November 7, 2012
China Slows Nissan’s September Sales
Nov. 7 – Yokohama – After 36 months of record global sales and market share gains, Nissan’s deliveries dipped in September amid protests in China. Executive Vice President of Global Sales Takao Katagiri explains all to the Global Media Center.
Q1) Please briefly summarize global sales for September.
Takao Katagiri EVP:
September sales ended up with 399,000 units, which is down 10% against the same month last year. This is the first time for us to miss growth after 36 months.
But we don’t worry so much because we know why that happened. That is mainly driven by the China situation. At the same time, we knew some of the slowdown in the European market and also some of the short supply situation in some markets. So those are the reasons and for some of them we’ve already taken counter measures. So we don’t worry so much.
Q2) What are the main reasons behind sales dropping in Japan in September?
In Japan in the month of September, there was a shortage of supply of mainly minicars. The situation right now is that the mini-car market is very popular – it’s booming. But compared to that demand, supply was quite limited and that’s why we couldn’t meet some of the customer orders. Those were the reasons.
On the other hand, registered cars are very, very popular, especially new models. We launched with a minor change in the Serena in the previous month and also we started to sell a completely new Nissan Note. Those are very popular. As a result, in the month of September, the new Note has been ranked as No. 3 in the registered car ranking, and for a long time we haven’t been in third place. We’re very lucky to announce that we’re now No. 3.
Following [the Note], Serena is by far the No. 1 minivan in Japan. So those are very good news. So even though there is short supply, the new models have been very strong. That’s very encouraging news for us.
Q3) Please explain the impact of anti-Japan sentiment in China on sales. What is Nissan’s planned response?
All Japanese makes were impacted. The other Japanese makes were impacted around minus 40%. In the case of Nissan, our impact was minus 35%. So it was still a big impact for us. But on the other hand, the situation is getting better and better. For example, showroom traffic is coming back. So there is a very good tendency – and I hope the situation will get better and better。
And also Dongfeng Nissan, which is a joint-venture between ourselves and our Chinese partner – has already launched a special program to pay customers for damages caused by anti-Japanese demonstrations. So, I hope that program will also accelerate our coming back to the normal level.
Obviously, for us, the Chinese market will continue to be one of the most important or the most important market for us, so we won’t change any of our strategies toward China.