Mitsubishi Motors, Mazda report China sales plunge

Mitsubishi Motors, Mazda report China sales plunge
Chinese look at overturned Japanese cars after an anti-Japan protest in Shenzhen, China's Guangdong Province, Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012. Japanese activists swam ashore and raised flags Sunday on an island claimed by both Japan and China, fanning an escalating territorial dispute between the two Asian powers. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
TOKYO (AP) — Mitsubishi Motor and Mazda have reported a plunge in China auto sales for September when tensions between Japan and China escalated into anti-Japanese riots.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said Friday its China sales dived 63 percent to 2,340 vehicles in September from 6,307 a year earlier. Mazda Motor Corp. said its sales in China sank 36 percent to 13,258 vehicles for the month.

Japanese media reports said Toyota had also suffered a sales plunge in China. But the world's biggest car maker would not confirm that. It said it would release September sales figures on Tuesday as planned.

Japan and China have been at odds over the sovereignty of a group of tiny islands in the East China Sea.

Tensions boiled over last month with anti-Japanese protests and riots sweeping dozens of Chinese cities.

Mazda said it was difficult to measure how much of its September sales decline was due to the row between Tokyo and Beijing.

It said some of its dealerships were damaged during the riots. In August, Mazda's China sales were down 5.5 percent from a year earlier to 16,539 vehicles.