Sales in China by Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp. and its two local joint-venture partners fell 5 percent in July from a year earlier to about 78,400 vehicles, according to a company spokesman.
The decline was the first for Toyota since January this year when its sales tumbled 26.2 percent because of China’s lunar new year holiday.
The spokesman, Takanori Yokoi, said the sales slide in July was “caused by a technical reason.” He said sales in July 2011 were “unusually high” following three months of sluggish business in the wake of Japan’s devastating earthquake on March 11 that year.
The earthquake and a tsunami it caused paralyzed production of key components in Japan and impacted Toyota’s vehicle production around the world, including China, depriving dealers of cars to sell.
For the first seven months of this year, sales were still up from a year earlier for the Japanese auto maker.
Its sales through July totaled about 520,800 vehicles, up 19.2-percent from the same period last year, according to Yokoi. That works out to an average of about 74,400 a month for the first seven months.
Yokoi said the Japanese auto maker was still on track to meet its goal of selling a total of one million cars in China this year.
Toyota’s China sales last year totaled about 883,400 vehicles, a 4.4 percent increase from 2010, reflecting in part the general slowdown of automobile sales in China last year.
Toyota would have to grow sales by about 13 percent this year to meet its goal of selling one million vehicles.