October 26, 2018 / 9:41 AM / 20 days ago

Great Wall Motor's Q3 profit falls 50 pct amid China car market slowdown

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Chinese carmaker Great Wall Motor Co Ltd reported a 50 percent fall in third-quarter net profit on Friday, amid a sharp slowdown in sales in the world’s largest auto market.

The result underscores how once red-hot sales of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are cooling as consumers in China’s smaller cities - a key battleground for Great Wall - rein in spending on once popular models like the firm’s Haval 6.

Great Wall, which has a joint venture in China with Germany’s 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.

For the nine months through September, net profit rose 36.36 percent on revenue which grew 5.1 percent.

The Baoding-based carmaker is likely to miss its full-year sales target of 1.16 million vehicles, having sold 58 percent of that goal at September-end. 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. ($1 = 6.9445 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Yilei Sun in Beijing and Adam Jourdan in Shanghai; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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