June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Great Wall Motor Co., China’s largest SUV maker, replaced three of its executives amid a sales slump.
The company replaced Kang Guowang, previously in charge of domestic sales; Xing Wenlin, who oversaw international sales; and Liang Xinlu, previously in charge of components procurement, according to the Baoding, China-based automaker, which didn’t specify what positions they were moved to. The changes were part of a normal rotation of management and weren’t related to sales results, the company said.
The reshuffle comes after the company posted sales declines in five of the past six months and the second delay of its key Haval H8 sport utility vehicle. Great Wall said last month it will hold off on sales of the vehicle until it is able to make the H8 of a “premium standard.”
“The market will keep speculating whether the executives were demoted or not,” said Cao He, a Beijing-based analyst with Minzu Securities Co. “Great Wall is facing the most difficult time it ever had with the delay of its H8 SUV and sluggish sales of its car models.”
The automaker’s stock fell 3.7 percent to HK$28.70 as of the midday trading break in Hong Kong, the day’s worst performer on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index. The shares have slumped 33 percent this year, after gaining 75 percent in 2013.
The company also said today that it hired more than 9,000 new employees in the first half of this year.
Sohu.com reported on the management changes on June 20, without saying where it got the information.