Japanese carmakers’ sales in China decline in the first two months of 2013 image

Japanese automakers posted falling sales in China in the first two months of the year, albeit by a slower pace than before.

This suggests the impact of a territorial dispute between Japan and China is fading away. Nissan announced on Monday its China sales fell 14 percent to 174,000 vehicles in the January-February perioda, while Honda reported a 4 percent decline in China sales to 79,272 vehicles over the same period. Toyota also said sales of new passenger cars in China fell 13 percent in the first two months of this year to 108,800 units.

However, the sales declines are more moderate than during the territorial dispute between China and Japan. Nissan posted a 24 percent decline in China sales in December and a 30 percent fall in November, while Toyota saw its China sales fall 16 percent in December following a 22 percent drop in November and a 44 percent decline in October.

Since then, Japanese automakers have taken a series of measures to win back Chinese consumers. For example, Nissan launched a safety-assurance program in which any cost arising from damage or injury as a result of anti-Japan sentiment is paid for by Nissan’s joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group.

Source: Wall Street Journal