Toyota, Honda Follow Ford to Sizable February Gains in China

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China has been a rather sore spot for Japanese automotive manufacturers in recent years, due to political tensions and territorial disputes, but the animosity may be dissipating as companies like Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Honda (NYSE:HMC) enjoyed a strong February in the country.

Overall, passenger car sales in the world’s most populous country leapt 18 percent, thanks in part to strong gains made by Ford (NYSE:F) and Toyota. The former saw a 67 percent spike in sales last month, while the latter tacked on a 43 percent increase during the period.

“Japanese brands have continued to show growth,” UBS analysts Yankun Hou and Ming Xu said in a report last week. “We believe the market is too negative over auto demand,” which will be “supported by resilient inland demand.”

Honda also saw its sales move north, with a significant 28 percent gain over February sales of last year. The growth of Honda, Toyota, and other international manufacturers came to the detriment of China’s local vehicle brands, for which February marked the sixth consecutive period of declines in market share.

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