Toyota restarts production in China, which was idled due to the violent protests between China and Japan which affected sales and production.
The automaker announced it expects to fully restart production today, September 24th, after protesters burned the Japanese-branded auto showrooms and smashed Japanese cars last week. The prtests, which sparkled after Japan bought the islands claimed by both countries, affected several companies which were forced to stop production in the country, including, Honda, Mazda, Canon, Panasonic, Fast Retailing, Aeon and many others. Fast Retailing already announced it expects sales in China for last week to see a decrease of 20%.
“Sept. 18 was the worst when we closed 60 stores temporarily,” Furukawa said. “The sales on that day were one third of what we would have gained.”
The China-Japan dispute may cause a bigger loss to Japanese automakers than the 2011 tsunami. Cui Dongshu, deputy secretary general of China’s Passenger Car Association, expects Japanese automakers to lose their lead in China, over the Western brands for the first time since 2005. As Chinese consumers will stop buying Japanese cars, US automakers, such as GM, will see an unprecedented boost in China sales.
“The repercussions for Japanese carmakers are very serious and will last for a long time. There are plenty of choices. Why bother with Japanese brands, if there are concerns of safety due to anti-Japan sentiment?”, he said.