Although Japanese manufacturers are having a hard time in the Chinese market, looking at the global market, Japanese manufacturers still show strong profitability.
A few days ago, Toyota Motor Company released its financial results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2024 (July-September 2023). Toyota's sales revenue during the reporting period was 11.43 trillion yen (556 billion yuan), up 24 percent from a year earlier, exceeding market expectations, and operating profit was 1.44 trillion yen (70 billion yuan), up 156 percent from a year earlier, according to the financial report. Net profit was 1.28 trillion yen (62.2 billion yuan), up 194% from the same period last year. In addition, operating margins doubled to 12.6 per cent from 6.1 per cent in the same period.
Prior to this, Honda and Nissan also released their latest quarterly results.
During the reporting period, Honda achieved revenue of 4.98 trillion yen (239.6 billion yuan), up 17 percent from a year earlier, and operating profit of 302.13 billion yen (14.5 billion yuan), up 31 percent from a year earlier. Net profit was 253.2 billion yen (12.2 billion yuan), up 34% from a year earlier. Honda said in its results that Honda's operating profit rose year-on-year in the second quarter, thanks to higher product pricing, sales growth, especially in North America, and a weaker yen.
The same goes for Nissan. Nissan's consolidated net income in the second quarter was 3.1457 trillion yen (about 150.499 billion yuan), and its consolidated operating profit was 208.1 billion yen (about 9.956 billion yuan). Net profit rose from 17.4 billion yen ($116.6 million) to 190.7 billion yen ($1.28 billion), an increase of 173.3 percent over the same period last year. Nissan said sales in other regions had risen sharply compared with the same period last year, except for the decline in sales in the Chinese market, which was affected by increased competition in the industry and the accelerated transformation of local brands to new energy vehicles. In addition, thanks to the improvement in operating performance and the year-on-year growth in overall sales, Nissan's revenue and operating profit increased significantly.
It is worth mentioning that the sales of the three Japanese car companies in China fell sharply during the reporting period, with Toyota down 6.65%, Honda down 13% and Nissan down 21%. And the three companies still take a negative view of their future performance in the Chinese market, but at the same time regard the Chinese market as an extremely important market and begin to accelerate the layout to compete with their own brands.
By the end of 2023, Nissan will put 10 locally developed new energy vehicles into the Chinese market, including Nissan and Qichen brands as well as Dongfeng brands, including four Nissan brands, and the first Nissan-branded new energy vehicles will be put on the market in the second half of 2024, Yamazaki Chuang Ping, president of Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd., said at the new strategy conference of Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd.
In the face of the explosive growth of the new energy market and the rapid development of intelligent networking in China, both GAC Honda and Dongfeng Honda have announced that all models launched after 2027 will be hybrid and pure electric vehicles, and will no longer put in new pure fuel models; by 2035, pure electric vehicles will account for 100% of sales. It is understood that Dongfeng Honda e:NS2 production version and Guangzhou Auto Honda e:NP2 production version will be officially released at the 2023 Guangzhou Motor Show. These two models are sister cars to each other and will be the second model of Honda's EVV N series, based on Honda's exclusive intelligent and efficient pure electric structure "EVV N Architecture F".
China is the hope of Toyota's electrification transformation.
In August, Toyota announced the establishment of Toyota Intelligent Electric vehicle Research and Development Center (China) Co., Ltd. (IEM by TOYOTA) and transferred engineers from the R & D centers of its three joint ventures in China to research and development projects led by IEM by TOYOTA. Industry insiders said that Toyota's move is to use China's innovative power to catch up with the market demand in the field of electric vehicles as soon as possible, accelerate the development of electric vehicles, and apply products and technologies from the Chinese market to other global markets. Prior to this, Toyota launched two pure electric vehicles, the bZ4X and the bZ3, in China, but the market performance was not satisfactory.
Due to the price war, the decline in consumer demand and other reasons, the market competition is particularly fierce. Prior to this, Volkswagen's stake in Xiaopeng Automobile, Audi's cooperation with SAIC, and Strandis's stake all show that the fuel giants have unprecedented challenges to the new energy era.
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