China's March auto sales fell 43.3% Y/Y, slower pace of fall vs Feb
Auto sales in China plunged an annual 43.3% in March, and though the downturn was less dire than last month the world's biggest auto market struggled to rev-up from a prolonged demand slump that was exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak, data showed on Friday.
February auto sales in the country had dived 79% as the pandemic pummeled demand.
Still, March marked 21 months of decline in a row, with total auto sales down to 1.43 million units from the same month a year earlier, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), the country's largest auto industry association.
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The number of new energy vehicles (NEVs) sold fell for the ninth straight month to 53,000 units. The number does not include Tesla's sales, CAAM said.
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China's car market, which was already under pressure, has been badly hurt by the pandemic that has killed more than 3,300 people in world's No.2 economy.
CAAM estimated last month that China auto sales will drop by more than 10% in the first half of this year, and around 5% for the whole year if the outbreak is effectively contained before April.
Industry sales fell 8.2% last year, pressured by new emission standards in a slowing economy and amid trade tensions with the United States.