Mazda reported September auto sales in China down 35%, a clear sign that Japanese sales in the country are about to weaken sharply.
Last month Mazda halted production for two days in China due to the violent demonstrations and attacks in the country. Japanese automakers and other companies announced plant closures in China and warned expatriates to stay indoors not to fall victims of the angry protests. The anti-Japan protests sparked after Japan reached an agreement to buy the disputed Sensaku (Diaoyu) islands, situated in East China Sea.
Mazda operates a three-way auto venture in China with Chongqing Changan Automobile and Ford. The automaker reported September sales down 35% to 13,258 cars, and during the first nine months of the year sales dropped 6% to 148,116 units compared with the same period last year.
Mazda North America reported September sales down 5.4% to 24,135 units, and Mazda Motor de Mexico was down 30% to 1,874 units. US sales through September were up 9.5% to 209,482 units sold. The model which accounted for the majority of sales was Mazda3 with 14,031 units sold in September, up 57.1% and Mazda3 with Skyactiv Technology accounted for 84% of all Mazda3 sales last month.