Geely Automobile, the Chinese automaker that is now the parent of the Swedish carmaker Volvo, announced its sales went down 32% to 21,415 vehicles in February.
The news took the investors by storm, prompting the company’s stock to drop 3% in Hong Kong trading – very close to its 18-month low, as for the first two months of the year, the automaker’s deliveries were even more worrying – falling a big 42%.
The company, controlled by billionaire Li Shufu, which has an estimated wealth of $1.85 billion, is currently selling passenger cars across five brands: Geely, Emgrand, Englon, Gleagle and Volvo, but has announced this month plans to drop three of them (naturally, these are Emgrand, Englon and Gleagle) by the end of this year.
While the company shares have dropped a third of their value over the course of 2013, Geely is now in the midst of an important marketing system restructure and pits the low sales on the slower exports and product replacement cycle.
While the Chinese New Year holiday distorts somewhat the figures for the start of the year in China, the country’s export numbers have brought worries to the local businesses – as total exports in February went down by 18.1% and by 1.6% for the first two months.