Manufacturing News

Great Wall posts record sales drop as market stalls

Great Wall Motor Co. reported a record quarterly sales decline and sharply lower profit amid a sharp slowdown in China’s auto market that has spooked automakers and dealers alike.

Great Wall's revenue plunged in the July-September period by close to 20 percent, its steepest-ever quarterly drop, while net profit during the period fell 50 percent, the carmaker said in a filing to the Shanghai stock exchange.

The result underscores how once red-hot sales of crossovers and SUVs are cooling as consumers in China's smaller cities -- a key battleground for Great Wall -- rein in spending on once popular models such as the company’s Haval 6.

Great Wall, which plans a joint venture in China with BMW to build electric versions of the Mini, said profit reached 231 million yuan ($33.26 million) in July-September, versus 460 million yuan in the same period last year.

Revenue in the quarter dropped 19 percent to 18 billion yuan from 22.2 billion yuan a year earlier.

In the first nine months of the year, net profit rose 36 percent on a 5.1 percent rise in revenue.

The Baoding-based carmaker is likely to miss its full-year sales target of 1.16 million vehicles, having reached just 58 percent of the goal at the end of September. It sold 1.06 million vehicles last year.

China's overall car sales fell 11.6 percent in September, the steepest monthly decline in nearly seven years and stoking concerns of the market contracting this year for the first time in decades.

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