Toyota China sales tumble on islands row
Beijing, October 5, 2012
Toyota Motor Corp's China sales fell about 40 per cent in September from the year before, while those of rivals such as Hyundai and BMW jumped, underscoring how badly Japanese brands have been hit by a territorial row between the two countries.
Showroom traffic and sales have plunged at Japanese car makers since violent protests and calls for boycotts of Japanese products broke out across China in mid-September over the Japanese government's purchase of a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea from their private owner.
A prolonged sales hit of this scale could threaten profit forecasts at Toyota, Nissan Motor Co and others as China, the world's biggest car market, makes up a bigger portion of their global sales.
Toyota sold about 50,000 cars in China in September, a senior company executive, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Friday. That would be down from about 86,000 in September 2011 but better than the figure reported earlier by Japan's Yomiuri newspaper, which said sales halved from the 75,000 sold in August.
The dramatic fall-off in demand for Japanese vehicles has been an unexpected boon for other foreign brands, with South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co saying on Friday its China sales climbed 15 percent to 84,188 vehicles last month.
Toyota declined to confirm the number, saying it would announce its Chinese sales for September on Tuesday.
As demand evaporates, Toyota, Nissan, Honda Motor Co and others have been forced to cut back production in recent weeks in a slowing, but still promising Chinese market.
A source told Reuters late last month that Toyota's production cutbacks could extend through November, a move that would almost certainly put the company's goal of selling 1 million cars in China this year out of reach.
"I would say it's almost impossible now," the executive said, blaming the wave of anti-Japan sentiment that has swept the country.
He added, however, that sales showed signs of recovery towards the end of last month, especially over the final weekend, providing some hope for an early comeback. – Reuters
More Motoring Stories
- Automatic licence holders 'can't drive manual cars in Qatar'
- Jaguar Land Rover wins advertising award
- Rolls-Royce to buy key Daimler stake
- Nissan develops ‘smart rearview mirror’
- Dubai Taxi to offer Wi-Fi Internet in cabs
- Infiniti unveils new engine for Q50 Eau Rouge
- Bentley to debut Continental GT Speed at Geneva
- 17 die on Saudi roads daily
- Gargash to build showrooms for China automaker
- Jaguar to launch new sports sedan
- Jaguar Land Rover launches pre-owned programme
- Nissan Patrol sales hit top gear in Jan
- Al-Futtaim wins control of Kenya motor firm
- Dubai RTA, vehicle mortgagers improve service
- Arabian Auto posts 20pc rise in Nissan sales
- Global premiere for two Maserati models
- New Lexus wins Wheels magazine award
- Batelco to hold annual motor show
- Hyundai to unveil Intrado at Geneva
- Bahrain circuit to honour Schumacher
- Hertz unveils big plans for ME travellers
- F1 stars meet racing fans in Bahrain
- New Audi A3 Sedan launched in Bahrain
- Tata mulls Jaguar Land Rover plant in Saudi
- Nissan to showcase top models at Geneva show
- 51pc Dubai car buyers 'dissatisfied' with price
- Kia on Tour to start next week
- Al-Futtaim supplies hybrids to Cars Taxi
- Arabian Auto named Importer of the Year
- Dubai RTA launches limo booking service