Many dealerships have closed with consumers preferring to stay at home to minimize exposure to the virus that has spread to all regions in China except for Tibet. The death toll is expected to rise, with the number of confirmed cases on Monday rising about 30 percent to more than 2,700.
Dealerships usually remain open during the lunar new year, but industry sales drop because consumers often take a holiday as well.
Analysts believe sales at EV makers such as Tesla and Nio Inc could be vulnerable. About 8 million cars and light trucks were sold last year in the roughly 40 Chinese cities that have 10 or more diagnosed coronavirus cases, or 36.8 percent of total retail volume in the country, Bernstein analysts estimate.
Those cities accounted for 82.5 percent of Tesla’s retail volume, and 68 percent of Nio’s, the Bernstein analysts wrote in a note.
“The latter looks especially vulnerable to a prolonged slump in EV sales,” they said. “We expect EV sales in China to be…