Honda Motor said its new car sales in China dipped 2% in March year on year to 59,915 vehicles, the first negative showing in seven months, due to sluggish sales of the Accord sedan.

Accord sales plunged 43.9% in March, the third straight month of year over year declines despite the launch of a full redesign in September. The carmaker hopes to rebound by introducing models that can be purchased for less than CNY180,000 (US$29,000), the Nikkei business daily reported.

Sales figures, which are announced based on factory shipments, were also hurt by cutbacks in production of older Fit [Jazz] compacts in advance of the introduction of new models.

In contrast, Nissan Motor saw sales volume jump 26% for the month to around 115,900 vehicles, led by strong sales of leading models such as the Sylphy and Teana sedans.

The automaker also received more than 10,000 advance orders for the new X-Trail SUV ahead of its release in late March, the Nikkei said.