Great Wall Tumbles After Delaying Haval H8 SUV: Hong Kong Mover

Haval H8
Visitors look at Great Wall Motor Co.'s Haval H8 vehicles during the 11th China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition, known as Auto Guangzhou 2013, in Guangzhou. Source: Imaginechina

Great Wall Motor Co., China’s biggest sport utility vehicle maker, fell the most in more than five years in Hong Kong trading after delaying its Haval H8 model to address technical deficiencies.

Great Wall tumbled 18 percent to HK$32.20 as of 9:31 a.m., the biggest decline since October 2008. Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 1.1 percent. The company’s Shanghai-traded shares fell 9.1 percent.

The company said the three-month delay was due to issues including an engine setting with no significant difference between sport and economy modes, low steering resistance, long brake-operating distance and engine, tire and wind noise, according to its filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange yesterday evening. Great Wall said it had exhibited the SUV at the Guangzhou Auto Show on Nov. 21.

“Great Wall’s ambitions to move up a league in the auto industry rest on this vehicle, which has already been delayed unofficially in the last year,” Max Warburton, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said in a report. “The latest and very public delay will not be taken well by the market as it confirms Great Wall is struggling with technology and quality.”

Recommendations on the company’s shares were cut to underperform from hold at Jefferies Group LLC and to neutral from overweight at HSBC Holdings Plc.

— With assistance by Tian Ying

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