Toyota May Cut Production Target in China image

Toyota is expected to cut its group production plan for this year by 2%, or 200,000 vehicles, due to the decrease in China sales.

The initial production forecast for this year was 10.05 million vehicles, which would have made Toyota the first automaker to manufacture more than 10 million units in a year.

“The figure cited in the report is not based on anything announced by us, and at this time there are no changes to the figures we presented earlier,” said Toyota spokeswoman Shino Yamada.

Sales in China have dropped beginning with mid-September, due to the violent anti-Japan protests which began after Japan bought the disputed islands in the East China Sea. Toyota’s sales in China dropped last month 48.9% to 44,100 vehicles, compared with the same period last year. The company expects its production cutbacks in China to affect November sales too, which means that the automaker’s goal to sell 1 million cars in China in 2012 is unreachable.

Analysts believe that the anti-Japan protests in China will cause automakers a drop in sales which could extend for months. Takaki Nakanishi, an auto analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Tokyo, expects the impact to last from three months to six months in a pessimistic scenario.