A Mazda is assembled in China (file photo)

A Mazda is assembled in China (file photo)

Joint venture vehicle manufacturing joint ventures in China operated by Toyota and Japanese rivals are closed temporarily and some plan output cuts following movements to boycott Japanese products, including cars, which emerged in protest at Japan's 11 September nationalisation of the Senkaku Islands claimed by China and Taiwan.

A Toyota spokesman in Tokyo told just-auto on Wednesday (26 September) the company's two JV plants in China - in Guangdong Province and in the city of Tianjin - would be closed from now until the end of a national holiday week on 8 October.

Separately, unnamed sources told Kyodo News Toyota also plans to cut output after the holiday period.

An earlier Reuters report, citing the Wednesday edition of the Asahi newspaper, said Toyota had indicated to its main parts makers that it planned to halt car production in China "during October" as rising anti-Japan sentiment in the country hit demand but a Toyota spokesman had not been able to confirm that when asked by the news agency.

The Asahi also said, without citing sources, Toyota would also halt all vehicle exports to China from Japan.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported Nissan Motor would suspend car production at its Chinese joint venture from tomorrow, 27 September, three days earlier than the scheduled holiday.

Kyodo said Mazda plans to halt production at its factory in Jiangsu Province on Friday and Saturday.

Suzuki Motor has decided to suspend night shift production at its plant in Chongqing from Monday to Friday.

A Honda Motor official told the news agency the company was taking a wait-and-see stance for the time being while a Mitsubishi Motors source said the automaker had no plans to cut output in China.

Earlier, during anti-Japan demonstrations across China that followed Japan's nationalisation of the disputed islands, demonstrators set fire to a Toyota dealership and destroyed Japanese vehicles.

No such violent demonstrations have occurred over the past week but Japanese automakers have been forced to adjust production as boycotts of Japanese products are spreading in China, where the companies have invested heavily in anticipation of strong market growth, Kyodo added.

On Tuesday, the Nikkei reported Toyota would scale back production of Lexus vehicles for China as early as this month after anti-Japan demonstrations in China continued to affect sales there.

The business daily said Toyota would reduce output at its key Lexus factory in Kyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture. Daily production would be lowered about 20% from the current 1,300 units to roughly 1,000 indefinitely. Affected models include the ES, a sedan sold exclusively outside Japan and the compact CT 200h hybrid hatchback.

In the short term, Toyota plans to rely on local inventory for sales in China, the paper said. A company official told the Nikkei sales were down about 30% compared with before the recent flare-up of a long-running territorial dispute which shows no sign of ending soon.

CHINA: Anti-Japan impact on business to persist - survey