FAW Toyota Motor Sales Co said Wednesday that it is offering a plan to help cover the losses Toyota buyers in China suffered when anti-Japan protestors vented their anger on Japanese brand goods last month, in a bid to soothe customers and boost sales.
"We are offering a plan to ensure owners don't incur losses due to the car-smashing incidents," Zhao Jie, a PR staff with FAW Toyota Motor Sales Co, told the Global Times.
The company will help cover the cost that auto insurance cannot cover, Zhao said. Owners can also have their broken vehicles fixed for free at 4S outlets and get 20,000 yuan ($3,160) subsidy if they want to exchange the broken cars with a new one.
"The value of the broken cars will be determined in line with the price of a second-hand car with no damage in the market," Zhao said, noting that the plan, which went into effect Monday, only applies to damages between September 10 and 30.
Luo Yun, a PR staff with Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile Co, told the Global Times that the company has no plan to cover the losses by Chinese Nissan owners for the time being.
"We are discussing about a solution to shrinking sales but it may not be one similar to that of Toyota," said Luo.
Other major Japanese car brands such as Honda Motor and Mazda Motor were not available for comment by press time.
Some Japanese brand vehicles were smashed during the massive protests against Japan in mid-September when the disputes between China and Japan escalated after Japan announced to "nationalize" the Diaoyu Islands.
Some dealers of FAW Toyota Wednesday said they had not yet been notified about the plan to help cover the damages, while others said they had already offered free repair this week.
"We are offering services that are included in the plan... But no car owner has dropped by or called to ask for the services," Guo Yanchun, a spokesperson at Toyota's Beijing Sanyuanqiao dealership, told the Global Times.
Amid the simmering anger in September, Japanese automakers also suffered hefty losses due to suspension of production and sliding sales.
Toyota Motor Corp said Tuesday its sales in September dropped 49 percent year-on-year. Honda, Nissan and Mazda also claimed 40, 35 and 35 percent fall in the month respectively, Caixin magazine reported Wednesday.
However, "sales are showing signs of recovery, and visits and telephone calls for information about our vehicles are rising these days." Guo told the Global Times.
Though the plan by FAW Toyota is supposed to soothe some car owners who were victimized and help gain the confidence of the market, Yan Jun, a resident in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, told the Global Times that she and her family decided not to buy Japanese vehicles any more.
"We bought the brand as it is economical and has good performance," said Yan who owns a Toyota Corolla. "Compensation (by automakers) won't help a lot. It is now a matter of safety rather than money."
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