BEIJING, March 15 (Xinhua) -- China's passenger vehicle sales dropped sharply in February, severely hit by the novel coronavirus outbreak, industry data showed.
The retail sales of vehicles last month plunged 78.5 percent compared with a year earlier to 252,000 units, according to the China Passenger Car Association.
Sales of new energy passenger cars shrank 77.7 percent year on year and fell 70 percent over January, the data showed.
The big contraction in car sales came after an overall enforced suspension of sales activities to curb the spread of the virus, as well as lower demands of purchasing new cars caused by the suspension of license plate application, said the association.
The association expected the Chinese auto market will recover in the coming months, and called for stimulative actions to boost consumption and inject more confidence into the market.