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Report: Auto Buyers Open To Chinese, Indian Brands

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Tata Motors

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More signs that the world of today is very different from the one our parents and grandparents knew: according to stat-hounds AutoPacific, 15% of car buyers would consider purchasing a Chinese-brand vehicle, and 11% would mull the possibility of purchasing one from India. Those statistics may not sound very impressive until you consider that only 16% of Americans say they would look twice at car from Korea. Which kind of makes you wonder: is the public truly wary of cars from emerging markets, or do they simply not understand where Hyundais and Kias come from?

AutoPacific interviewed over 30,000 buyers over the course of the survey, entitled "Opportunity for Chinese and Indian Brands in the USA". Those surveyed were all new car buyers, and according to AutoPacific, a significant number of them came from the highly desirable demographic of young/well educated/affluent. Interestingly, those who responded positively to Chinese and Indian brands were more likely than others to own Japanese and Korean vehicles. Translation: automakers like Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai are more likely to face competition from Chinese and Indian brands than their counterparts in Detroit are. The survey implies that owners of Big Three automobiles are least likely to consider Chinese and Indian imports.

Obviously, the study will be of keen interest to automakers like Indian manufacturer Mahindra, which will soon begin selling pickup trucks in the United States. The same can be said of India's Tata Motors, which is sending its super-popular, super-low-budget compact to American dealers by 2012. Paired with the news that the company just recorded a 58% jump in profit, Tata may be a little gaga this morning.

That Disney mermaid was right: it is a whole new world.


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Comments (2)
  1. This is still largely a hypothetical discussion, since Indian and Chinese cars are not yet available in the states. Judging from the inhumane behavior the Chinese inflict on themselves (re: melamine milk fiasco), a nascent auto industry, and vast cultural differences, China has one chance to get it right the first time--a very tall order.
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  2. Given that most consumers have absolutely no idea where their cars actually come from anyway? A good modern many average Americans that had heard of the Pontiac G8 knew that is was designed and built in Australia...from what I've seen...not many. And there are more than a few other US market cars from the last few years that are assembled in low cost countries like Mexico, Thailand, South Africa and parts of Eastern Europe.
    Virtually every small car and utility vehicle on the Australian market regardless of brand is made in Thailand. Even Hyundai is making small cars in India these days because it is cheaper!!
    Where cars are made is no longer important...who makes them and to what standard is important.
    The entry of the so-called Chinese & Indian market into the US is inevitable but it won't be via some Chinglish'll be a brand you know and perhaps even respect that'll try and sell you a Chinese made car. Think VW, GM etc. (not Great Wall or some other unknown) and they won't be getting it that wrong...because they'll have had practice..
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