Japanese automakers’ China car sales tumbled in August

Japanese automakers Honda Motor (7267.T), Nissan Motor (7201.T) and Toyota Motor (7203.T) saw their sales in China tumble in August as a chip shortage hit vehicle production in the world’s biggest car market.

Honda said it sold 91,694 vehicles in China last month, down 38.3% from a year earlier due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a shortage of components.

Nissan said it sold 113,166 cars in China in August, down 10.6%, due to “external headwinds including on-going pandemic, material shortage and natural disasters across the country”.

Toyota said it sold 144,800 cars last month there, down 11.9% from the same month last year.

A prolonged global chip shortage has caught major automakers including Ford Motor (F.N), General Motors (GM.N) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) off guard, forcing many to idle or curtail production.

The shortage was unlikely to be resolved soon as the pandemic rages on in many parts of the world, China’s top auto industry body said last month.