Nissan China visitors return to normal after row

Kyodo

A Nissan Motor Co. executive said Wednesday the number of people visiting the automaker’s dealerships in China has returned to normal almost three months after a territorial dispute sparked anti-Japan protests nationwide.

“The number of customers visiting our showrooms (in China) has almost returned to levels seen a year ago,” Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga said at a news conference as the automaker launched a fully remodeled version of the Sylphy small sedan in Japan.

Nissan said Tuesday its new car sales in China fell 29.8 percent in November year-on-year to 79,500 units, but the decline narrowed from a 40.7 percent decrease in the previous month.

“But I think it will take more time until our retail sales return to levels seen the year before. . . . We are still taking a cautious view about whether we will be able to further increase our sales and market share,” Shiga said.

The new Sylphy has already hit some overseas markets, including China. Nissan said it aims to sell 500,000 units a year of the new model globally once sales begin in all targeted markets outside Japan.