China auto industry fears 25% plunge in output, sales in 1st half of 2020

23, Mar. 2020

Image by alexeva8 from Pixabay
Image by alexeva8 from Pixabay

TOKYO, NNA – The Chinese auto industry body fears an unprecedented fall in output and sales in the first half of this year as restraints on travel and logistics due to the coronavirus outbreak would weigh on the recovery of industry’s activities.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers forecast on Friday that car production and sales in the January-June period would tumble around 25 percent on year even if the country could contain the virus outbreak by the end of this month, meaning that 32 million units would be wiped out from the world’s largest automobile market.

The automakers’ association predicts about a 45 percent plummet in the first three months of this year.

For the January-February period, new vehicle output dropped 45.8 percent from a year earlier to 2,048,000 units, while sales fell 42 percent to 2,238,000 units, according to data of the industry body.

As for the passenger car segment, the country's National Passenger Cars Association warned earlier this month that the viral crisis might wipe out car sales by two million units or 9.3 percent for the whole year in the world’s largest automobile market, dipping below the 20 million unit threshold.

Last year in China, both output and sales of new vehicles exceeded 25.7 million units, according to the manufacturers’ association.

The industry body is seeking a relaxation in rules for pickup trucks, which a number of cities across the country are currently banning, in addition to requests proposed by the dealers’ association such as tax redemption and subsidies on car purchases, as well as easing rules on issuing license plates.