First Automotive Works, China’s No.1 vehicle-producing conglomerate, joins forces with small-car maker Tianjin Automotive Industry Corp., in the first of what is expected to be many mergers as China moves toward full World Trade Organization membership. China’s auto industry currently is fragmented into more than 100 makers and dependent on joint-venture agreements with foreign manufacturers. Consolidation is considered vital if local industry is to compete with imports once tariffs are ...

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