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Toyota, Honda China sales rise in 2020, while Nissan, Mazda sales drop

In 2020, Toyota ranked first among Japanese automakers by selling nearly 1.8 million vehicles in China. Honda’s China business also logged growth in annual sales.

Regarding monthly performance in December, Honda was honored the fastest-growing one with a remarkable year-on-year hike of 46.2% in December.

Mazda was the only one that faced decrease in both annual and Dec. sales.

Toyota's annual China sales hits new high in 2020

Toyota saw its China sales rise 10.9% from a year earlier to nearly 1.8 million units last year, hitting a record-breaking figure for the eighth year in a row.

FAW-Toyota's annual sales amounted to around 800,000 units, climbing 9% year on year and surpassing the target the company sets for 2020.

With the expansion of TNGA-based product lineup, Toyota's competitive edge in China market boasts a big jump over the recent years. For instance, GAC Toyota's full-year sales of TNGA-based vehicles reached 544,818 units, surging 42% from the previous year. 

The precise two-pronged attack also accounted for Toyota's upturn in China. Last year, the sales of the RAV4 amounted to 173,000 units and its sister model Wildlander had a sales volume of 82,071 after it hit the market in late February 2020.

Toyota plans to strengthen the roll-out of new products into China this year. Aside from the Lingshang and the Allion unveiled by GAC Toyota and FAW Toyota at the 2020 Auto Guangzhou, the all-new Highlander, the new Sienna and the new Harrier will go into local production in 2020. Moreover, the IZOA HEV and the RAV4 PHEV will be launched as well.

Honda's China business achieves best-ever annual deliveries in 2020

Honda said its China deliveries climbed 4.7% from the year ago to 1,626,972 units in 2020, the best-ever figure in terms of annual sales.

The upward movement in full-year sales should be credited to the consecutive double-digit growth the Japanese automaker achieved through the second half of 2020. In December, Honda saw its China deliveries surge 46.2% from the previous year to 208,848 units, setting a new  monthly record.

GAC Honda's 2020 deliveries reached a record high of 806,579 units, rising 5.4% compared to 2019. It has four models— the Accord, the Vezel, the Breeze and the Crider—whose annual sales all surpassed 100,000 vehicles. Of those, the sales of the Accord exceeded 200,000 units.

Dongfeng Honda also attained its highest-ever annual sales last year. It delivered 820,393 vehicles throughout 2020, a 4% increase over the previous year. As for specific models, the respective yearly sales of the Civic, the CR-V and the XR-V all topped 100,000 units. Notably, both the CR-V and the XR-V had a sales volume topping 200,000 units.

The joint venture with Dongfeng Motor put the all-new LIFE onto the market on Dec. 15. The small-sized hatchback has the official Chinese nickname of “Laifujiang” and is available in four trim levels. Its guiding prices range from 97,800 yuan ($15,130) to 112,800 yuan ($17,450).

Nissan's 2020 China sales shrink 5.8%

Nissan's China sales dwindled 5.8% year over year to 1,456,738 units (including imported vehicles) last year.

In December 2020, the Japanese automaker sold 168,917 new vehicles in the world's largest auto market, a slight growth of 0.4%. The monthly volume was incessantly showing year-one-year rise between September and December.

In December, the PV business unit of Dongfeng Motor Company Limited (DFL) posted a 0.5% year-on-year growth by selling 144,286 vehicles. Of those, Dongfeng Nissan's sales grew 2.8% from a year ago to 132,883 units, achieving year-over-year increase for nine straight months.

Dongfeng Nissan's best-selling model of the month was still the Sylphy. The sales of the popular car model ticked up 1.3% from a year ago to 62,596 units in December. Notably, it was also crowned the hottest-selling China-made PV model by Dec. retail sales, according to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

Dongfeng Venucia sold 11,403 units last month, representing month-on-month growth for the fourth month in a row.

Venucia would be brought under the management of Dongfeng Nissan, serving as the second sub-brand of the PV business unit, DFL announced on Dec. 28.

Nissan attempts to roll out several heavyweight models in China this year, including the all-new X-TRAIL and the all-new Murano. To strengthen offensive in electrification area, the company will start the sale of the Ariya all-electric crossover in late 2021 and introduce ePower hybrid technology into the country.

Mazda scores 5.8% decline in 2020 China deliveries

Mazda's China deliveries totaled 214,574 units in 2020, sliding 5.8% from the previous year.

The downturn entirely stemmed from the decrease confronting FAW-Mazda. The joint venture with FAW Group saw its annual sales slide 14.8% to 77,907 units. However, Changan Mazda still scored a 0.2% growth with 136,667 vehicles delivered.

For the month of December, Mazda delivered 22,838 vehicles (-6.8% YoY) in China, of which 8,576 units (-17.7% YoY) and 14,262 units (+1.3%) were sold by FAW-Mazda and Changan Mazda respectively.

The Mazda3 Axela was still the hottest-seller in Dec. with a sales volume of 8,803 units. The sales of the Mazda CX-4 reached 5,174 units, 1,833 units more than that of the Mazda CX-5.

As for the full-year performance, the sales of the Mazda3 Axela amounted to 88,291 units, more than the totals of the Mazda CX-4 and CX-5's sales.