HK shares of mainland carmakers on a roll

Falling Japanese vehicle sales over islands row builds faith in rivals

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 May, 2015, 9:59am

Shares in Hong Kong-listed mainland carmakers jumped on speculation that mainland car buyers will continue to turn their back on Japanese vehicles.

Toyota's China sales fell about 40 per cent last month from a year earlier, Reuters reported yesterday, the latest sign of the fallout of the dispute between China and Japan over the ownership of the Diaoyu Islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan. Mitsubishi said its China sales plunged 63 per cent from a year earlier.

Shares in Brilliance China Automotive, the Shenyang, Liaoning-based carmaker that makes BMW cars, rose 5.9 per cent to HK$9.11.

SUV producer Great Wall Motors, the largest privately owned mainland carmaker, jumped 5 per cent to HK$21.

Japanese carmakers, including Mazda and Nissan, and their sales agents postponed marketing and promotional activities on the mainland last month after some showrooms were stormed by rioters protesting against the purchase of the islands by Japan's government.

Sales of foreign marques jumped at the expense of Japanese cars. BMW said yesterday mainland sales surged 55 per cent year on year to 27,000 units last month, while sales in the first nine months rose 32.7 per cent from the same period last year to 219,800 units.

South Korea's Hyundai said its China sales rose 15 per cent year on year.

A report by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed that the market share of Japanese cars dipped in August. There were 173,200 Japanese cars sold, accounting for 20 per cent of total sales, 2 points less than a year earlier.

German brands replaced Japanese as the best selling passenger cars on the mainland that month. For the first eight months, Japanese brands retained first place, selling 1.89 million cars on the mainland, accounting for 19.04 per cent of total sales.

Shares in Guangzhou Automobile, which produces Toyota and Honda cars on the mainland, have slumped 14 per cent in Shanghai over the past month.