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Car Industry in Gear for Auto China 2012

April 22 – Beijing – On the eve of China’s biggest motor show, the world’s top car market is expecting strong industry and consumer interest.

Overall Chinese auto demand is seen growing about 5% this year after a near flat 2011, when the economy slowed from a breakneck pace.

Auto China 2012 is a chance for the world’s carmakers and suppliers to make inroads with new models, and Nissan EVP Andy Palmer says the company has high expectations.

“Obviously, the Chinese market is the fastest growing market in the world. It’s already become Nissan’s biggest global market, and Infiniti’s second-biggest market, so it’s an incredibly important show for us,” Palmer said.

“We’re preparing the Infiniti stand, getting everything ready the day before the show. We have very important announcements, the first and foremost the long-wheel based M, which is also with a hybrid. This is a vehicle that’s been designed and engineered especially for the Chinese market. It’s also the Asian premiere of the Infiniti EMERG-E, so two very important products – one for today, one for tomorrow.”

China has an estimated 30 million cars on the road in a nation of 1.4 billion people, prompting substantial hikes in investment and production by automakers.

Analysts say up to 80% of car purchases in China are by first-time buyers, but increasingly lifestyle-oriented vehicles are finding greater market traction and the Beijing show is expected to reflect that.

Nissan widely outperformed auto peers last year as sales jumped 22% to 1.2 million cars, while total industry numbers in China hit 18.5 million – and are seen rising to 30 million by the end of the decade.

The Beijing show in 2010 saw a record attendance near 800,000 and 990 vehicles, while this year’s show is expected to rewrite the books again in a run until early May.


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