Struggling Mitsubishi

Motors Corporation got a lifeline when Nissan Motor Company announced a 50-50 joint company to develop minicars, possibly for global markets such as India. A Nissan-Mitsubishi minicar will become available in calendar 2012, and Nissan will supply a light van and wagon for Mitsubishi in Japan. Mitsubishi will supply a sport/ utility vehicle for Nissan in the Middle East."This agreement is important for Nissan as it supports are expansion in emerging markets, meets immediate capacity needs overseas, and enables us to grow our minicar business in Japan,"Carlos Ghosn, Nissan's chief executive officer, said.

CHINA will replace Germany as Audi's biggest market this year, says chief financial officer Axel Strotbeck. Like GM's Buick brand, Audi got into the booming Chinese market early and maintains a lead in its segment, outselling both BMW and Mercedes-Benz. For the first 11 months of 2010, Audi sold 209,752 vehicles in China, versus 205,207 in Germany. The United States was the nurrber-four market, with 91,083 Audissold herein the first 11 months, behind Great Britain with 94,491.

MEANWHILE, add Subaru as a latecomer to the world's biggest auto market. Fuji Heavy Industries has sold import Subarus in China and plans to begin building them in China with an unnamed local partner, beginning April 1,2012. Subaru has targeted annual sales of 100,000 units in China, less than half its annual U.S. sales. It sold 52,000 cars there through November. Fuji Heavy Industries has targeted global sales of 900,000 units by 2015, up from about 660,000 in 2010. ■


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