Leading Japanese carmaker Toyota on Wednesday denied reports saying that it would temporarily close some of its factories in China amid strained bilateral ties. A spokesman for Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co Ltd, a subsidiary of the Toyota Motor Corp, said growing tensions between both countries have dampened sales in China, with some stores receiving fewer customers and subsequently fewer orders.
The spokesman said Toyota factories in China – all established through joint ventures with Chinese partners – are expected to adjust production amid falling demand, although the company will not close any factories or pull out of the Chinese market.
“Because every Toyota factory in China is a joint venture, any decision regarding their operation is the result of negotiations between all partners,” the spokesman said.
Tensions between China and Japan have risen since early September, when Japan announced plans to purchase part of the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. Beijing has repeatedly maintained that the Diaoyu Islands are part of China’s inherent territory. Anti-Japanese protests were held in a number of Chinese cities in September.
Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co and Honda Motor Co plan to slashproduction in China by roughly half, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Monday, as a territorialrow between Asia’s two largest economies cuts sales of Japanese cars in the world’s biggestauto market.
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Sales have plunged at Japanese car makers since violent protests and calls for boycotts ofJapanese products broke out across China in mid-September over the Japanese government’s”purchase” of the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.
Nissan will suspend the night shift at its passenger car factories in China and operate onlyduring the day, the business daily said. Nissan has two passenger car factories in China, inHuadu and Zhengzhou, with two lines each. A Nissan spokesman declined to confirm the report.
Toyota and Honda plan to cut China production to about half normal levels by shorteningworking hours and slowing down the speed of production lines, the Nikkei said without citing asource.