China is a roadbump for Toyota's global resurgence
Toyota and other Japanese carmakers are reporting lower sales in China due to the two nations' dispute over offshore islands, but Toyota projects higher earnings worldwide.
Nissan announces its earnings today, and the numbers are expected to take a dip because of falling sales in China. Toyota's sales in China are down, too, but they're not stopping Toyota from making gains overall.
Toyota says it expects to reclaim its title as the number one seller of cars in the world, a title that GM won last year. The bad news: Toyota's October sales in China dropped 44 percent compared to a year ago. The drop was caused by the dispute between China and Japan over the Diayu Islands.
"This is definitely a part of their history and their past, and it's difficult for them to forgive and forget," says David Sullivan, an analyst with Auto Pacific. He says the conflict between China and Japan comes as China is trying to assert itself in the auto industry.
"I think we're going to continue to see this... I don't want to use the word belligerence, but toughness," says Greg Anderson, author of Designated Drivers: How China Plans to Dominate the Global Auto Industry. He says that toughnes isn't always in the best interest of the Chinese people.
"The ones who get hurt the most here, oddly enough, are the Chinese workers."
Whether it's a Corolla factory in Tainjin or a Honda dealership in Beijing, thousands of Chinese workers get their paycheck from a Japanese automaker.