Shanghai – everything from the business of a store, to the availability of cars and parking lot change.

P.S. With this entry comes the new round of price cut from major car manufactures. With the price cut, I believe cars will become more popular in the next few years.

13 Comments

  1. That’s cool, man. we’ve been hearin’ a lot in the 50 States about cheap but good Chinese cars coming on the market, hey I’ll buy one if it’s got the fuel-efficiency, good mile-per-gallon thing goin’. When do you all plan on rolling that stuff out?

    P.S. Dude, you have some GENIUSES writing on your blog, does everyone here have like 3 PhD’s or somethin’? On another thread,

    http://home.wangjianshuo.com/archives/20060303_my_favorite_jifeng_book_store.htm

    some dude who’s like, the world expert on history of scientific languages or something, he posted up like a professional public policy document for the Chinese scientific community and universities, he’s liked solved a difficult question on scientific language right in that document, you all need to prinit it out and distribute it!

    Everybody here is so smart, while me, i ‘sold out’ to do finance. Anyways, you all are an inspiration here, keep up all your cool work here, you have my admiration.

  2. BTW Jian Shuo, if you all do start sellin’ fine Chinese autos in the US of A, make sure to advertise ’em at the big custom Import Shows they have mainly out on the West Coast, California especially. I’m a Filipino and like my fellow Pinoys, we’re all about buying up auto parts and doing cool upgrades to auto imports from Asian countries. So far, you know, it’s Subarus and Toyotas and also those fine Kias comin’ out of Korea, but we’re all lookin’ forward to China’s smooth machines comin’ on the market. They got the Hot Import Nights show tourin’ the country including East Coast, we’d be psyched to see Chinese cars on display.

    Like I was saying in the other thread, bro, you Chinese people are like the heroes for us Asians, we’re psyched about China becoming wealthy and successful so that a lot of these arrogant Americans who still think Asian people, language and cultures are inferior, they’ll finally realize how strong Asian culture has been and is. We’re all cheerin’ for you to become rich and strong, you’re our major inspiration.

  3. What is this Decathlon place? Is it a store? What does it sell?

  4. Hi Jianshuo, you’re right. It is crowded everywhere now. And it will be even worse, if the authorities not soon stops to invite new cars to the street. The pollution will increase too.

    By the way, who and how much are they cutting off car prices ?

  5. Dave G, Decathlon sells sports articles.

    There are 5 or more shops in Shanghai, both Puxi and Pudong.

    The first one was the one on the photo, close to Longyanglu Station, line no. 2 stops there (2’nd last stop of the line), same station as the Maglev train.

    Cross the Longyang lu (over a pedestrian bridge) then you’ll find it, besides the B&Q DIY market.

    In Decathlon I have bought tennis rackets, tents, shelter tents, sleeping bags, diving gear (!) etc. etc. there. AND they have big sized shoes too !

  6. Thanks carsten. it is also where we first met. :-D (in B&Q)

  7. Carten, according to this page http://auto.sina.com.cn/ Volkswagon is cutting off 17K RMB for most models, 50K RMB cut for old Audi A4. Qirui cuts 10K, 19K for Sonata… the list is long.

  8. I don’t know what the situation will envolve to be if the gov. remove the plate no. bid system. The doom thing is that car will enter most of the families in China. And that means more and more cars on the road.

  9. I once joked, when every family in China have a car, the oil in middle-east will be consumed up within months. :-) That is a solid proof that the modernization in China should be a different road than the road people in western world ever tried before.

  10. The chinese people in general have a low income.

    They have usually a long way to go for work.

    They go to the bank to have a loan to have a car.

    When the car is more than 2-3 years old, then all the repairs come. Lots of time spend to go to the repair workshop, fighting with the repair guys, who tries to rip your money.

    Accidents happen extremely often, and costs you lots of money.

    Public transportation is very cheap here, and in most cases faster than going by your own expensive car.

    Is it just for own “face”, that we see so many cars on the road in Shanghai ?????

    Bragging of a car is “fashion” now.

    But other things can be bragged about, with less costs ! Sailing, golfing, diving, etc.

    Chinese, think now. Is it worth to have a car in a city like Shanghai ?

  11. Shanghai is very similar to New York City with their overreaching public transportation systems. Although many people who reside in New York indeed do not need a car for work or shopping, they do use one for weekend excursions. With the huge populations in both places, I see a car more like a personal freedom ticket to get away, zipping to a place without the crowds. And save the city for the tourists.

    As for the people in Shanghai, sure, having your neighbor see you in a shiny BMW, or any other car in China for that matter, can win you a lot of credos. But do so only if your income warrants that expense. Aside from gassing up, maintenace charges and upkeeping, there’s a lot of “social” costs, such as your seldom talked to aunt-in-law requests a ride to the airport. And who’s going to pay the bridge tolls? Multiply this by the many relatives and friends that you have.

    Perhaps Shangahi should experiment with a concept like “ZIP” rental car. Patrons can use and pay for a vehicle when they need it, and the charges are a factor of time used and location served. This can cut down the all the costs associated with owning your own vehicle.

  12. Ha…you guys think you have challenges driving in Shanghai, check out the situation in Dongguan here :) http://www.koval.net/china_driving_test.htm

  13. Could you please send me all of the addresses for Decathlon in Shanghai, puxi and Pudong?

    Thank you,

    DJ

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