For the first time in years, Toyota dropped from the top 10 list of the best-selling cars in the Chinese market last month amid the Japanese carmaker’s recall crisis, China Daily reported Tuesday.
FAW Toyota, the Japanese automaker’s joint venture in China’s FAW Group, disappeared from the Top 10 sales list in February, according to data released by China Passenger Car Association.
Toyota China recently said its total sales in February rose 30% from a year earlier to 45,400 vehicles, continuing a free fall from 72,000 units sold in January when the recall-plagued brand had the first drop of 16.3% from last December.
A survey by Chinese website sina.com shows that 73.6% of 258,000 online respondents said they would not buy Toyota or Honda branded cars after the recalls, with only 16.4% saying Japanese cars are still their favorite choices.
Last week during his Beijing tour to apologize to Chinese customers for the recalls, the Japanese automaker’s president Akio Toyoda forecast that the company’s 2010 sales in China would hit 800,000 units this year, up from 709,000 in 2009.
Toyota has started its push to win Chinese buyers by offering zero-interest financing for some of its models, and FAW-Toyota is also providing a year’s premium of car insurance and two years of 24-hour roadside assistance to new buyers.