Honda, Nissan say China downturn is easing
Nissan's China sales in November fell 30 percent to 79,500 units. Nissan, Honda and Toyota felt the brunt of Chinese protests against Japan this fall.
TOKYO (Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co. and Nissan Motor Co. joined Toyota Motor Corp. in reporting narrower drops in China sales in November as Japanese automakers begin recovering from the fallout of the territorial dispute between the two nations.
Honda deliveries last month declined 29 percent from a year earlier to 41,205 vehicles, said Honda spokeswoman Tomoko Takemori. Nissan sales in November fell 30 percent to 79,500 units, said company spokeswoman Sharon Shen.
While sales fell for a third straight month, they eased from the record declines reported for September and October. Still, Honda has said it may take until the Lunar New Year in February for sales to normalize.
Japanese automakers will probably miss out on sales of 200,000 units in the fourth quarter as the political stalemate persists, according to industry researcher HIS Automotive.
Honda and Nissan's October sales declines were their worst monthly drops on record, based on available company figures stretching back to 2007 and 2008, respectively. Honda fell 53.5 percent and Nissan dropped 41 percent in the month, according to the companies.
Toyota reported that November deliveries declined 22 percent to 63,800 vehicles, compared with a 49 percent drop in September, its steepest drop in a decade.
Sales in the first 11 months of 2012 fell 3.3 percent to 749,600 units, it said.
The decades-long territorial dispute, involving a group of islands called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, was reignited in April, when then-Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara, a longtime critic of China, proposed buying the territories.
That led Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's administration to purchase the islets in September, escalating tensions between the two nations and sparking violent protests across China.Contact Automotive News