BEIJING, March 26 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese commerce official said Thursday that the country will encourage local authorities to to roll out measures to help stimulate auto sales.
To cushion the short-term impact the coronavirus outbreak has caused on auto sales, a pillar of China's consumption, local authorities could encourage purchases of new energy vehicles and unveil auto replacement policies, Ministry of Commerce official Xian Guoyi said during an online news briefing.
Auto sales in the country fell 42 percent year on year during the first two months of the year, including a 79.1-percent plunge in February, as the epidemic disrupted business activities and kept buyers at home.
Xian said as of Tuesday, 94.7 percent of the country's 4S shops had resumed operation, with 61.7 percent of buyers coming back to market, according to a survey of 8,569 4S shops by the China Automobile Dealers Association.
The epidemic will not change the long-term sound growth of China's consumer market, which Xian said would be revived as business and life gradually recovered from the epidemic shock, while the effects of the country's consumption-encouraging policies filtered through.