Chinese car buyers prefer European vehicles instead of domestic products

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 13, 2011

Vehicle buyers in China are believed to now have a higher preference to buy European vehicle models than two years ago while they’re now less likely to consider buying Japanese and domestic Chinese models, the 2011 China New-Vehicle Intender Study of J.D. Power revealed. Thirty-two percent of the respondents to the survey would consider a European model, which was an increase from the 25 percent in 2009.

Vehicle models in Europe received high ratings due to upgraded powertrains as well as safety. Moreover, European models also bring strong word-of-mouth endorsements from friends and family members, according to J.D. Power.

On the other hand, only 27 percent of the respondents stated that they would consider Japanese models, a drop from the 32 percent in 2009. Moreover, 20 percent were willing to consider domestic Chinese brands, a drop from 26 percent.

The respondents of the study gave lower grades to models in Japan in terms of reliability and quality. They were also concerned about dealership services as well as the few recommendations from friends and family.

Furthermore, potential vehicle owners provided Chinese brands low grades due to quality issues. They also get few recommendations from their peer group. J.D. Power does not release the specific consideration rates for U.S. brands. However, there are three models built by GM that top the list of models with the highest consideration rates in their respective segments.

These three models are the Buick GL8, the Chevrolet Sail and Chevrolet Cruze. The study of J.D. Power, which is now in its third year, examines pre-purchase perceptions among consumers in China who intend to obtain a new vehicle within the next 12 months.

The survey was based on the responses of 4,979 potential car buyers in 53 Chinese cities. It was fielded in March 2011. There were 65 brands and 161 models included in the study, according to J.D. Power.

Topics: china, sales

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