Nissan Motor Co. (7201), Japan’s second- largest carmaker, said sales in China last month declined for the first time since January, as the slowing economy damps demand in the world’s largest vehicle market.
Deliveries fell 2 percent to 98,100 vehicles in July, the Yokohama, Japan-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. It sold 776,100 units in the first seven months this year, or 12 percent more than the year-earlier period.
Nissan’s monthly sales declined amid China’s economic expansion slowing to a three-year low of 7.6 percent in the second quarter. Stiffer competition in China this year has led to discounting and a buildup in inventory. The average passenger-vehicle price fell 1.9 percent in June, the National Development and Reform Commission said July 16.
China is Nissan’s biggest market by volume, where it outsells both Toyota Motor Corp. (7203) and Honda Motor Co. (7267) Nissan forecast sales will rise 8 percent to 1.35 million units in the year ending March 2013. The automaker is confident of surpassing this target, Corporate Vice President Joji Tagawa said July 26.
The last time Nissan’s sales fell year-on-year was in January when the Lunar New Year holidays resulted in fewer operating days.
Toyota’s China sales in July fell 5 percent from a year earlier to 78,400 units, while Honda’s sales growth slowed to 1.3 percent in July, according to the companies.
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