Oxford, UK – Sales of new cars in China fell 81% in February 2020 compared with February 2019 as the coronavirus shutdown took effect, according to numbers from LMC Automotive.
A total of 240,000 units were sold in the month. At the same time production plummeted to 200,000 units – a drop of 82.2%, according to the consultants.
LMC Automotive estimates 'that there were probably only five to ten selling days in the whole month.' The number varies because different provinces locked down on different dates.
Although the lockdown was eased as the month progressed and car makers started up production gradually, LMC estimates that the number of cars made in March could be down by 60% on last year.
The consultants add that because Coronavirus is now a world-wide phenomenon: 'A global recession is all but inevitable in such dire circumstances, particularly with nationwide lockdowns increasing in number.'
The group continues: 'Our partner Oxford Economics forecasts that Chinese goods and services exports will decline by 8.2% in 2020, with GDP growing by just 1% for the year.'
Oxford Economics suggests that 'enterprises that are heavily reliant on overseas trade are likely to go bankrupt, and ms of Chinese employees in the export sector will lose their jobs in the short term. Official statistics point to around 60m workers in export-related industries in China, so the toll could be very heavy indeed.'