China protestors against Japan

The unrest in China may have positive consequences for automakers like Volkswagen and General Motors, according to Automotive News. As protesters continue their streak of violence, many owners of Japanese vehicles are leaving them home for fear of damage. Protesters have vandalized Japanese businesses and those that sell Japanese goods, including car dealerships, as well personal property. Reports indicate some owners are swapping their Toyota badges for those of Chinese automaker BYD in hopes of fooling vandalism-minded mobs.

Nissan, Toyota and Honda have all reported attacks on their dealerships, and China's Passenger Car Association has predicted Japanese automakers may lose their market lead to those based in the U.S. and Germany. General Motors sold a total of 1.84 million vehicles in China under a total of three brand names, while Volkswagen moved 1.49 million units this year. By comparison, Nissan has sold just 485,000 vehicles.

The protests mark the 81st anniversary of the Manchurian Incident, which saw Japanese forces invade China.