Japanese cars continue to show strong sales in the world’s largest auto market on the back of China’s passenger-vehicle sales increasing 16 percent in November. Even as the two countries continue on their frosty diplomatic relations, the Japanese car industry seems to be bucking the trend. This is especially notable as Japanese cars and car owners were the first to be targeted last year when protests and riots broke out when Japan effectively nationalized the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which Beijing also claims as the Diaoyus.
Sales at Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co., and Honda Motor Co. surged for a third-straight month as Chinese consumers shrugged off renewed diplomatic tensions between Asia’s two-largest powers. Last year when the dispute broke out, automakers were among the hardest-hit companies as the territorial dispute sparked boycotts against Japanese products. In China, 2013 is looking to be a great year for Honda and Toyota, as both are headed for record sales.
This surge in sales of Japanese cars comes on the back of a record-breaking selling year for vehicles in China. Industrywide, total sales of vehicles – including buses and trucks – reached 19.9 million units this year through November, putting China on course to be the first country to ever see 20 million units in annual vehicle sales. China’s total vehicle sales should exceed 21 million units this year, according to Dong Yang, secretary-general of the auto association. Wholesale deliveries of cars, multipurpose and sport utility vehicles climbed to 1.7 million units last month, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.