Warc Blog

Mixed fortunes for Asian carmakers

4 December 2013
BEIJING: Japanese carmakers have witnessed buoyant sales in China, the world's largest auto market, and their success in overcoming a spell of anti-Japanese consumer sentiment appears to have come at the expense of Hyundai of Korea.

Toyota and its two local joint-venture partners reported sales growth of 41% to 89,800 vehicles in November compared to the same period in 2012, taking its 11-month total for 2013 to 809,000 and putting it on track to sell 900,000 vehicles for the whole year.

Honda, too, performed strongly after recording a 102% rise in sales over the same period, Bloomberg reported, while Nissan's sales in China climbed 96% to 131,800 vehicles last month and Mazda's sales rose 68% to 20,465.

Hyundai, by contrast, has reported a 1% fall in total overseas sales with sales in China rising only 1% in November compared to the same period last year.

"Japanese carmakers, which boosted US profits with the weaker yen, have more room to invest in China sales where they lag behind rivals," auto analyst Song Sun-jae told Reuters.

"For Hyundai, the China effect disappeared in November while the US sales remain sluggish," he added.

Hyundai opened a new factory in Beijing last year and has plans to increase its output to 450,000 vehicles next year while also assessing whether to build a fourth plant in China.

It aims to maintain its market share of about 10% in 2015-16 by which time the Chinese market is expected to reach 20m vehicles a year.

To compound its troubles, the company also saw domestic sales in South Korea drop by 12% in November from a year earlier as it struggled with increased competition from smaller rivals and foreign brands.

Data sourced from Bloomberg, Reuters; additional content by Warc staff

 
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