While Japan’s three biggest auto makers, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda, have been hit hard by the anti-Japanese sentiment and boycotts throughout China, Subaru, and its parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, are enjoying some of their best sales numbers this year. This all centers on the fact that Subaru is the only Japanese car manufacturer that doesn’t operate any factories in China, meaning the tensions over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands have had no effect on production.
Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, the president of Fuji Heavy Industries, says that it’s obvious selling cars in China is very difficult now, but Subaru doesn’t manufacture in the country, so it just switches to focusing on the U.S. and domestic Japanese markets. The funny thing is, in September 2011, exactly a year before the territorial dispute broke out, Subaru’s proposal to form a joint venture with Chery Automobile in the country was denied by the Chinese government. The reasoning was that Toyota already operates two factories in the country, and is a shareholder in Fuji Heavy. This was seen as a huge loss at the time, as China represents the world’s largest market for cars, but now it’s become their biggest stroke of luck.
Toyota, Nissan, and Honda are now dealing with idled factories and sharp declines in sales. But cars from Subaru, like the popular BRZ sports coupe that was co-developed with Toyota, are leading the company to an increase of 40% in its profit forecasts for 2012. Fuji Heavy still recognizes that it can’t get by without China in the long run, however. When the country is the largest market in the world, and Subaru is hoping to grow in the future, China is the only place to go.
[via Car Scoop]
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