Diaoyu row hurts Japanese car sales in China

Updated: 2012-09-06 17:46


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CHENGDU -- A diplomatic row between Japan and China is having "some impact" on Japanese car sales in China, a Nissan Motor Co Ltd executive said on Thursday, a sign the dispute is affecting business between the world's second- and third-largest economies. 

Nissan's Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga said in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu that Japanese car manufacturers were having difficulty in holding big, outdoor sales promotion campaigns, which may have hurt August sales.

"Overall, not only for Nissan but also all Japanese makers, we have been hit by a drop in sales, especially August sales. That means there is some impact," Shiga told reporters on the sidelines of an auto conference.

Nissan has said it sold 95,200 vehicles in China in August against 98,100 in July. But the drop could also be due to an economic slowdown in China, the world's biggest auto market.

Many Japanese car makers are banking on China's auto market as a driver of growth. Earlier on Thursday, a senior executive at Toyota Motor Corp said the firm aims to sell up to 1.8 million cars annually in China by 2015, up from about 900,000 cars it sold last year.

Sino-Japanese ties have been plagued recently by a feud over rival claims to the uninhabited islands, known as the Diaoyu in China and the Senkaku in Japan.