27-colour Landy built for UK knight

Land Rover worked with British designer Paul Smith to create a unique 4x4 - a one-off, 27-colour, Defender with luxury trim! GALLERY

Next Ranger bakkie for SA unveiled

Upgraded engines, new tech and new front... Ford's next Ranger bakkie will arrive in SA later in 2015. We have details and gallery!

Car sales suffer in island spat

2012-10-11 08:12

AT THE HEART OF IT ALL: This aerial shot shows the disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China in the East China Sea. A disagreement over the islands has affected Japanese sentiment in China.

Yuri Kageyama

Tokyo, Japan — A Sino/Japanese squabble over a remote group of small islands has cost vehicle sales in China.

Sales of Toyota and Honda vehicles dropped significantly in China during September 2012 as anti-Japanese sentiment flared over a territorial dispute that threatens to hobble what was a booming business relationship between Japan and its biggest export market.


Toyota said on Tuesday, October 9, 2012 that sales of new vehicles in China dropped 48.9% in September from 2011 to 44 100 vehicles. Honda said September sales plunged 40.5% to 33 931 vehicles. China sales for Nissan slid 35.3% in September 2012 to 76 100 vehicles.

The stunning plunge in sales comes after Japan in September 2012 nationalised tiny islands in the East China Sea, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, which had already been controlled by Tokyo but also claimed by Beijing.

The move set off violent protests in China, and a widespread call to boycott Japanese goods. Toyota and Honda dealerships were burned down in one city, and crowds shouting anti-Japanese slogans have gathered and smashed Japanese cars.

Although the flare-ups have calmed in recent weeks, it would still require courage to be seen in a Japanese car in some Chinese cities.

Japanese automakers temporarily closed some of their China factories. Production is back up this week — but reduced to lower levels as demand has collapsed.

Mitsubishi reported that its China sales dived 63% to 2 340 vehicles in September; Mazda said its sales in the country sank 36% to 13 258 vehicles.

A study by JP Morgan, released on Tuesday October 9, 2012, projected Japanese auto exports to China to crash 70% during the October-December period. It said the export of auto parts will slip by 40% — about the same drop estimated for exports of other consumer products such as electronics.

Combined, the aftermath of the territorial spat with China will shave a 0.8 percentage point off Japan gross domestic product growth for the fourth quarter, sending Japan's overall economy slightly downward, instead of the initial forecast for flat growth, according to J.P. Morgan.

China, with its growing middle class, had been one of the emerging markets that Japanese automakers were counting on to boost sales amid a long stagnation in the domestic auto market.

Read more on:    japan

Read Wheels24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside Wheels24

Why the Porsche Coty controversy sucks

'Our SA Car of the Year is something to be proud of,' writes PHILIP HIGGO, who agrees with Porsche's Macan diesel earning the 2015 title. Find out why...

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.