Toyota sales fall for fifth month
Toyota sales fell for a fifth month in November in China, where a territorial dispute with Japan has prompted violent protests and a boycott.
Deliveries declined 22 per cent in November from a year earlier to 63,800 vehicles, Asia's largest carmaker said today.
Sales in the first 11 months of 2012 fell 3.3 per cent to 749,600 units.
The November decline compares with the 49 per cent drop in deliveries in September and 44 per cent slump in October.
The carmaker last month said retail sales at GAC Toyota, a Chinese venture of the automaker, had rebounded close to the levels before protests over the territorial dispute turned violent.
Toyota has said it may fail to meet its target to sell 1 million units in the country this year.
Deliveries in the July-to-September period tumbled 23 per cent, the biggest quarterly drop on record, according to company figures stretching back to 2002.
Japan's carmakers may suffer production cuts into 2014 and lose a combined 650,000 units in vehicle output if tensions don't abate between the two countries, according to estimates by IHS Automotive.
Toyota fell 0.6 per cent to 3,515 yen at the close of trading in Tokyo today, before the China sales were announced.
The stock has gained 37 per cent this year compared with 12 per cent advance in the benchmark Nikkei 255.
The decades-long territorial dispute, involving a group of islands called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, was reignited in April, when then-Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara, a longtime critic of China, proposed buying the territories.
That led prime minister Yoshihiko Noda's administration to purchase the islets in September, escalating tensions between the two nations and sparking violent protests across China.