BYD’s vice president and general sales manager Xia Zhibing resigned on 5 August for personal reasons and will be replaced as general sales manager by BYD’s general planning manager Hou Yan.

Hou Yan was BYD’s vice president for sales two years ago, China Car Times noted.

Xia reportedly would join Jaguar after resignation but Xia denied the rumour.

Some industry insiders believe heavy pressure might be a major reason for his resignation, the report said. After a series of blows such as the dealer-quitting crisis and the Xi’an plant being investigated, BYD started to see a sales downturn.

Year on year sales declined for six consecutive months in the first half of this year and it was the only automaker with sales declining for six straight months. The company announced in early July that its net profits for H1 fell 85-95% from a year earlier.