Vehicle makers in China are calling on the government for assistance following a 79% plunge to vehicle sales due to the impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis in the country.

Reuters reports that they are seeking reductions to purchase taxes as well as measures to support sales in rural markets and an easing of car emission requirements.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) is also calling for authorities to extend subsidies for new energy vehicles, ease restrictions on the number of consumers in big cities who purchase the eco-friendly cars and expand investment in infrastructure such as charging stations.

Despite the scale of the decline to industry sales in February, there are signs of a recovery to activity levels in China and the CAAM has said auto sales will rebound in March.

The CAAM has also asked authorities to improve logistics and support the resumption of production at factories in Hubei province, the epicentre of the coronavirus crisis.

Reuters reported that a CAAM poll showed that production for China's automakers had returned on average to more than 40% of normal output levels.