Toyota starts China sales campaign

Toyota said it had started a sales blitz in China days after the company president apologised to drivers in the world’s biggest car market for pulling 75,000 vehicles as part of its global recall.

Company president Akio Toyoda said sorry to Chinese consumers over the accelerator system defects, bowing before hundreds of journalists at a Beijing hotel.

The new sales drive includes interest-free loans for some models as well as roadside service and petrol coupons, company spokeswoman Wei Sun said in Tokyo. She denied the campaign was triggered by Toyota’s mass recall crisis, which saw it pull over eight million cars worldwide.

Wei Sun stressed that Toyota’s February sales in China were strong, rising 30 per cent year on year, but conceded that ‘the number of people who visit our sales outlets is dropping a little bit’. ‘We hope this campaign will help motivate people to come to our outlets.’

The promotional offers vary by model, Wei Sun said. For the Crown luxury sedan, ‘we will start zero-per cent interest loans as well as 24-hour roadside service for two years for sales contracts made between March 10 and the end of April,’ she told.

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