SHANGHAI Feb 1 Toyota Motor Corp and
its China joint ventures sold 72,500 cars in the country in
January, up 23.5 percent from a year earlier, the Japanese
automaker said on Friday.
That shows an improvement from December when sales declined
15.9 percent and the first year-on-year growth since June last
Japanese car makers saw their China sales drop sharply after
violent anti-Japan protests erupted across the country in
September after Japan nationalised disputed islands in the East
China Sea. China also claims the islands as its own territory.
Japanese car makers, including Nissan Motor Co and
Honda Motor Co, have seen a slow recovery of sales in
the country since October.
While sales of Japanese brands have been recovering, it
would be difficult for them to regain their number one position
from German rivals as long as the diplomatic dispute remains
unresolved, industry observers say.
Toyota, which operates car ventures in China with FAW Group
and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co , aims to
sell 900,000 cars in the country this year, up 7.1 percent from
a year earlier.
(Reporting Kazunori Takada in SHANGHAI and Fang Yan in BEIJING;
Editing by Jacqueline Wong)