Toyota partially halts output at Tianjin plant in China – Jiji

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Toyota Motor is partially suspending production at its plant in Tianjin, China, the Jiji news service reported on Friday, as global automakers face strong sales competition in the world’s top auto market.

The suspension is part of a major production adjustment in response to weak sales of gasoline-engine cars, Jiji said.

A spokesperson for Toyota China did not immediately comment on the report. A representative for FAW, Toyota’s joint venture (JV) in the Tianjin plant, said he was not immediately able to comment.

Reuters reported last month that Toyota has told dealers it will extend a plan to reduce output at its JV with FAW in China.

The cut, which was initially for October and November, will be extended by three months, the JV said in a letter dated Nov. 3, which was seen by Reuters and verified with one of the dealers.

Slowing sales pose a growing challenge in China to Toyota, which is seeing robust demand for its vehicles in other major markets such as Europe and North America, helping it post strong second-quarter profits.

China accounted for nearly a fifth of Toyota’s worldwide sales of about 8.5 million vehicles over the first 10 months of the year, including sales of its luxury Lexus brand.

Its sales and production in China over that period slipped compared to 2022 amid the rising competition.

China’s three bestselling models during the first nine months of the year were all electric vehicles, with Tesla’s Model Y taking the top spot, according to data from China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink and Rocky Swift in Tokyo, Brenda Goh in Shanghai; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Christina Fincher)

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