December 8, 2011 at 11:46 am
But competition is heading up in other parts of the market as well. volkswagen AG said at the auto show that it plans to launch its Seat brand—which it often aims at younger buyers—in China next year, and the German company announced a push into southern China, where it said Japanese brands have long been prevalent.
At the high end, fiat SpA of Italy said it plans to launch its Alfa Romeo brand in China next year, though the date hasn’t been determined yet.
Executives at the Guangzhou show said that China, while still growing, has become one of the world’s toughest markets. “Competition will likely heat up, and we may start seeing the beginning of a consolidation of the industry, with smaller, lower-tier makers being absorbed into bigger players,” said Kimiyasu Nakamura, chief executive of Nissan’s manufacturing and sales joint venture, though he added that could open opportunities for deep-pocketed foreign competitors.
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