Car Sales Return Quickly in Wuhan

Photo via Navigator84/Wikimedia.

Wuhan, the Chinese city of 11 million that was the epicenter for the coronavirus pandemic, is getting back to business. While the city’s 77-day shelter-in-place order was lifted only Wednesday, there are signs that its citizens are eager to return to normal life — including making major purchases such as cars.

Companies in the city of 11 million, the original center of the coronavirus and the first to be sealed off, have been gradually opening their doors; officially, the 77-day lockdown there was lifted Wednesday. 

According to a report in Bloomberg, auto sales are rebounding at a rapid pace, with daily sales now running at levels commensurate with before the economic freeze. 

One auto dealer called it “a boom after a two-month dormancy” in the Bloomberg report. Another dealer noted that customers are more motivated to buy a personal vehicle rather than use public transport. 

China’s weekly retail car sales numbers have been improving steadily coming out of the pandemic. After dropping 96% during the crisis, sales for March are down 43.3% from March 2019. Sales are expected to rebound to year-over-year parity by the end of April, the Bloomberg report states.

A study conducted in February by research firm Ipsos shows that the Chinese population’s willingness to buy a personal automobile has increased to 66% after the coronavirus crisis, up from 34% before the outbreak. 

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