BEIJING — Auto sales in China plunged 43 percent in March, data released on Friday showed, as the world’s biggest light-vehicle market struggles to get into gear following a prolonged demand slump that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak.
Light-vehicle deliveries have now declined 21 consecutive months, but the latest drop was less steep than February, when volume plunged 79 percent as the coronavirus outbreak curbed demand.
Sales fell by 1.43 million vehicles from the same month a year earlier, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the country’s largest auto industry association.
The number of new energy vehicles sold — excluding those from Tesla Inc. — fell for the ninth straight month to 53,000, CAAM said. NEVs are battery-powered electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Tesla does not report sales to CAAM.
“If we only consider domestic factors, we believe the industry in the second half of the year…