Geely Automobile Holdings, China’s largest domestic carmaker, expects sales to increase 3.5 percent to 1.41 million in 2020 despite the impact from the coronavirus outbreak, CEO An Conghui said.
Despite facing one of the most difficult years in the group's 23-year history, the company won’t lay off employees or cut pay, An said at an online press conference Monday as Geely released 2019 financial results.
Geely will counter the negative impact from the viral outbreak with organizational changes and improved efficiency, he added.
The company also will roll out six new models under the Geely, Lynk & CO and Geometry brands this year.
An said the company also plans to introduce the Lynk & CO brand in Europe at the end of the year and share more models with Malaysian automaker Proton, in which it has a stake.
Because of an extended Chinese New Year holiday and with most of its dealerships closed amid the epidemic, Geely’s sales tumbled 75 percent to 21,168 in February, with year-to-date volume slumping 44 percent to 128,159.
Geely’s net profit fell 35 percent to 8.3 billion yuan ($1.2 billion) in 2019 while revenue dropped 9 percent to 97.4 billion yuan.
The disappointing financial results were “due to greater-than-expected decrease in overall sales volume and pricing pressure caused by weak demand and fierce market competition during the year,” Geely said.
Last year, Geely’s annual sales dropped 9 percent to 1.36 million.
During the year, new car and light-truck sales in China contracted for the second straight year, slipping 9.6 percent to 21.44 million.