Following the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, the retail sales of passenger cars in the country has crumbled by 92% on an annual basis in the first 16 days of February, according to China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).
During this period, sales of passenger vehicle in China touched 4,909 units, down from 59,930 vehicles in the same period a year earlier. The figures from China’s CPCA show just how hard the epidemic is having an impact on the China – the world’s biggest auto market.
“Very few dealerships opened in the first weeks of February and they have had very little customer traffic,” said the CPCA.
On Thursday, new instances of confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in mainland China touched 889 raising the death toll to 2,236. Most of the deaths are located in the Hubei provincial capital of Wuhan, where China has a level 4 lab, where the outbreak began and which continues to remain under lockdown.
According to a statement from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), the country’s auto market is likely to see sales fall by more than 10% in the first half of the year due to the coronavirus epidemic and around 5% for the rest of the year. These forecast assume that China can effectively contain the outbreak before April.