As expected, sales of Japanese cars in China took a nosedive to levels not seen since the days after Japanese cars and dealerships were torched last September. Sales of Nissan and Toyota are down a whopping 46 percent. No, it’s not a new flare-up of anti-Japanese riots. This time, it’s the effect of the Chinese Lunar calendar.
|Chinese Sales By Japanese Brands|
|Data: Companies via Reuters, Nikkei|
In January, sales of all cars in China, including Japanese, were up compared to January 2012, simply because Chinese New Year fell into February. February sales of all cars will be reported as way down, simply because China was closed.
… we present you with consolidated sales for both months to get rid of the calendar effect. As you can see, five months after the anti-Japanese riots, sales of cars with Japanese nameplates are still hurting in the Middle Kingdom. There is a steady trend towards normalization, but it is tough slogging. Considering that the Senkaku/Diaoyu issue remains in the news in China, the Japanese crawl back to normal is remarkable. When all is said and done, and assuming no real flare-up, Japanese carmakers will have lost a full year of growth in China.
P.S.: I am looking forward to reading how the merry spinsters at GM sell their huge (calendar-induced) February loss of sales in China … Currently, mum’s the word.