Toyota Motor Corp.’s sales in China (including those for its two local joint-venture partners) declined by 15.1% in August compared to the previous year, the second straight year that there was a drop. A company spokesman said last Monday that its sales in China last month amounted to around 75,300 vehicles.
The Beijing-based spokesman, Takanori Yokoi, said that the year-on-year decline in August came after a 5% decline in July. The last time that Toyota’s sales dropped for two straight months was a two-month period ended Jan. 31, 2012. This was primarily because of China's lunar new year holiday. The overall Toyota vehicle sales in December 2011 in China fell by 9.6%.
In January, the figure fell by 26.2%. Yokoi claimed that Toyota isn’t worried about the two straight monthly drops. He said that the sales decreases in July and August were mainly because of a technical aspect. The spokesman explained that sales in July and August 2011 were "unusually high" after three months of slow sales immediately after the earthquake in Japan.
There was an interruption in the output of key components in Japan and this affected Toyota's vehicle production worldwide, including China, so dealers didn’t have the cars in their lots to sell. It was only in late June 2011 that production got back to more normal levels.
Sales then surged in the months that followed. From January to August this year, Toyota China sales were still up compared to the previous year. Yokoi said that its sales through August reached about 596,100 vehicles, a 13.4% increase from the same period in 2011.