Japanese Automakers Aiming At The Chinese Market | Rpmgo.com

2011 Mitsubishi Galant

It seems that Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are attempting to expand their sales in the China which is at this moment, the largest automotive market in the world and it seems that it will remain the same for the following years.

Mitsubishi has set up its first 50/50 joint venture in the Middle Kingdom and is expecting to double the capacity there. Honda is also planning on doubling the production at the Wuhan factory where in the near future it will start producing hybrid cars.

These attempts to conquer the Chinese market come as a direct response to General Motors and Volkswagen AG, as these companies have already a strong activity in China. The most important international automakers that hold the first places for most cars sold to the Chinese market are VW, GM, Hyundai, Toyota and Renault-Nissan.

From all of the Japanese car manufacturers, Mitsubishi is the last one that formed a 50-50 joint venture in China. The Fuji Heavy Industries, who is a manufacturer of Subaru cars, also has no production there, but its plans are to sign a partnership until the end of the year.

2011 Honda Civic Sedan

Honda is currently constructing a secondary assembly plant for the Dongfeng Honda Automobile Corporation, one of the brand’s 50/50 joint ventures. Although the initial capacity of this new assembly plant was set at 60,000 units per year, Honda recently stated that they have increased the number to 100,000 cars.

By 2013, the capacity of Honda’s factory in Wuhan will reach 120,000 units per year and in the upcoming years; it will be able to make 240,000 cars annually. The Dongfeng Honda plant has at the moment an annual capacity of 240,000 automobiles.

The Japanese newspaper Nikkei noted that the new plant will be making the Civic subcompact model and that by early 2012, Honda will start manufacturing hybrids in China. Seiji Kuraishi who is Honda’s boss in China, confirmed that the Japanese automaker will start making hybrids in China in the near future, but did not shared other details regarding this topic. The Nikkei newspaper also noted that the Fit and Civic hybrids are two of Honda’s options for the Chinese factories.

Honda’s sales in China reached 475, 695 cars this year until September, which is a 16% increase in comparison to the similar period of last year. However, only 63 hybrids were sold in the first 9 months of 2010.

Honda is hoping that by 2013, their manufacturing capacity in China will reach 890,000 units per year, including the 480,000 cars at the Ghuangzhou Honda joint venture as well as at the 50,000 units manufactured at Honda Automobile China, which is a local venture that makes cars for export.

Mitsubishi will be buying a 50% stake at the GAC Changfeng Motor Corporation where at the moment it has only 14.6% shares. GAC Changfeng Motor can make 80,000 cars per year. The models being built there are the Mitsubishi Pajero SUV and the Changfeng-badged SUVs. Within the next five years, Mitsubishi wants to start making 250,000 cars at the factory. In July 2012, the Japanese automaker will start producing a new vehicle there. Mitsubishi also owns 25% of Fujian Motor Co., a venture that has a 150,000 annual capacity which produces the Mitsubishi Lancer and Galant sedans.