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English>>China Business

Car firms show up in droves

By Li Fangfang (China Daily)

11:07, November 23, 2012

Visitors look at vehicles presented in the booth of Mercedes-Benz during the press day of the 10th China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, Nov. 22, 2012. The exhibition is expected to be held from Nov. 23 to Dec. 2, 2012. (Xinhua/Chen Yehua)

Japanese brands seek to claw back lost China sales at Guangzhou auto exhibition

Guangzhou's automobile market has had a tough time of late.

The combination of a city limit on the number of new cars allowed on its roads, and rising anti-Japanese sentiment, has meant falling sales in recent months.

But despite the downturn, organizers of the Guangzhou Auto Show 2012, said they expect the event to be the biggest in its 10-year history, with carmakers from around the world, including Japan, arriving in larger numbers.

Open for 10 days from Thursday, 950 vehicle models will be displayed, 50 more than the event in 2011.

A record 34 global debuts of vehicles will be made, with 23 of these from Asia.

Almost all of Japan's major car manufacturers have production bases in Guangzhou, giving its brands an important role in the South China market.

But business has been hit hard by falling orders and production cutbacks, due to tension resulting from Japan's illegal "purchase" of China's Diaoyu Islands.

The latest vehicle production forecasts for China from automotive strategy, planning and analysis company IHS Automobile, show just how severe the impact of the Diaoyu Islands dispute has been on Japanese vehicle production in China. Namrita Chow, a senior analyst with IHS in Shanghai, said that despite dealers offering strong discounts, overall sales of Japanese brands in China slumped 40 percent in October year-on-year.

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