In the first sixteen days, China’s passenger vehicle sales were recorded at 4,909 units, which is an alarming decline from 59,930 vehicles during the same period in 2019, CPCA (China Passenger Car Association) data shows. These are the first notable figures that show the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on one of the world’s biggest auto markets.
To make things worse, China’s auto market is expected to experience over a 10 percent reduction in Q1 2020 due to the epidemic. Passenger car retail sales in the country have scaled down by a staggering 92 percent on an annual basis in the initial sixteen days of February as businesses across China come to a standstill amid the epidemic, according to a report from CPCA.
“Very few dealerships opened in the first weeks of February and they have had very little customer traffic,” CPCA said.
On Thursday, 889 new confirmed coronavirus infection cases were recorded in Mainland China. The epidemic has claimed 2,236 lives, which is an alarming rise from 118. The epidemic started in the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan, where most of the cases of the epidemic have been recorded. As a result, the area has been kept under a virtual lockdown.
China’s auto market is could see sales slide of about 5 percent for the entire year, provided the authorities manage to contain the coronavirus before April, CAAM (China Association of Automobile Manufacturers), which is China’s highest-ranked auto body told Reuters earlier this month.
In an attempt to sustain the market that saw over a remarkable 25 million vehicles sold in 2019, China’s commerce ministry is gearing up to introduce more measures that will increase auto consumption.