By on September 19, 2012

“’Even if China becomes nothing but tombstones, we must exterminate the Japanese; even if we have to destroy our own country, we must take back the Diaoyu Islands.”

With the appropriate attention received, China is ready to ratchet down anti-Japanese sentiment. Beijing public security authorities on Wednesday urged the public not to stage protests against Japan, writes The Nikkei [sub]. Chinese dealers of the Volkswagen Group did not get the memo. They cause major trouble for Volkswagen. Especially in Japan.

The top picture, taken from the Weibo microblogging site by before all searches for Japan etc. were  blocked,  caused an uproar in Japan.  What looks like employees on an Audi dealership  show a banner that says “’Even if China becomes nothing but tombstones, we must exterminate the Japanese; even if we have to destroy our own country, we must take back the Diaoyu Islands.” (Jalopnik ran the picture yesterday, we provide the proper full-length translation.)

On its Japanese corporate website, Audi distanced itself quickly  from the calls for genocide, and said that these were the actions of a local dealer who acted on its own.  Audi published a statement from the German headquarters that says:

“We wish to categorically distance ourselves from this action. We believe that, as a company, it is not our place to comment on political matters. This is the job of politicians. However, we distance ourselves from any use of violence and advocate dialogue and diplomacy. “

Volkswagen better start distancing itself also.  Japanese websites are full with pictures of Chinese Volkswagen dealers who want to cash-in on anti-Japanese sentiments in China.   This Volkswagen dealer, decked out in the latest  Volkswagen corporate identity, offers an 18,000 RMB  ($2,850) to all who ditch their Japanese car, and buy a Volkswagen.

This Volkswagen dealer, sporting previous-gen showroom architecture, also offers support for  the nationalistic  cause – and hopes that it will translate into more sales.

Meddling with politics is not limited to Volkswagen group dealerships. A Chinese Ford dealer joins the fray.

Turns out that Audi’s denial of any responsibility for the extermination banner was not quick enough. On the popular Japanese picture blogging site, two former statesmen were photoshopped into an Audi. (Along with yet another translation.)

Stay tuned. It will get ugly.  And I am afraid that Audi dealer will have to wait a little longer for his allocation of hot-selling Q7 …

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22 Comments on “New Trends In Dealer Advertising: “We Must Exterminate The Japanese”...”

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    I was confused by Subaru’s involvement in this imbroglio, until I realized that those were Subaru “In-Image” ads.

  • avatar

    The wag the dog mission has exceeded the Chinese government’s wildest expectations. Bo Xilai and Gu Kailai who? Economic slowdown what? China’s government has promised 2 billion people a middle-class American standard of living within a generation. In the face of limited resources and advances in automation that are making workers redundant at even Chinese pay levels. If it cannot deliver it better at least find some good distractions. Audi dealers, selling the Chinese government agent preferred car, are obviously more than happy to play along.

  • avatar

    I know there’s usually a buffer between the dealer and the manufacturer (the importer), but if the manufacturers of anything (not just cars) don’t have clauses in place for crap like this, they should.

    Nice to know that auto dealers are feral animals all over the world.

    Thought it was just a US thing. Silly me.

    • 0 avatar

      Considering that the typical GM, Ford, or Chrysler dealer is part of a dealer group that includes Japanese and German car dealerships too, this sort of hate is almost exclusive to the UAW here.

      • 0 avatar

        Trust you to try and bring the UAW into this. Completely irrelevant to the article. I know it is sad for you to read an article on TTAC that doesn`t disparage a domestic automaker or doesn`t confirm your view that all evil in the world is due to the UAW, GM and Obama.

      • 0 avatar

        So no points for defending US auto dealers? I was just pointing out that it is the UAW that spews violent hate rhetoric and not Domestic car dealers. Surely Bob King is proud of his use of violence, his hateful rhetoric, his segregated parking lots, and his patsies in the DOJ and the NLRB. Your denial would seem like an undermining of his thug authority to him.

      • 0 avatar

        Yah, but who hates the Japanese more? The Chinese, the Koreans or the UAW?

  • avatar

    I don’t understand that last picture, unless Audi’s trying to rewrite history. During WWII Germany was allied with Japan, not China.

    • 0 avatar

      The last image was Photoshopped by someone in Japan – which means whichever elements of the Chinese Communist Part who gave the green light to the public protests in China have also stirred up a hornet’s nest of nationalists in Japan.

    • 0 avatar

      The Germans actually treated the Chinese quite well.
      IIRC, even members of the Nazis found themselves appalled at Japanese brutality against Chinese civilians.

  • avatar

    I got that pic off of Patrick Chovanec’s Twitter feed, he’s not a bad source of China information and a decent business commentator, but he’s been a ‘China Bear’ for the past year.

    When I saw the Audi picture I had to do a double take, the body language and facial expressions give you some dissonance compared to the seriousness of what the banner says.

    And on a lighter note…if there can be a lighter note, the Taiwanese animators have recapped the whole situation:

    • 0 avatar

      Love the Taiwanese parady on youtube – especially the mere thought of mainland Chinese protesting for the “Rule of Law”, “Freedom”, “Human Rights”, “An End to Corruption” and “Democracy”.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    The funny thing about all this, is that the disputed islands are actually closer to Taiwan than to China or Japan.

    • 0 avatar

      As far as China is concerned Taiwan is part of China.

      But proximity to a country is no means to decide ownership. If you want to be technical, those islands are more close to Okinawan islands chains of Ishigaki-jima than Taiwan.

      The fact is, nobody, the Japanese or Chinese have ever lived on those islands, or settled there, neither have a real cultural claim to them.

      Really, all that matters is the last treaty or agreement that decided ownership of the island. Which was the San Francisco Peace Treaty.

      That island was the territory of the United States throughout the 50s and 60s, and at which point the US handed it to Japan after WW2. The US actually bombed that island as target practice. Nobody complained, its only in 1968 after oil was found nearby that anybody cared.

      Exclusive economic zones were only a recent agreement. And for that reason China and Taiwan only registered their claim for those islands in the 1970s. Chinese government-run news agencies frequently refereed to those islands as Japan’s in the 50s and 60s when they thought those islands were a bunch of useless rocks.

  • avatar

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Audi HQ approved the banner, as they probably thought it would be drowned in a sea of similar banners anyways and that it was cheap insurance against looters.

    But they probably could have toned down the language a tad.

    Audi probably won’t have to worry much about the Japanese backlash. The CEOs of the likes of Audi, Apple, and Louis Vuitton could probably leave a steaming pile on top of the Rising Sun flag in the middle of the Ginza on the NHK nightly news and the stores will still do brisk business. They (like the nouveau-riche Chinese) won’t go long without their lux goods. Not for long, anyway.

  • avatar

    Staying alive and doing some thriving business amongst idiots still is the ultimate challenge. North pole expeditions and extreme mountaineering are for the fainthearted.

  • avatar

    For some reason I think of “a sat-nav that only goes to Poland”, and an “ein fanbelt that will last a thousand years” when I see that last picture…

  • avatar

    That photoshop is offensive and uncalled for. Everybody knows that Hitler and Mao were both partial to Mercedes.

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