Japanese auto makers are hustling to make up for lost sales in China

Japanese automakers are hustling to make up for months of sales declines in China, driven in part by the 2012 political tensions between the two Asian economic giants.

But the Financial Times notes today that Japan’s sales decline in China wasn’t all political. Strategic errors such as underinvestment in capacity to churn out Japanese cars also contributed, according to auto analysts.. “The Japanese took a negative view of the market,” industry analyst Ivo Naumann told the FT. “They simply ran out of capacity. There was demand but they just couldn’t supply it.”

And yet, Japanese auto sales in China are actually rebounding, according to the FT; Toyota sales in China were up 45% year-over-year, for example.

Auto exports from Japan to China also seem to be picking up. In yen terms, they were up 53% in September compared to the prior year, which is a good sign.

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