Honda Motor Co. employees in the Chinese city of Wuhan need only visit the popular Feng Bo Zhuang restaurant to see the resentment their company faces. A sign at the door says Japanese are barred from entering.
Ford Motor Co. is on a tear in China, with sales up 54 percent this year on the strength of its Focus small car. Long an also-ran in the world’s largest auto market, Ford is now outselling Toyota Motor Corp. there.
Volkswagen AG recalled a record number of vehicles in China to replace defective gearboxes that may result in the loss of acceleration, in a move that may cost Europe’s largest carmaker more than $600 million.
PSA Peugeot Citroen predicts China will overtake France as its biggest market from as early as 2015, as Europe’s second-largest automaker increases the number of dealerships and expands into smaller Chinese cities.
Two weeks after Japan’s March 11 earthquake knocked out more than 650 of Toyota Motor Corp.’s suppliers, halting worldwide production, the automaker had to decide where to focus its resources. It picked the Prius.
China is clamping down on overcapacity in the world’s biggest automobile market, benefiting companies with entrenched production and sales, such as General Motors Co., while hurting newcomers to the market.
China’s passenger-vehicle sales trailed analysts’ estimates for the first time in five months, as demand slowed with the economy and some consumers held back purchases in anticipation of government stimulus measures.