Toyota Motor Corp. will postpone the opening of a new production line at its Tianjin plant in China as it determined that its sales in the country would remain weak for the imminent future, according to a Sunday report of Japanese newspaper Asahi, without citing any sources. Toyota had expected to complete its new fourth line at the Tianjian plant around December 2014.
The paper said recovery of Toyota's sales in China would decide a new schedule for the production line. Asahi likewise reported that Toyota is mulling a similar delay for the launch of a third production line, with capacity of about 200,000 units, at its Guangzhou plant. Toyota is set to launch the third production line in 2015.
Toyota’s sales in China have been severely hit by a territorial dispute between the country and the carmaker’s home nation, Japan. Consumers in China have initiated boycotts of Japanese products in September after Japan nationalized two of a group of disputed East China Sea islands by buying them from their private owners.
Toyota disclosed last week that its sales in China suffered a 22-percent drop year-on-year in November, following a 44-percent decline in October and nearly 50-percent dive in September.