The positive is that from March on, the only way forward is up.

February 2020, due to the coronavirus outbreak, was the worst month for the automotive industry in China since we can remember. The general vehicle sales went down 79% year-over-year, to 310,000, which is the 20th month of decline and the lowest level since 15 years ago (2005).

As the situation in China seems to be improving every day (which is not the case in Europe), we assume that from March on, production and sales will finally slowly back to more normal levels.

In the case of New energy vehicles (NEVs), February 2020 brought also a massive 75% decline in sales to just 12,908 and an 82.9% decline in production to 9,951.

New Energy Vehicle sales (cars/trucks/buses) in China - February 2020

  • Total NEVs: production of 9,951 (down 82.9%) and sales of 12,908 (down 75.2%)
  • BEVs: production of 8,342 (down 80.5%) and sales of 10,680 (down 72.6%)
  • PHEVs: production of 1,609 (down 89.5%) and sales of 2,228 (down 82.9%)
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This low level of production and sales seems to be the major reason that allowed Tesla so easily to take almost a third of the plug-in car market in China.