Bailing out of China? That's news to Toyota
How's this for a red herring? According to Chinese media, Toyota has denied murkily sourced press reports that it plans to pull out of China, the world's biggest auto market.
Yes, tensions have been high between China and Japan because of an ongoing territorial spat. But it's a surprise that the dispute had hit such lows.
The source of the report saying that Toyota was going to pull out of China is unclear. Japanese media have reported that Toyota is trimming its China sales target because of slumping sales, but there was nothing about abandoning the market.
Still, the government-backed China Daily fanned speculation with the headline: "Toyota denies withdrawing from China." The report continued: "Toyota has denied media reports that it will withdraw from the Chinese market and shut down production facilities."
Toyota has eight assembly plants in China with three joint venture partners. Through August it sold more than 630,000 vehicles to be the country's No. 4 foreign manufacturer.
Just for the record, Toyota does deny that it is high-tailing it out China. But the question is a no-brainer. It's akin to asking Toyota if it plans to pull out of North America or is working on a car that can fly to Mars.