Sales of new energy vehicles, which include electric or plug-in hybrid cars, plummeted 75% to 12,908, even though the government has been pushing hard for the adoption of such cars.
The country’s aviation regulator also released dire figures, saying that the industry recorded its worst financial performance ever in February. Passenger traffic plummeted 85% from a year earlier to 8.3 million people, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). Cargo traffic decreased 21%.
Flights are still struggling. Only 40% of domestic flights had resumed by Sunday, according to the regulator.
The dramatic plunges happened as China placed tens of millions of its citizens on lockdown last month to control the outbreak, which has now infected more than 124,500 people and killed over 4,600 worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The country’s restrictions and its extension of the Lunar New Year holiday led to nationwide business closures and brought travel to a grinding halt.
The coronavirus has also wreaked havoc on the automotive and airline industries.
The aviation regulator said it will enhance the way it monitors international flights from infected regions to prevent cases from elsewhere coming into China. It added that it will classify flights based on risk level, which it determines based how much the coronavirus has spread in the area where the flight is originating from, as well as how many seats are occupied on the inbound plane.
CAAC is also taking steps to prop up the sector as it struggles to deal with business fallout from the coronavirus. That includes a 100 billion yuan ($14.3 billion) infrastructure spending proposal that will involve building new airports. It’s also lowering some fees for airlines, including charges to park and land at airports.
The regulator also said it would push forward with airport construction projects, including new airports in Chengdu and Qingdao. Fifty out of 81 airport construction plans in China had resumed work as of Tuesday.
— CNN’s Shanshan Wang contributed to this report.