China Automotive Systems (CAAS) has unveiled first quarter net income down from US$8.5m to US$5.7m, while net sales fell 5.5% to US$116.9m.

“Our sales in the first quarter of 2016 continued to reflect the slower economic growth in China and changes in the product mix for steering,” said CAAS CEO, Qizhou Wu.

“China’s GDP growth in the first quarter of 2016 was 6.7%, lower than the 6.9% for the full year 2015 and the slowest growth since 2009. The stronger dollar against Chinese currency led to the year-over-year top line decline as we report our financial results in US dollars.

“Our product mix continued to follow the market trend toward electric power steering (EPS) units. Our EPS sales in the first quarter of 2016 accounted for 27.5% of total sales.  We are also investing more in our operations to support our EPS sales growth in the future.”

For his part, CAAS CFO, Jie Li added: “We continue to focus on building our financial strength. We are expanding our product portfolio, especially of EPS products and improving our operations.

“We anticipate our stock repurchase plan will be implemented when the window opens in the middle of May.”