While the coronavirus has affected the export of merchandise from China and left manufacturers around the world scrambling for stock, the virus outbreak has also affected the sale of goods imported into China. In the case of cars – almost 60 percent of which are from foreign brands – sales have plummeted 92 percent in the first two weeks of February, a disastrous sign for foreign and domestic car makers.
China is one of the biggest markets for Japanese and German cars and the biggest car market in the world in general. Daily sales in the third week of February were still 89 percent down despite more dealerships reopening, according to Bloomberg.
Even before the outbreak, the Chinese car market was struggling to find buyers – like markets elsewhere – amidst the global economic slowdown. Yet, sales were deteriorating at a much slower pace, as our graphic shows.
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