Great Wall’s sales reversed in 2017 on SUV rivalry

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Chinese automaker Great Wall reported a slight sales decline in 2017 of below market expectations, due to weak performance in the sedan segment and fiercer competition.

The company announced that it sold 1.07 million vehicles last year, down 0.4 percent year on year, according to a statement published by the company on Tuesday night.

In January last year, Great Wall set its sales target for 2017 at 1.25 million vehicles. Based on the data released, Great Wall only met 85 percent of that target.

“The lackluster sales performance last year is due to fierce competition in the sport-utility vehicle segment,” Zhang Xiaofeng, an independent market observer said. “Great Wall faced more and more competition in the market because other domestic automakers also launched their SUV models in 2017 and consumers have more choice.”

Great Wall’s decline in sales last year was partly caused by a drop in sedan sales. According to the data provided by the company, sales of Great Wall’s sedans tumbled 60.97 percent annually to 12,033 in 2017.

Its overall sales fell in 2017 due to weak sales in December when the firm sold just 125,585 vehicles, down 16.58 percent year on year.

Great Wall is known as a competitive SUV producer, but the company’s SUV sales growth was just 0.03 percent last year, compared with its SUV sales in 2016.

Pick-up trucks are the only segment which saw stable increase last year for the company, with sales rising 13.47 percent to 119,846 vehicles.

Great Wall set its sales target for 2018 at 1.16 million vehicles, up 8 percent from its total sales in 2017.

Source