The top three Japanese automakers all plan to resume production at roughly half their normal levels after the end of China's weeklong National Day holiday on Monday amid a bilateral territorial row, the Nikkei business daily reported from the Chinese city of Guangzhou.
Nissan Motor Company aims to suspend its night shift and operate its Chinese factories only during the day for the time being, the newspaper said.
Toyota and Honda, meanwhile, plan to keep Chinese output at around half their usual levels by paring operating hours and running production lines at slower speeds, it said.
Halving production for a month will result in roughly 30,000 to 40,000 fewer vehicles at each of the three firms, according to the paper.
This will come on top of the production cuts they made last month in the lead-up to the holiday.
But Toyota, Honda and Nissan aim to carefully monitor whether the anti-Japan protests over the disputed islands in the East China Sea will lead to a significant sales drop.
Some locals refrained from buying Japanese brands, having seen mobs single out and smash Japanese cars in violent demonstrations in protest at Japan's Sept. 11 nationalization of the disputed islands claimed by China and Taiwan.
Partly because many dealerships closed during and after the demonstrations to avoid being targeted, Mazda Motor Corp., Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. reported 30-60 percent declines in new-car sales in China in September.
Similar results are expected for the top three Japanese automakers when they release results on Monday or later.
The automakers remain cautious, fearing that anti-Japan sentiment can instantly flare up if any new developments unfold in the island row.