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China’s biggest carmaker posts 29% profit drop on industry slump

The Detroit News

SAIC Motor Corp., the biggest automaker in China, reported a 28.9% drop in earnings for last year as an industry-wide sales slump undermined manufacturers’ profitability in the world’s largest market.

Chinese auto maker SAIC Motor's MGZS ESUV, left, and MAXUS D90.

Net income at the company, a partner of Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co., fell to 25.6 billion yuan ($3.6 billion) for 2019, it said in a statement Monday. Analysts predicted 27 billion yuan on average. Revenue fell 6.88% year-on-year.

SAIC Motor is China's largest automaker.

Trade tensions and slowing economic growth weighed on car demand in China in the past two years, causing a slump that’s been since exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak. Automakers are betting on new models to lure potential shoppers back to showrooms as the government loosens stay-at-home orders aimed at fighting the spread of the virus.

Shares of SAIC fell 1.3% on Monday ahead of the earnings announcement, taking this year’s slide to 22%.