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Sales of Sino-Japan Car JVs Resume to Pre-Crisis Levels

11-26 14:04 Caijing
Retail sales of Toyota's joint venture in South China with Guangzhou Auto have already recovered to levels seen before the anti-Japan wave, Feng Xingya, said a top executive with the company.

Sales of Japanese car makers' Chinese joint venture partners begin to rally after bottoming out in September and October amid demonstrations against Japan over territorial disputes, with their measures to win back share in the world's largest car market taking effect.

Sales rebound

Retail sales of Toyota's joint venture in South China with Guangzhou Auto have already recovered to levels seen before the anti-Japan wave, Feng Xingya, a top executive with the company told Xinhua at last week's Guangzhou auto show.

Honda new models on display at Guanghzou Auto Show on November 22.
Honda new models on display at Guanghzou Auto Show on November 22.

Inventory of vehicles also fell sharply in the past two months, Feng added.

The Xinhua News Agency also quoted an executive at Hongda's Chinese joint venture, also with Guangzhou Auto, as saying that there had been a noticeable increase in visitors to its showrooms in China since the first half of this month.

According to Dongfeng Nissan's deputy manager Ren Yong, its dealers' businesses were running smoothly currently, and its franchises were already on an ordinary track for operation, said Xinhua.

There are about 3 million units of Japan-branded passenger cars sold in China every year, with 90 percent of them made by Sino-Japan joint ventures, statistics show.

Despite recent pick-up in sales, it still takes times to determine if a genuine recovery is here in China, analysts say. A widespread recovery is projected at the next half of 2013 for Japanese branded vehicles, according to a top executive with FAW Mazda.

Regain market confidence

Japanese car makers and their Chinese partners have unveiled measures to win back consumers' confidence in the recent months when a spat over islands in the East China Sea unleashed protests and prompted consumers to shun Japanese products.

Spending in advertising has been increasing, with more efforts to grow businesses by Japanese car makers including Nissan, Honda, Toyota, and Mazda, and their Chinese partners. Meanwhile, some of these companies announced plans to compensate Chinese car owners who lost from September's protests.

Angry mobs damaged Japanese cars and attacked and beat a middle-aged man in the city of Xi'an, leaving him partially paralyzed.

Dongfeng Nissan is introducing a quality-assurance program that promises to foot the bill if a Nissan vehicle is damaged "no matter what the situation," said WSJ, citing Ye Lei, director of Venucia, Nissan Dongfeng's low-price brand for China.

The report also quoted a spokeswoman for Hongda Mota Investment Co., as reporting that Honda and its China joint venture partners will resume normal production in China from the beginning of next month.

Passenger cars in Japanese brands saw a decrease of 59.4 percent in sales in October year-on-year, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

In light of plunging sales, Japanese car makers and their Chinese partners scaled back production and closed down factories temporarily.

 

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