Subaru car maker Fuji Heavy Industries said on Wednesday that it won't start making vehicles in China anytime soon, but denied that it has abandoned production plans in the rapidly growing market, Dow Jones said.

A Fuji Heavy spokesman told the news agency the company, which has fallen behind its rivals in the rush to enter the Chinese market, will consider producing cars in China if demand becomes strong enough but it would be difficult to boost sales of Fuji Heavy's mainstay sporty design models to a level high enough to allow production in China.

Dow Jones said the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported that Fuji Heavy has abandoned plans to manufacture Subarus in China and noted that the cautious strategy for the General Motors affiliate contrasts with rivals such as Volkswagen that are accelerating their China output.

Dow Jones said Fuji established a dealership in Guangzhou in summer 2002 and launched trial sales of its Forester sport utility vehicle and Impreza passenger cars imported from Japan though sales were limited to several dozen vehicles last year.

The spokesman told the news agency Fuji Heavy will continue studying possible joint operations in China with the GM group, such as sales and production, although no concrete measures have been discussed yet.