Chinese restrictions on truck traffic and chemical transport during the 2008 Olympics and Paralympics are forcing plant cutbacks among local automakers, reports Automotive News China. The restrictions have forced Beijing Hyundai and supplier Visteon, among other automotive factories, to reduce shifts and temporarily close factories, putting the kibosh on any Great Leaps Forward, at least during the games.

So why the restrictions? Security is ostensibly one goal, but mainly it's to improve Beijing's appalling local air quality, at least until the world stops paying attention again. Beijing Hyundai, for one, doesn't expect the difficulties to affect yearly output; spokespeople claim the company prepared in advance by arranging rail transport for new vehicles and ramping up output earlier in the year to ensure a steady supply of vehicles during the games. In the meantime, locals can rely on Mini rickshaws for their transportation needs. [Automotive News China, Sub. Req.; Photo Credit:]