Automakers are slogging through a tough auto market in China in 2015. General Motors, Ford and Nissan all posted losses in August on what is expected to be another down month overall.
GM was the most recent maker to take a hit, seeing sales drop 4.8% despite the introduction of a new SUV for its budget Baojun brand. Sport-ute sales have been hot in 2015, but GM’s new model wasn’t hot enough to offset losses in other areas.
However, the maker’s sales through August were up slightly: 2.3%. The increase was driven by successful new product launches and an improved mix of SUVs and MPVs.
“Amid the challenging market environment, we have remained focused on providing great products designed for China to meet the needs of our customers,” said GM Executive Vice President and GM China President Matt Tsien.
“Recently launched models such as the Buick Excelle GT and Cadillac ATS-L have been well received by consumers and produced solid sales growth.”
(GM’s plans to import vehicles from China could cause union problems. For more, Click Here.)
Additionally, Ford saw sales drop 3% last month, as sales of commercial trucks slid 9% for the maker. Overall, through August, the maker’s sales were “steady,“ Ford said. Nissan also took a hit as sales fell 5.5% during the month.
The results imply August might be a tough month in China. Sales through July were up just 0.4% on a year-on-year basis, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). CAAM is set to release August data on Thursday.
(Click Here for details about how VW’s plans for global sales supremacy hurt by sliding sales in China.)
In July, CAAM cut its sales forecast for 2015 by more than half to 3%, saying the stock market crash depressed consumer sentiment. Auto sales in China have been rolling double-digit increases for nearly a decade.
While the news is bleak for some, others have enjoyed superior results in August. Mercedes-Benz sales jumped 53% in August, largely due to a revamped line-up giving luxury buyers something new to choose and at the expensive of rivals Audi and BMW.
(To see more about how China’s cutting of the yuan hurt global automakers, Click Here.)
Honda and Toyota have managed to stave off significant drops with the introduction of new SUVs in recent months. The SUV market in China, according to IHS Automotive, is likely to surge by 20% in 2015, pretty much accounting for most of the growth in the country’s automotive market.