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Honda's first quarter sales in China announced

2024-06-25 Update From: AutoBeta NAV: AutoBeta > News >


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On April 3, Honda China announced terminal car sales in the first quarter of 2024. Honda sold 206907 terminal cars in China in the first quarter of 2024, compared with 93.9% in the same period (down 6.11% from a year earlier), according to data. Among them, Guangzhou Auto Honda sold 108361 vehicles, down 8.11% from the same period last year, while Dongfeng Honda sold 98546 vehicles, down 3.80% from the same period last year.

Honda China has not released its March terminal car sales, but it is not difficult to deduce from the data of the previous two months. Honda's terminal car sales in China in March were 60449, down 26.32 per cent from a year earlier. Among them, Guangzhou Auto Honda was 30118, down 27.98% from the same period last year; Dongfeng Honda was 30331, down 24.60% from the same period last year.

Taken together, Honda China's performance is not optimistic, whether it is March sales or cumulative sales in the previous three months. It is surprising that Honda's terminal car sales in China fell in March, and if the sharp decline in February sales was due to the impact of the Lunar New year holiday, it should have bottomed out in March. As a reference, in contrast to other car companies that have announced sales, the overall sales of other car companies rebounded significantly in March against the background of the overall downturn in sales during the Spring Festival holiday.

At present, the bulk of Honda's sales in China are still fuel vehicles, but they also seem to be getting harder to sell. Taking January-February retail sales as an example, Honda's top three models in China are Honda CR-V, Civic and Accord, with sales of 33918, 28654 and 21975 respectively, followed by styling and Haoying with 18714 and 18539 respectively, and the rest are less than 1,000.

In the pure electric car market, although Honda China launched two pure electric models, the e:NP1/e:NS1, in April 2022, sales of the two models have remained sluggish since their launch. Retail data show that Dongfeng Honda sold 1261 e:NS1 vehicles from January to February and GAC Honda e:NP1 56 vehicles.

Auto Industry concern believes that the decline in Honda's sales in China is related to the rapid rise of the domestic new energy market. As a result of the changes in the car market, Honda, which is difficult to sell fuel cars and lacks popular pure electric products, has been squeezed in China.

Now a number of Chinese car companies, including BYD, have begun to encroach on the joint venture market, especially after the Spring Festival of the year of the Dragon, BYD took the lead in launching an attack on joint venture fuel vehicles, shouting the slogan "electricity is lower than oil". Since then, more and more new energy brands have followed BYD in cutting prices, triggering a new round of price cuts, putting pressure on joint venture car companies.

It is worth mentioning that the decline in Honda's sales in China is just a microcosm of Japanese brands in China not as expected. Japanese car sales in February were about 159000, down 35.7 per cent from a year earlier, with the retail share of Japanese brands falling 3.4 per cent year-on-year to 14.4 per cent, according to the Federation.

If Japanese joint venture brands want to stay in the Chinese market, they must make a difference in the electric car market, especially at a time when new energy vehicles are extremely inward. Japanese joint venture brands will retreat if they are not aggressive. It also means that it may only be a matter of time before Japanese car companies that rely on fuel cars drive sales are abandoned by consumers if they fail to make substantial innovation.

In the face of industry change, Honda China has begun to accelerate the pace of transformation after it made big changes to its original "electrified transformation plan", including advancing the suspension of the sale of fuel vehicles from 2030 to 2027 and launching more electric products. Honda is scheduled to launch two e:NS2 and e:NP2 models this year, which are sister cars to each other. In addition, Dongfeng Honda will launch three new pure electric models this year, including the e:NS2 model in June, the L model in September and the new SUV in December. Under the layout of a number of new cars, Dongfeng Honda reiterated that by 2025, 50% of Dongfeng Honda will no longer put fuel vehicles into operation in 2027, and more than 10 pure electric models will be launched in 2030.

On March 15, Japanese automakers Nissan and Honda announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding to carry out comprehensive cooperation on the electric vehicle business, including joint procurement, joint development of power platforms, generalization of spare parts, and so on. The two sides hope to reduce costs through the integration of resources and enhance the competitiveness of electric vehicle products. However, at present, the cooperation between the two sides is still in the initial stage, and the final mode of cooperation remains to be confirmed.

Under the general trend of the strong rise of independent brands, Japanese joint venture car companies are facing competitive pressure in the Chinese market, the main reason is that in addition to the slow upgrading of products and the conservative introduction of new technology, what is more important is the lack of pure electricity popular products. Right now, the challenge for Japanese joint venture brands is "how to find a voice again in the electrified era" and launch electric products that can support sales growth. It should be noted that due to the absence of too many classes in the electric transformation of Japanese joint venture brands, even the launch of new electric products may face fierce competitive challenges. Japanese joint venture brands still have a lot of lessons to make up if they want to turn the market against the wind.

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