(Yicai Global) Feb. 21 -- China's passenger car sales tumbled by a record clip of 92 percent in the first 16 days of this month from a year earlier amid the new coronavirus outbreak.
Sales declined to nearly 35,990 units, according to data that the China Passenger Car Association released today. The period marked a slow resumption of work for many Chinese firms after the virus-hit Spring Festival holiday.
After the epidemic is contained, vehicle sales should rebound to 1 percent growth in the April-December period from a year ago, the CPCA predicted. To combat the lull, the city of Foshan in southern Guangdong province has become the first to introduce subsidies to car buyers to spur sales.
China's Ministry of Transport has waived road tolls to ease traffic flows as many choose to drive or take a cab instead of using public transport to avoid transmission risks and this measure should help the auto market to swing back to growth, the alliance added.
Wholesale and retail sales could drop by about 40 percent in total during the first two months of this year, which is 10 percent more than what the CPCA predicted earlier. The organization expects wholesale sales to fall by about 70 percent this month.
Editor: Emmi Laine