Japan brands fend off rivals at China auto show
GUANGZHOU, China (AP) - Global carmakers and their Chinese rivals put on sleek displays of new cars at a major auto show in Guangzhou, the southern Chinese stronghold of Japanese brands that have been hard hit by tensions between Tokyo and Beijing.
Nissan Motor, Toyota Motor and Honda Motor were among the dozens of brands showcasing new vehicles at the auto show in bustling, prosperous Guangzhou, near Hong Kong.
The beleaguered Japanese carmakers have suffered sharp drops in their China sales since a territorial dispute over islands in the East China Sea flared in September, inflaming anti-Japanese sentiment and sparking sometimes violent protests. But they did not shy away from showing off new models, going head to head with less established rivals sensing an opportunity to seize market share.
The show caps a year of relatively slow sales for carmakers in China, where competition is stiffening after years of white-hot growth. Despite the slowdown, the country remains the world's biggest auto market, underscoring its importance to carmakers.