Mazda Motor Corp. on Thursday reported a net loss of 20.8 billion yen ($230 million) for the April-September half year due to weak global demand _ although China proved a bright spot, with sales there rising by 35 percent.
Global sales for Japan's fourth-biggest automaker during the six months dropped 37 percent from a year earlier to 990.3 billion yen.
A year earlier during the same period, Mazda had a net profit of 29.5 billion yen and sales of 1.576 trillion yen.
Facing weak demand and the yen's appreciation, which erodes overseas income, the company has tried to cut costs. It trimmed its forecast for full year losses to a net loss of 17 billion yen from 26 billion yen.
Mazda said the new Mazda 3, called Axela in Japan, showed strong sales.
Sales in China jumped 35 percent to 85,000 vehicles, lifted by demand for the Mazda 6 and Mazda 3 models.
Elsewhere, sales declined. In North America, sales fell 21 percent to 158,000 units, while European sales declined 31 percent to 123,000, largely on weakness in Russia.
In the Japanese domestic market, sales decreased 15 percent to 105,000 units, the Hiroshima-based company said.