The masses have spoken, and they are numerous: China’s rapidly-growing car consumers are more likely to choose European brands than two years ago, instead of Japanese and homegrown Chinese cars.
J.D. Powers surveyed China’s buying habits, and found that 32% would buy a European car—up from just 25% in 2009. The figures for Japanese car buyers were almost exactly opposite: they dropped from 32% in 2009 to just 27%. European cars gained popularity through word of mouth, with people endorsing safety and power. Japanese cars got a knock for their dealership service, as well as perceived quality and reliability.
If this latter point seems bizarre to you, given Japan’s reputation for carbuilding, then it’s worth noting that the Chinese feel the same way about their Chinese cars as the world’s automotive pundits. Just 20% of buyers would recommend China’s domestic cars, citing the same quality concerns that fuel endless Youtube videos of Chinese crash tests. The cars mostly excelled in the compact category, with BYD and Chery as the two brands that came ahead in that market segment.
The survey covered 65 brands and 161 models, and 4,979 potential buyers responded from 53 Chinese cities.
[Source: Automotive News]