China automotive industry: sales tumble 92% in first half of February

Daniel Fowler
February 25, 2020

Only 4,909 cars were sold in the first 16 days of February, down from 59,930 in the same period past year, and in a market where more than 25m cars were sold in 2019. In February to date, sales of new vehicles are down an astounding 92% as consumers stay home and many dealerships remain closed for the most part.

"There was barely anybody at vehicle dealers in the first week of February as most people stayed at home", stated PCA secretary basic Cui Dongshu.

China auto sales plunged 92 percent during the first two weeks of February as the coronavirus outbreak kept buyers away from showrooms.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce on Thursday said it would work with other government departments on more measures to stabilize auto sales and reduce the impact of the outbreak.

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Dealers have progressively restarted operations this month, and the auto industry frame is hoping sales will enhance right through the second one part of February.

China's auto market is likely to see sales slide more than 10 per cent in the first half of the year due to the epidemic, and around 5 per cent for the whole year if the virus is not contained before April according to the country's top auto industry body, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

Chinese vehicle maker Geely has just launched a "contactless" service that lets customers buy its cars online and get them delivered directly to their homes. The US is the second one largest marketplace. But even those firms that have re-opened some locations have warned it will take longer to return to full capacity than expected.

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