The drop in Chinese sales determined Toyota to delay the launch of a new production line in Tianjin.
Toyota’s plans were to complete a new fourth line at the Tiajin plant, which would manufacture 200,000 vehicles annually, by December 2014. According to Japan’s Asahi newspaper report this plan has been dropped as the automaker’s low sales in China forced a new schedule for the production line. Toyota also considers a similar schedule for the third production line at the Guangzhou plant, able to manufacture 200,000 vehicles. the launch is currently set for 2015.
Toyota announced that it sold in China 63,800 vehicles in November, compared with 81,800 vehicles sold in November 2011. From January to November the automaker sold 749,600 vehicles, a decrease of 3.3% compared with the same period last year. Toyota’s target for this year was to sell 1 million vehicles, which means it had to sell more than 83,000 vehicles per month to achieve its goal.
“This is worse than we had expected and it shows how serious the backlash from Chinese consumers was,” said analyst Lin Huaibin. “Sales have started to pick up in November and with some carmakers such as Honda introducing new models, the worst may be over for the moment.”