China car sales fall 92% as coronavirus keeps buyers home

Chinese cities now look like ghost towns as coronavirus fears keep shoppers at home.

That's hit businesses of all kinds - not least, it seems, car dealers.

Auto sales in China - the world's largest market - tumbled 92% in the first half of February.

That's according to figures from an industry group.

Fewer than 5,000 vehicles were shifted during the period, compared to almost 60,000 in the same period last year.

The slump has sparked innovation at some firms.

Chinese automaker Geely has launched a new online shopping tool for its cars.

The firm had previously sold vehicles through web platforms like Tmall and JD.com.

Now for the first time it's doing so through its own web site.

Looking further ahead, the slump should at least ease off.

Over the first half, the Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers predicts a 10% decline on the year.

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