Great Wall Motors, one of the top sport-utility vehicle makers in China, cut its sales target by 8% as coronavirus epidemic which has killed more than 3,200 people in China hit the market.

In a filing to Hong Kong stock exchange, Great Wall, which is building a factory with German premium automaker BMW , said it now aims to sell 1.02 million units in 2020, down from previous 1.11 million units target as the coronavirus epidemic hit sales in China, the world's biggest auto market.

Great Wall also lowered its target for net profit by around 13.8% to 4.05 billion yuan from 4.7 billion yuan. It did not change its sales and profit target for 2021 and 2022.

Automakers in China are calling on the government to help after industry-wide sales plunged 79% in February to mark their biggest ever monthly decline, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

A CAAM association official told Reuters that auto sales are likely to drop by more than 10% for the first half of this year.

Great Wall sold 1.06 million cars last year. In February, it sold 10,023 units, down 85.5% from a year earlier.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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