Tensions are rising out in China, as anti-Japanese sentiment continues to grow as a result of the two countries’ dispute over a group of islands in the East China Sea.
Perhaps looking to show its allegiance to China, an independent Audi dealership hoisted a banner that read, “Japanese must all be killed even if it means China is covered in graves. Diaoyu must be reclaimed even if China becomes barren land.”
Needless to say, the German automaker did not condone such an act, asking the dealership to quickly remove the banner once the photo hit the Internet. Audi media relations was quick to point out that it was an isolated incident, but it’s clear that Japanese automakers are feeling the impact on sales, and undoubtedly German automakers’ independent dealerships are trying to take advantage. Many Japanese vehicles are being damaged throughout China as a form of political protest against the Japanese.
“As a company, we should not take positions in political issues,” the Volkswagen AG said in a statement released on its website. “We sincerely regret such kind of behavior happened, and feel indignant toward this behavior.”
China’s Passenger Car Association is now predicting that Japanese brands will lose their lead over German brands for the first time since 2005 as a result of the anti-Japanese sentiments spreading throughout China.
[Source: Automotive News]