Toyota considers suspending production at its largest assembly plant in China

Toyota plans to suspend production next week at its largest assembly plant in China, according to a Japanese newspaper on Tuesday, due to decreased demand for Japanese cars because of a territorial dispute between the two countries.

Toyota, the largest automaker in the world in the first half of 2012, announced that it will suspend production for a week from next lunesen its plant in Tianjin (northeast China), the newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

This facility, one of nine that Toyota has in that country, produces about 60% of the production of this brand in China, the newspaper added. It employs about 13,000 people and last year produced about 500,000 of the 800,000 vehicles assembled by Toyota in China.

A Toyota spokeswoman in Tokyo declined to comment on the Asahi article, stating that “production adjustments are part of the normal practice of the company and this does not reveal the details of these adjustments.”

Toyota and other Japanese automakers, including Honda and Nissan, have reduced their production in China due to a drop in sales following a diplomatic row between the two countries. The recent tensions between China and Japan over sovereignty over the islands of the East China Sea have a big impact on the activity of Japanese auto companies in the world’s largest market for cars.

These islands, known as Senkaku in Japan but called Diaoyu by China are in an area with rich fishery resources and potentially rich reserves of minerals and hydrocarbons.