According to preliminary estimates, three people with knowledge of the data say that Toyota’s sales have only come to increase 3% for the month of May, reaching a total of 81,136 deliveries in China.
Toyota, together with its two local joint-venture partners had a much smaller sales growth last month, as last year’s basis was of 79,000 vehicles – while sales for March went up 19% and for April jumped 12.4% in China.
Toyota has joint ventures in China with FAW Group and Guangzhou Automobile Group and the main product of the first partnership, the Corolla had a huge decline in May’s sales – probably as the Japanese automaker is gearing up to introduce on the local market this summer an updated version of the Corolla.
The sources said that Toyota managed to sell a total of 394,902 cars through May, amounting to a 16% increase over the figures registered last year, which puts the automaker on track to reach its internal goal for 2014 – at least 1.1 million vehicles.
The company first set up an internal goal of at least 1 million units sold in China back in 2010, but recently rising political tensions between the two nations set the pace for a rising anti-Japanese sentiment, which deeply affected sales for all the automakers.