August 7, 2014 / 6:46 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Nissan says July China auto sales fell 12.3 pct y/y

(Adds details on joint venture’s sales performance)

SHANGHAI, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co Ltd said on Thursday that, together with its Chinese joint venture partner, it sold about 79,500 automobiles in China in July, down 12.3 percent from a year earlier.

It attributed the sharp drop, which contrasts with an 11.1 percent year-on-year rise in June and a 3.1 percent increase in May, to a decrease in sales at its Dongfeng Nissan China car venture with Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd, which accounts for the bulk of its results.

Dongfeng Nissan said it sold 18.6 percent fewer cars in July compared with a year earlier, mainly due to inventory adjustment in preparation for sales promotions starting in August. It also cited fewer days of operation, thanks to a week-long summer shutdown in July.

Despite the July setback, the company’s overall sales in the first seven months of the year came to about 699,900 vehicles, up 10.7 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Nissan aims to sell 1.4 million cars in the country this year, up 10.6 percent from a year earlier.

Nissan’s Senior Vice President Jun Seki said in May that the company aims to achieve annual China sales of 2 million cars by 2017-2018 as it bolsters its business in the world’s largest car market. (Reporting by Brenda Goh and Samuel Shen; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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