Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Company’s sales reached a new monthly record in September in China.
Chinese Dongfeng Motor Corp and French carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen’s 50-50 joint venture reported sales of 42,728 units last month, up 32% month-on-month and 9.2% year-on-year. The first three quarters sales also reached a new record of 312,728 units, an increase of 7.1% compared with the same period last year.
The increase is due to the mid-September anti-Japan violent protests, which made the Chinese customers turn their attention to brands, other than the Japanese ones. The tension between the two countries, which increased after Japan bought the Diaoyu Islands, made Chinese customers focus on European and US cars, boosting sales for other automakers.
Last month demonstrators became really violent burning auto showrooms and breaking into Japanese cars, they also attacked Toyota, Honda and Nissan dealerships in Qingdao. The automakers were forced to idle production in China for several days to evaluate the situation. Cui Dongshu, deputy secretary general of China’s Passenger Car Association, expects Japanese automakers to lose their lead in China, over the Western brands for the first time since 2005.
“The repercussions for Japanese carmakers are very serious and will last for a long time. There are plenty of choices. Why bother with Japanese brands, if there are concerns of safety due to anti-Japan sentiment?”, he said.