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Four Japanese automakers see China sales fall in June partly due to chip shortage

In June 2021, four Japanese automakers, namely Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mazda, all recorded year-on-year drop in their China sales, mainly due to the ongoing global shortage in the supply of semiconductors.

Toyota's China sales fell 2.9% from a year ago to 167,900 units, showing decrease after 14 consecutive months of year-on-year increase. 

The decline mainly flowed from the decline in FAW-Toyota's sales. According to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), FAW-Toyota's deliveries slid 13.1% from a year earlier to roughly 65,000 units in June, while GAC Toyota still recorded a 3.3% growth by delivering 77,000 cars.

Thanks to the low base, Toyota's year-to-date sales in China jumped 28.9%. FAW-Toyota said its first-half sales reached 425,000 units, up by 21%. GAC-Toyota announced a 32% increase in Jan.-Jun. sales, which also exceeded 420,000 units. 

Honda's China deliveries reached 118,168 units in June 2021, falling 17% compared to the same period in the previous year due to the impact brought by the chip supply constraint, said the Japanese automaker.

Both GAC Honda and Dongfeng Honda posted two-digit decrease in June deliveries. The joint venture with GAC Group delivered 57,641 new vehicles, representing a 19.5% decline from a year earlier. Meanwhile, 60,527 consumers took delivery of the vehicles from Dongfeng Honda, a 14.5% drop year-over-year.

Despite the decrease in June sales, Honda's China business still gained a 28.5% leap with its semi-annual deliveries reaching 786,535 units. Notably, its year-to-date deliveries of hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) surged 61.2% to 116,804 units.

Nissan saw its semi-annual China sales grow 18.4% to 114,605 units. To be specific, Dongfeng Motor Company Limited (DFL)'s passenger vehicle (PV) and light-duty commercial vehicle (LCV) units recorded sales volume of 569,419 units (+17.8% YoY) and 130,709 units (+30.1% YoY).

Under the pressure of chip shortage, DFL's PV business unit logged a 19% year-on-year sales decrease in June with 90,062 vehicles delivered, including 84,186 Nissan-branded cars and 5,876 Venucia-branded cars.

Despite the rising sales achieved in the first-half of 2021, Nissan will still be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, shortage of raw materials, fierce market competition, and other uncertainties in the short term, said DFL's president Shohei Yamazaki. He added the company will strengthen the cooperation with suppliers and dealers to satisfy Chinese consumers' demands for products and technologies.

Among the four companies, Mazda was the only one posting decrease in Jan.-Jun. China sales. As of June 2021, the automaker had suffered two-digit drop in monthly sales for three straight months.

Last month, Mazda's China business delivered 16,983 vehicles, a 19.1% year-over-year slide. FAW-Mazda's deliveries dwindled 28.4% to 6,388 units, while Changan Mazda posted a 12.3% decline with 10,595 vehicles delivered.

With 7,133 vehicles delivered, the Mazda3 Axela was still the best-selling model in June. In the meantime, the deliveries of the Mazda6 Atenza and the Mazda CX-4 stood at 3,206 units and 3,182 units respectively.