BEIJING — Ford Motor Co. claimed on Thursday that its China automobile product sales in the initially a few months this year fell 35 percent from a year earlier to 88,770 models, as the coronavirus epidemic strike demand in the world’s most important vehicle industry.

The automaker claimed, however, that its dealers in China have resumed operations and product sales in March attained 75 percent of year-ago stages.

Ford has been hoping to revive product sales in China right after its business enterprise started slumping in late 2017. Income sank 26 percent in 2019, right after a 37 percent drop in 2018. In 2017, its China product sales fell six percent from a year earlier.

China’s vehicle product sales dropped eight percent in 2019 and are predicted to fall much more than 5 percent this year. In general vehicle product sales slumped 42.four percent in the initially quarter.

Income of Ford’s much larger U.S. rival, Standard Motors, dropped forty three percent in China in the initially quarter.