China’s auto market to recover despite virus impact: officials

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Carrier trailer transports newly manufactured cars at a port in Dalian

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s auto market, the world’s biggest, will gradually recover and remain stable for a long period of time despite short term pressure from the coronavirus epidemic, officials said on Thursday

China’s auto sales dropped 79% compared to a year earlier in February due to the epidemic. However, this situation is “temporary and will not affect the long-term trend of China’s auto industry”, Cai Ronghua, a senior official at National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), told a news conference on Thursday.

“If auto production and sales continue to decline, it will not only affect the industry itself, but also affect the resumption of production in other industries, and may even affect the smooth operation of the entire economy,” Cai said, adding auto production has not been affected by global auto parts supply disruption at present.

Separately, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) is considering postponing the implementation of new gasonline emission standards in some provinces, Wu Xianfeng, a senior official at MEE said.

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