by Staff Writers
Tokyo (AFP) Sept 26, 2012
Japanese auto giants Toyota and Nissan said Wednesday they would cut production in China because demand for Japanese cars has been hit by the bitter diplomatic row over disputed islands.
The announcements came as talks between the countries' foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York ended without success.
"Our affiliates in China are adjusting production in consideration of demand," a Toyota spokesman said. "There is an effect from the current situation between Japan and China on our sales."
He was responding to a question about the impact of a festering row over the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, controlled by Japan but claimed by China, which knows them as Diaoyu.
A Nissan spokesman said plants run by its joint venture in China will suspend operations for slightly longer than the country's early-October holiday period.
He said Dongfeng passenger vehicle factories will halt production from September 27 to October 7 "in the view of the current market situation, and since China's national holiday will occur soon".
"Production will restart on October 8. After this we will remain flexible regarding the market situation," he said.
Toyota said production at its Tianjin FAW and Guanzhou-based GAC plants will be stopped until September 29. The plants were already scheduled to close for the first week of October for the Chinese holiday.
Between them, the two plants represent the vast bulk of the manufacturer's capacity in China, producing around 775,000 of the approximately 800,000 vehicles it makes.
The Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor's (SFTM) plants in Chengdu and Changchun are scheduled to operate, the company said.
The UN meeting was the highest-level face-to-face between the two sides since the Japanese government's purchase of the islands earlier this month, which infuriated China.
An official at Honda, another Japanese automaker, who requested anonymity, said there had been a negative impact on the firm's sales in China owing to the tensions.
During the meeting on Tuesday in New York, China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi accused Japan of committing a "gross violation" of China's territorial integrity, according to China's state Xinhua news agency.
Japan's Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said the atmosphere was intense in the talks, which lasted for about about one hour.
However, a Japanese official told AFP: "Although the atmosphere was a bit severe, the Chinese side laid out its own case and the ministers agreed to continue the dialogue."
Automakers were hit by shutdowns during sometimes-violent protests that rocked a number of Chinese cities after Japan nationalised the East China Sea islands on September 11.
Japanese factories and businesses were shuttered amid fears they or their workers could be targeted by mobs.
The impact of the bitter row has already spilled over into other sectors, affecting trade between Asia's two biggest economies.
Chinese and Japanese airlines said they would curb the number of flights linking Chinese and Japanese cities, while Japanese firms reported China was ramping up customs inspections for Japanese products at its ports.
Car Technology at SpaceMart.com
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Japan auto giants scale back China production
Tokyo (AFP) Sept 18, 2012
Japan's big three automakers shuttered some or all of their factory operations in China on Tuesday amid escalating anti-Japan protests centred on a bitter territorial dispute between the Asian giants. Honda Motor said it had temporarily closed all five of its China plants after violent demonstrations, while Nissan temporarily shut two of three factories and Toyota said it had scaled back pro ... read more
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