Japan carmakers to cut China production by half: Nikkei

Mon Oct 8, 2012 1:11am EDT
 
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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: Quote), Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: Quote) and Honda Motor Co (7267.T: Quote) plan to slash production in China by roughly half, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Monday, as a territorial row between Asia's two largest economies cuts sales of Japanese cars in the world's biggest auto market.

Sales have plunged at Japanese car makers since violent protests and calls for boycotts of Japanese products broke out across China in mid-September over the Japanese government's purchase of a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea from their private owner.

Nissan will suspend the night shift at its passenger car factories in China and operate only during the day, the business daily said. Nissan has two passenger car factories in China, in Huadu and Zhengzhou, with two lines each. A Nissan spokesman declined to confirm the report.

Toyota and Honda plan to cut China production to about half normal levels by shortening working hours and slowing down the speed of production lines, the Nikkei said without citing a source.

A Honda spokeswoman said she was checking the report.

A Toyota spokesman could not confirm the details of the report, saying that plants in China were operating again as planned after the country's national holiday period last week and that production was taking placed based on market demand.

Toyota's China sales fell about 40 percent in September from a year before to about 50,000 cars, a senior company executive told Reuters last week. [ID:nL3E8L46W3] The firm is set to officially release its September China sales figures on Tuesday.

The Nikkei report did not say how long the output cuts would last.

SLOWING GROWTH   Continued...

 
A visitor looks at a Toyota Motor Corp's Lexus vehicle displayed at the company's showroom in Tokyo September 26, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao