"Honda will focus on compact cars and accelerate its pace in introducing new products designed for the Chinese market," said a Honda spokeswoman, Xia Gao.
Automakers who have made most of their money in big cities on China's prosperous east coast are expanding into lower-income but populous inland areas, which they see as the basis of future growth.
Nissan is targeting economically priced cars at lower-income cities while it also tries to sell high-end models, said a Nissan China spokesman, Sharon Shen.
Defying the overall slowdown, Nissan posted a 22 percent increase in sales in China last year to 1.2 million cars. The country has become Nissan's largest market, accounting for about 27 percent of global sales.
Shen says Nissan expects double-digit growth for 2012.
Global automakers have kept sales growing by taking market share from Chinese producers, but local rivals Chery Automobile Corp., Geely Holding Group and BYD are fighting back by promoting new features and services.
Chinese customers are getting choosier about design and colors, said a BYD spokeswoman, Veronica Jiang.
"BYD will focus on post-sale services, improve quality and continue to innovate to meet the changing demands in the market," Jiang said.
Geely plans to show 21 vehicles at Auto China.
In November, Chery and an Israeli partner, Israel Corp., launched a new brand, Qoros Automotive Co., with ambitions to become one of China's first automakers to meet stringent European safety standards.
At the luxury end of the market, growth has slowed but producers report double-digit gains.
Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz reports its best quarter ever this year, with sales in the January-March period up 24 percent over a year earlier at 54,720 units. Growth was driven by its premier S-Class.
AP Business Writer Elaine Kurtenbach in Shanghai contributed.
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