Japanese automakers’ first quarter sales results in China, show that they still have a long way to recover from last year’s loss due to the territorial dispute.
Mazda reported sales in China down 21.5% during the first quarter, after the company said in November that it plans to get back on the track in the Chinese market by the end of March. These results show that the Japanese automakers still have a long road ahead until they will see sales getting back to normal in the world’s largest auto market. Nissan said its sales were down 15.1% in the first quarter, Toyota fell 12.7% and Honda dropped 5.2%.
“While the year-on-year percentage drop of China sales by Japanese automakers is shrinking, sales are still down by around 10 percent, which shows that they are still struggling in the overall market. We think this will continue this year and into the next year and the following year,” said Masatoshi Nishimoto, an analyst at IHS Automotive in Tokyo.
The good part is that sales improved since September when they dropped around 50% after the violent anti-Japan protests affected demand. While Japanese automakers continue to struggle, rivals such as VW and GM continue to see a continuous sales increase in the market. At the end of February the Japanese car makers’ passenger vehicle market dropped to 12.5% from 16.4% in December.