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SAIC posts 39% drop in first-half profit

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SAIC Motor Corp., the Chinese partner of Volkswagen Group and General Motors, reported a 39 percent decline in first-half net profit as the COVID-19 outbreak kept people away from showrooms.

Net income fell to 8.4 billion yuan ($1.2 billion) in the six months through June, the Shanghai-based company said in a statement Thursday. Revenue dropped 25 percent to 274.5 billion yuan ($39.9 billion).

China’s biggest automaker has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, which subdued demand and forced car companies to suspend production. The giant is also facing intensifying competition from newcomers like Tesla Inc. and Nio Inc. that have succeeded better in weathering the outbreak and lured buyers away from SAIC’s electric car offerings.

SAIC, which claimed one quarter of the Chinese car market in 2018, had its share narrow to about 20 percent in the first half. Sales declined across all of its major ventures, with SAIC-VW, SAIC-GM and SAIC-GM-Wuling recording the biggest year-over-year declines in the first half among the top 10 manufacturers, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association.

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