Report: Auto Buyers Open To Chinese, Indian Brands

July 28, 2009
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.

[AutoPacific]

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