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Japanese-brand auto sales soar in China market


BEIJING,  (Xinhua) -- Japanese automakers sold 2.93 million passenger vehicles in China last year, up 15.3 percent year on year and rebounding from their downturn in 2012, a Chinese industry association said on Thursday.

Sales of Japanese-brand cars surged 10.9 percent from a year earlier to 2.18 million units, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) said.

The association's calculation covers six Japanese brands, including Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, and Mazda.

Yao Jie, deputy secretary-general of the association, said sales of Japanese-brand autos started to recover in September last year after low sales for months caused by escalated tension between the two countries over territorial disputes.

The sharp increase was mainly a result of low base figures in 2012, said Yao.

But Japanese producers still have a hard time maintaining their market share. In the passenger vehicle market, Japanese brands took 16.35 percent of the market share last year, slightly down from 16.4 percent a year earlier, despite the increase in sales, the association's figures showed.

The association said uncertainties remain for Japanese auto performance in the new year because of volatile bilateral relations.



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