Toyota Motor Corp. led declines in Chinese production among Japanese automakers in October as the sovereignty dispute over the Senkaku Islands led to violent demonstrations and a boycott of Japanese products.
The nation’s biggest carmaker said Thursday its China output plunged 61 percent to 30,591 units in October, the steepest drop in at least a decade, while Nissan Motor Co. reported a production drop of 44 percent, its biggest decline since at least 2009. Honda Motor Co. said its production sank 54 percent.
The cuts in the world’s largest auto market reflect the deepening economic fallout from the territorial dispute, which led Chinese rioters to vandalize Japanese-branded dealerships and cars in September.
Japanese automakers’ share of the Chinese market has slumped to 14 percent from about 23 percent before September, said Xu Changming, a director at China’s State Information Center, said Thursday.
Mazda Motor Corp.’s output fell 28 percent in October to 13,253 units, the Hiroshima-based automaker said Thursday in a statement.
The company shipped no cars to China in the month, compared with 441 units a year earlier, as production of its main export model, the CX-7, is being shifted to China, according to spokesman Makoto Watanabe.
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., maker of Subaru cars, said its exports to China fell 76 percent in October to 1,734 units and sales fell 72 percent to 1,468 units. The carmaker doesn’t make vehicles in China.
Japanese car sales plunged in China in September and October after tensions escalated over the Senkaku Islands, prompting Honda and Nissan to cut their full-year profit forecasts by a fifth.
Japan’s automakers may suffer production cuts into 2014 and lose a combined 650,000 units in vehicle output if tensions don’t abate between the two countries, according to estimates by IHS Automotive.
Bar raised 18% for RAV4
Toyota Motor Corp., headed for its best U.S. sales in four years, is targeting an 18 percent rise in RAV4 deliveries next year as it pits a restyled version of the crossover against models from Honda Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co.
The goal for the 2013 RAV4, which has a sleeker exterior and improved fuel economy, is 200,000 unit sales next year, up from about 170,000 in 2012, Bill Fay, group vice president of U.S. sales, said Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new sport utility vehicle, which goes on sale in early January, is available only with a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine and won’t have an optional V-6 engine, he said.
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