Although sales for Toyota has been spiraling downward in the world’s biggest automotive market since September, last month’s total seems to indicate that the worst is over for them in China.
More specifically, Toyota sold almost 90,000 units last month, up from the previous month’s but still down from last December’s 108,000 units. Compared to the sales decline (versus the same time in 2011) in November (22 percent), sales for Toyota and its two Chinese partners slowed down to only 17 percent. That’s far better than what it was in October (44 percent), and especially in September (50 percent), when tensions between the two countries began to mount.
In spite of sales slowly recovering, Toyota is delaying a new production line at its Tianjin production facility. This is mainly due Toyota missing their sales target for 2012, and possibly even 2013. The launch for the expanded production line was scheduled to launch in December 2014. In addition, Toyota is also considering delaying a third production line at its Guangzhou, China facility as well. The launch date for this particular line was scheduled for 2015. Toyota did not project new launch dates for either facility.
In case you are just now joining us, the rapid decline in sales all began whenever Japan decided to nationalise two tiny islands in the East China Sea, the Diaoyu in Chinese (and Senkaku in Japanese). Japan had purchase the mineral-rich islands from their private owners. Obviously, China isn’t willing to give these islands up without some major protesting.
In any event, whether or not Toyota will be able to fully recover from this disastrous turn of events is contingent on whether or not buyers in China will be able to not only forgive Japan for what they’ve done, but also feel safe about purchasing a Toyota. There have been reports of vandalism to both dealerships and individual owners, prompting some to even change the badges to thwart protestors.
Article Source: Reuters