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Akio Toyoda to reiterate "promises of quality and safety" in Beijing

Aki Toyoda, the president and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation, will hold a press conference in Beijing at 6 pm (Beijing Time) today, to "reiterate Toyota's promises of quality and safety to Chinese consumers", said a spokesman of Toyota.

Currently, China is the world's largest auto market. Toyota recall crisis has inevitably damaged Chinese consumers' confidence in Toyota.

Zhang Zhiyong, an industry experts, noted that the main purpose for Akio Toyoda's China tour is to stabilize Toyota's market situation in China, as the recall crisis will bring numerous uncertainties to the company's U.S. market.

Last year, sales of Toyota fell 21 percent year on year in the U.S. to 1.554 million units. During the same time, although sales in China was only 709,000 units, the growth rate was 21 percent, indicating that China was Toyota's fastest-growing market.

Zhang said that Akio Toyoda's press conference was "symbolic."

In China, the company announced a recall of 75,552 RAV4 SUVs in late January due to the gas pedal problem. Media's massive reports have made the incident well-known in China.

According to a survey conducted by TNS Group, Toyota recall crisis is known to 74 percent of Chinese consumers and two thirds of them noted that the incident damaged their confidence in Toyota.

"Almost all the consumers ask me about Toyota recall crisis in the U.S.," said a Toyota dealer in Guangzhou.

After the Spring Festival holidays, China's auto market is expected to warm up in March. Toyota sales in China will be greatly affected if the company failed to handle the recall crisis properly.

By People's Daily Online

中文文本

丰田章男今抵北京“保卫”中国市场

丰田公司发言人表示,丰田章男将在2010年3月1日下午6时在北京举行记者会,“以此向中国消费者重申丰田对质量和安全的承诺”。

按照丰田公司的安排,继造访美国市场后,丰田章男将在1日造访另一个全球主要市场——中国。中国目前是世界最大的汽车市场,丰田此前的一系列质量危机,显然也影响到了中国消费者对丰田的看法。

汽车专家张志勇对本报记者表示,丰田章男这次来华的首要目的,是为了稳定丰田中国在华的市场局面。在召回事件的影响下,今年丰田在美国的市场表现可能会面临很多的不确定因素,具备增长潜力的中国市场今年能否保持稳定的增长对其至关重要。

去年,丰田品牌汽车在美国的销量为155.4万辆,同比下降21%。而同期丰田在中国市场的销量虽然只有70.9万辆,不到美国的一半,但同比增长21%,成为丰田增长速度最快的市场。

张志勇认为,丰田章男的这次说明会,更多的可能是一个象征性的举动,现在丰田的重心仍然在美国市场,北京说明会估计象征意义会更大一些。

上周四,国家质检总局发布的一则公告中称,除已被召回的RAV4运动型多用途车外,可能有更多在中国境内使用的丰田汽车公司生产的汽车也受到了加速踏板和制动系统缺陷的影响。

在这次丰田全球的大规模召回中,中国市场只有一汽丰田的RAV4一款产品被召回了7.5万辆,不到全球召回的850多万辆的1%。但在媒体的反复报道下,丰田召回事件在中国几乎达到了家喻户晓的地步。且在终端对销售的影响开始显现出来。

根据市场调研机构TNS汽车2月初发布的调研结果,74%的中国汽车驾驶者知道丰田召回,而其中三分之二的人认为这影响到了他们对丰田这个日本汽车制造商的信心。

上周三,丰田的广州经销商告诉本报记者,春节后,到店客户100%知道美国市场召回的事情,并会问他们相关的问题。

经过2月份车市的低迷阶段之后,车市预计将在3月中旬正式启动起来,如果不能对召回事件进行有效的应对,将会最终影响丰田汽车在中国的销量。