Coronavirus: China automakers seek government relief after Feb sales dive 79%

Automakers in China are calling on the government to help after industry-wide sales plunged 79% in February to mark their biggest ever monthly decline, with demand pummelled by the coronavirus outbreak.

File photo used for representational purpose only. (AP)
File photo used for representational purpose only.

Their wish list includes cuts to the purchase tax on smaller vehicles, measures to support sales in rural markets and an easing of car emission requirements, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said.

February sales in the world's biggest auto market tumbled to 310,000 vehicles from a year earlier, falling for a 20th straight month. However, auto sales will 'definitely' rebound in March and should return to normal in the third quarter this year, CAAM said.

Also check these Vehicles

Find more Cars
Mahindra Ekuv100 (HT Auto photo)
₹ 8.25 - 10 Lakhs* *Expected Price
View Details
Mahindra S204 (HT Auto photo)
₹ 12 Lakhs *Expected Price
View Details
Rolls-royce New Ghost (HT Auto photo)
₹ 6.95 - 7.95 Cr* *Expected Price
View Details
Ferrari Purosanguesuv (HT Auto photo)
₹ 3 - 3.35 Cr* *Expected Price
View Details
Tata Safari 2023 (HT Auto photo)
₹ 16 - 24 Lakhs* *Expected Price
View Details
Mg 4 Ev (HT Auto photo)
₹ 30 - 32 Lakhs* *Expected Price
View Details

"China's auto sales for February returned levels not seen since 2005," said Chen Shihua, a senior association official.

Sales of new energy vehicles, which include battery-electric cars, contracted for an eighth month in a row, also hurt by a rollback in government subsidies.

CAAM also said it is calling for authorities to extend subsidies for new energy vehicles and expand investment in infrastructure such as charging stations.

A CAAM official told Reuters last month that auto sales are likely to drop by more than 10% in the first half of this year as travel and quarantine restrictions continue to hammer demand.

But if the outbreak in China is effectively contained before April, the decline could shrink to around 5% for the whole year, he added.


The association has also asked authorities to improve logistics and support the resumption of production at factories in Hubei, the province where the outbreak began and a major car manufacturing hub responsible for nearly 10% of China's output.

Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd and its partners Honda Motor, Renault SA and Peugeot SA have all delayed the restart of production in Hubei.

However, after authorities in Hubei's capital Wuhan lifted restrictions on Wednesday for a few key industries and allowed some people to return to work, Honda resumed limited output at a car plant in the city.

Nissan Motor has also said it plans to partially resume production in Xiangyang, another city in Hubei, as well as its plant in Zhengzhou, Henan.

Outside of Hubei, Tesla's production and delivery plans in Shanghai, have also been disrupted. CAAM's poll showed the average production resumption rate of China's automakers exceeds 40%.

A drop in auto sales this year would be the third year in a row of declines. Industry-wide auto sales fell 8.2% last year, pressured by new emission standards and trade tensions with the United States.

First Published Date: 12 Mar 2020, 14:24 PM IST
Shopping Bag Shop Now
70% OFF
VENO Portable High Power 2 in 1 Car Vacuum Cleaner | USB Rechargeable Wireless Handheld Car Vacuum Cleaner Traveling, Camping Reusable and Sustainable (2 in 1 Vacuum Cleaner)
Rs. 899 Rs. 2,999
1% OFF
Godrej aer O – Hanging Car Air Freshener | Car Accessories | Cool Aqua (7.5g)
Rs. 98 Rs. 99
68% OFF
PUNZONE Car Body Scratch Remover - Scratch Repair Polishing Wax Kit Sponge Body Compound Cream Wax, Car Body Compound Scratch Remover
Rs. 289 Rs. 898
65% OFF
Ambrane 38W Fast Car Charger with Dual Output, Quick Charge 3.0 and Power Delivery, Type-C & USB Port, Wide Compatibility for Smart Phones (RAAP C38 A, Black)
Rs. 349 Rs. 999

Please provide your details to get Personalized Offers on

Choose city
+91 | Choose city
Choose city
Choose city
By clicking "View Offers" you Agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Dear Name

Please verify your mobile number.

+91 | Choose city
Couldn't verify the OTP.
It's either expired or it's incorrect.