China’s auto sales slump

23 February, 2020 12:00 AM printer

BEIJING: China's auto sales and production have taken a hard hit from the novel coronavirus outbreak, but industry insiders expect a rebound in April if the epidemic is gradually brought under control.

The retail sales of passenger vehicles plunged 92 percent on an annual basis in the first 16 days of February, according to a report from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

The industry association attributed the sales fall to the delayed consumption demand due to the earlier start of the Lunar New Year holiday when consumers shop less, and the novel coronavirus outbreak which prevents residents from going out to public spaces, reports Xinhua.

The Chinese health authority Friday said it received reports of 889 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 118 deaths on Thursday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

"The impact on the auto market is temporary," said the CPCA. "While the progress of the recovery relies on the measures taken by the government."

China will roll out more policies to stabilize the consumption of automobiles to mitigate the impact of the epidemic outbreak on its auto market, an official with the Ministry of Commerce said Thursday.