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Americans are not ready to buy Indian or Chinese cars

Published August 23, 2011

In 2018 China Car Times was acquired by Autowise. This article originally appeared on ChinaCarTimes.com.

According to this report from Indias Economic Times, American consumers are not entirely ready for an influx of low cost motors from China or India, although it appears that the younger generations are interested in buying a Chinese car with 52% of those surveyed indicating they wish to hop behind the wheel of a Chinese car, whilst 41% said they were interested in an Indian car. Baby Boomers were not taken with the idea of buying any car from a developing nation apparently:

A wave of new Indian and Chinese automobiles are poised to make their debut in the US market in coming months, but a new study has found that most Americans are not open to the idea of buying a car from companies like Tata, Mahindra and BYD.

Market research firm GfK Automotives Barometer of Automotive Awareness and Imagery Study found that Chinese and Indian auto-makers could face a similar purchase consideration curve to Korean vehicles when they launched in the US.

In that case, it took more than 15 years for consumers to significantly increase their consideration to purchase Korean vehicles.

The majority of American consumers are not open to buying a car from a Chinese or Indian manufacturer. Such auto-makers looking to break into the US market face challenges in brand awareness and acceptance, said the study.

The Barometer of Automotive Awareness and Imagery Study found that only 38 per cent of the respondents would consider buying a Chinese car and 30 per cent an Indian vehicle.

In contrast, 95 per cent are open to buying from an American company, 76 per cent from a German manufacturer, 75 per cent a Japanese vehicle and 49 per cent a Korean model.

Gen Y consumers were the most open to buying Chinese or Indian vehicles, with 52 per cent saying theyd consider a car from China and 41 per cent open to a car from India.

Predictably, Baby Boomers were the least interested. Supporting its report, GfK cited the challenge Hyundai initially had gaining market acceptance in America, stating that Chinese and Indian automakers could face a similar purchase consideration curve.
However, we would add that the quality, performance, safety and reliability of the models make all the difference. And Hyundai initially trailed in all those regards. Perception took years to change, because the company itself took over 15 years to offer competitive products, it said.

Companies such as BYD (China), Chery (China) and Mahindra (India) have in recent years declared their intent to launch products in the United States, only to repeatedly delay their introduction.

Clearly, the time will come when cars arrive on our shores directly from such manufacturers. For some, arguably, the time is now, as the current parent company for Land Rover and Jaguar, Tata, is an India-based corporation. And Volvo is owned by China-based Geely, GfK Automotive said in its report.

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