NAGOYA, Japan — Toyota Motor Corp. is open to raising the wages of workers in China, where a series of strikes have disrupted its operations in that fast-growing market, the automaker’s president said today.
Akio Toyoda said raising wages in China would bring some benefits, like helping to create a middle class of consumers who can go out and buy Toyota vehicles. He said managers and workers need to communicate better in China, adding that they share the same goal of building quality vehicles.
“It’s not all bad for us” to raise the wages of Chinese workers, Toyoda told a group of U.S. reporters at a Toyota museum in this central Japanese city.
Toyota, as well as rival Honda Motor Corp., have been forced to halt production repeatedly at car assembly plants in China since mid-May because of strikes at affiliated suppliers. The strikes have since inspired labor unrest at a number of other foreign-operated factories in China, where workers complain of low wages and poor conditions.
China is a popular location for international companies to locate their production because they often enjoy a lower cost of labor there. It is also one of the fastest-growing automotive markets and last year overtook the U.S. as the world’s largest car market.
But demands for higher wages and other rising costs are forcing some companies to rethink their China operations. Many are striving to stay profitable by shifting factories to cheaper areas farther inland or to other developing countries. A few Western corporations have even shifted some production back home.
Toyota executive vice president Shinichi Sasaki told reporters that the company is still a newcomer in China and said it is still working to understand that market.
“We really have to understand the mindset of the Chinese workers in our personnel management,” Sasaki said. “We are a young company in China.”
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info