Japanese car companies still failed to reverse their sluggish sales in China in the first half of 2023.
According to the sales list of Japanese manufacturers counted by Automotive Industry concern, the sales of Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda in China are on a downward trend both in a single month and in the first half of the year. Among them, Mazda had the highest decline, with sales of 7400 vehicles in June 2023, down 28.7% from the same period last year, and cumulative sales in the first half of the year were 32200, down 49.4% from the same period last year.
Toyota sold 174500 vehicles in China in June, down 12.8 per cent from a year earlier, the first year-on-year decline in sales in three months, according to the data. Among them, GAC Toyota sales fell 4.6 per cent year-on-year to 86300 vehicles; FAW Toyota sales fell 23.1 per cent to 71400 vehicles.
As for the reasons for the decline in sales, Toyota said it was mainly due to the introduction of domestic car purchase tax breaks in the same period last year, which led to a decline in the data. However, extending the time to the first six months of this year, Toyota's sales in China are also in a year-on-year decline. From January to June this year, Toyota's cumulative sales in China fell 2.8 per cent from a year earlier to 879400 vehicles, according to the data.
Honda's sales in China have fallen even more sharply than Toyota's. Honda sold 529700 vehicles in China from January to June, down 22 per cent from a year earlier, according to official figures. Broken down to June, Honda sold 113100 vehicles in China in June, down 19.8 per cent from a year earlier. Of these, Dongfeng Honda sold 47500 vehicles, down 32.4 per cent from the same period last year, while Guangzhou Auto Honda sold 65600 vehicles, down 7.3 per cent from the same period last year. The industry believes that the decline in Honda's sales in China is mainly due to the lack of refurbished products and fierce competition in the domestic car market. at the same time, the slow progress of electrification is also one of the important reasons affecting Honda's sales in China.
Unlike Toyota and Honda, Nissan's sales in China include passenger and commercial vehicles. Official figures show that Nissan sold 358500 vehicles in China from January to June 2023, down 24.4 per cent from a year earlier. As of June, Nissan China sold 6.91 vehicles, down 28.0% from a year earlier, with Dongfeng Nissan (including Nissan, Qichen and Infiniti brands) down 29.5% to 64800 vehicles.
At present, Dongfeng Nissan is the main source of sales of Nissan cars in China. Dongfeng Nissan passenger cars are mainly composed of Nissan, Infiniti and Qichen brands. models on sale include Xuanyi, Teana, Qijun, Xiaoke, Bluebird, Tuda, Jinke, Loulan and so on, but the main selling models are only Xuanyi, Teana and Xiaoke, but at present these traditional fuel vehicles have lost their advantage in the Chinese market. In May, for example, Dongfeng Nissan's top-selling model was Xuanyi, with 35400, followed by Xiaoke and Teana, with 8126 and 5435, respectively.
As for Mazda, although its volume in the Chinese market is not comparable to that of Toyota and Honda, its decline is particularly significant. Data show that Mazda's cumulative sales in China from January to June in 2023 were 32200, down 49.4% from a year earlier, of which June sales were 7400, down 28.7% from a year earlier.
Since FAW Mazda announced its withdrawal, the Chinese market mainly depends on Changan Mazda. From the perspective of data, it is clear that Changan Mazda has failed to support Mazda's position in China, whether in monthly sales or in the first half of the year. Mazda's year-on-year decline in sales is the highest on the list.
The industry believes that the reason for the continued decline in sales of Japanese car companies in China is not only due to the sharp decline in domestic traditional fuel vehicle market share, but also due to the slow progress of new energy vehicle products. Although the four major car companies have successively invested heavily in electrified transformation and launched corresponding products, including Honda, Toyota and Nissan have all launched Toyota bZ4X, Honda eDrel N and Nissan Aliya pure streetcar products since 2022, but the actual market performance is very dismal. Toyota, for example, sold 24000 pure electric vehicles in 2022, while BYD sold 911000 in the same period.
Japanese car companies once crushed their own brands, but with the reform of the car market, the situation of "not worrying about selling" and "lying down to win" is gone forever. At present, domestic electric vehicles are entering a stage of rapid development. New energy head brands represented by BYD and Tesla are rapidly eroding the market share of fuel vehicles, while Japanese brands, which are proud of engines and gearboxes, are gradually being eliminated. The industry believes that in the new energy era, if the follow-up Japanese car companies do not seize time to boost the electrification process, the market share in China is likely to continue to be carved up, and the pressure in China will be even greater at that time.
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