Southern China auto show kicks off as embattled Japanese brands fend off rivals in stronghold

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GUANGZHOU, China - Global automakers and their Chinese rivals are putting on sleek displays of new cars as a major auto show in economically prosperous southern China kicks off.

The auto show got under way Thursday in bustling Guangzhou. The city is the Chinese base of Japanese car brands, which have suffered plunging sales in China recently because of rancour over a territorial dispute between Tokyo and Beijing.

The showcases staged by dozens of brands underscore the importance the world's carmakers place on China, the biggest auto market.

Japanese brands such as Nissan, Toyota and Honda showed off new models. They went head to head with less established rivals sensing an opportunity to seize market share.

Foreign marques including Peugeot unveiled new models designed specifically for China.

Organizations: Nissan, Toyota, Honda Peugeot

Geographic location: China, Southern China, GUANGZHOU Tokyo Beijing

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