Marking a 19th consecutive month of decline, China’s vehicle sales likely fell by almost a fifth in January. Besides the Lunar New Year holidays that started earlier than the previous year, the auto sales also hurt by the coronavirus outbreak.
In the short term, the epidemic will hit hard auto sales and production. Competition in the industry would get fiercer and some smaller parts suppliers could collapse, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers predicts.
Preliminary data for January shows vehicle sales tumbled 18 percent while sales of battery-electric and other so-called new energy vehicles plunged 54.4 percent, down for the seventh month in a row.
In the last two weeks of January, local governments began warning residents to avoid public spaces and imposing travel curbs. Dealers were also discouraged from ordering cars at the end of the month due to an extension of the holidays to counter the virus.