Source: Agencies | 2012-12-3 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
TOYOTA Motor is still struggling to revive sales in China, part of a broader slump Japanese carmakers are suffering due to a diplomatic row between the countries.
Toyota's sales in China totaled 60,000 vehicles last month, a senior company executive has said, compared with 81,800 cars the company and its Chinese partners sold in November last year.
The pace of last month's decline - roughly 25 percent from a year earlier - eased from the previous two months but was still "far off from our more normalized and targeted sales pace," said the Toyota executive who declined to be named because the information had not yet been made public.
Toyota's numbers indicate sales in China by other Japanese carmakers are also likely to fall. For most of those firms, sales are still falling by double digits from 2011 levels, though the pace of drop has eased recently.
"It probably won't be until March or April when we see sales return to a pre-September pace," the executive said, echoing a consensus expressed by officials from other Japanese brands.
Demand for leading Japanese car brands in China virtually halved in September and October. That cut the Japanese carmakers' collective market share in China's passenger car market to 17 percent from 19 percent at the end of August, according to the China Association of Automotive Manufacturers.