The global auto industry is one of many sectors hit hard by the current COVID-19 pandemic. Guangzhou Automobile Group Company, also known as GAC, has lowered their growth forecast to 3% from 8 percent this year. The company has also stressed that they'll achieve growth despite a temporary decline. CGTN's He Weiwei has more from southern China's Guangzhou.
Fewer cars have been sold in China. Car sales dropped by over 40 percent year-on-year during January and February. Chinese automakers are struggling to resume operations despite the coronavirus outbreak.
Guangzhou-based GAC group, however, says it has so far recovered 60 percent of its production capacity, and that the first challenge is sourcing its component supply.
ZENG QINGHONG Chairman, GAC "Since the beginning of the virus outbreak in late January, we contacted our global suppliers and partners for more stock, and that helped ease the shortage of components and also allowed us to maintain our production."
The company's chairman says he still believes his company will see growth this year.
ZENG QINGHONG Chairman, GAC "We'll make all-out efforts to reduce the coronavirus' impacts on our business, and we will try to achieve a target of 3 percent when it comes to annual growth."
Their confidence comes from a recent recovery in sales, especially their new energy vehicles.
Guangzhou launched new measures in early March to boost car consumption, including increasing new car plates and providing subsidies for new energy car buyers.
GAC saw a surge in purchases of its major car brands, among them a 40 percent increase in new energy cars.
GU HUINAN General Manager, GAC New Energy Automobile "The coronavirus has forced us to turn to innovation. For example, we have developed new filter elements for our cars' air conditioners, and we have provided remote disinfection which can only be done on an electric car."
When it comes to the global market, the group acknowledges that the worldwide pandemic could bring new challenges to the auto industry, but it's still too early to judge.