News Summary: China's automakers jump on SUV boom

China's struggling automakers, facing intense competition, look to SUV boom to drive sales

Associated Press

CHINA GOES LARGE: This is China's Year of the SUV. Whatever their specialties used to be, automakers ranging from global brands to China's ambitious rookies are scrambling to cash in on the explosive popularity of sport utility vehicles.

AWESOME!: China's BYD is known for electric cars but this year's flagship model is the S7, a gasoline-powered SUV. It comes with an air purifier, radar to help with backing and digital TV. An onboard hard drive can hold 1,000 films.

WAIT, WHAT?: The SUV boom clashes with Beijing's efforts to push automakers to develop electric cars and to sell smaller vehicles to help curb smog and demand for imported oil. But the SUV's image of safety appeals to prosperous Chinese drivers who face chaotic city streets while electrics from BYD and other producers struggle to attract buyers.

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