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Mitsubishi targets China SUVs

Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi Motors says it hopes to grab half of China's burgeoning market for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) by 2010 with its Pajero and Pajero Sport models.

The ambitious target from Japan's fourth largest carmaker will pit it against Toyota Motor Corp's Landcruisers, Honda Motor Corp's CRVs and General Motors' Chevrolet Blazer in a crowded and challenging segment of the world's fastest growing auto market.

China's car sales jumped 55 percent to pass the landmark one million mark this year, thanks to rising incomes, lower prices, and a wider selection of economy cars.

"The market for SUVs is growing so quickly, much faster than our expectations," said Hideyasu Tagaya, Mitsubishi's corporate general manager for Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

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