Sales of Japanese cars in China fell last month despite a rise in total vehicle demand. A rapid shift of consumers to electric models put Nissan, Honda and Toyota at a disadvantage.
The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said new car sales rose 8.4 percent overall in August from a year earlier to almost 2.6 million units.
Sales of electric and other new energy vehicles jumped 27 percent from the same month a year ago.
Nissan sales dropped 28.9 percent in the month, while Honda reported a 25.1 percent fall and Toyota disclosed a 6.6 percent slump. The makers are facing more competition from Chinese brands that are focused on electric vehicles.