The top three Japanese automakers Toyota, Nissan, and Honda are slashing their production in China in half, says The Nikkei [sub]. The reductions are a response to sales drops triggered by anti-Japanese demonstrations and riots in China.
Chinese factories of Japanese carmakers mostly sat idle for two weeks after closing early before the Golden Week national holidays in the first week of October. Nissan plans to suspend the night shift and operate its Chinese factories only during the day. Toyota and Honda plan to keep Chinese output at around half their usual levels by cutting overtime and slowing production lines.
There were no new demonstrations since September 18, the anniversary of the Japanese invasion of Manchuria. It remains to be seen whether the image of Japanese brands in China sustained lasting damage. Ironically, it is Chinese government-owned enterprises, joint venture partners of Japanese automakers, that take the brunt of the slowdown. Mass layoffs at Guangzhou Auto, Dongfeng and FAW would not contribute to a harmonious society.