APN, PR, 21st November 2005.
Since most of them are first-time car
buyers, no wonder Chinese consumers show very little brand
In fact, the Chinese auto market shows
distinct differences in buying behavior from more
developed automotive markets, and vehicle manufacturers
and dealers need to be aware of these differences when
trying to sell in this region.
This was among the findings from the
seventh annual Cars Online study from Capgemini. The study
also found that the number of consumers in China who
currently own a car is small and those in the market for a
vehicle expect to buy a new rather than used car. In
addition, the majority of consumers in China who own a
vehicle are recent purchasers, as reflected in the fact
that nearly all of the cars are less than five years old.
"Although automotive companies in
China may face many of the same issues as their
counterparts in Europe and North America - including
competition and overcapacity - consumer buying patterns
are quite different from those in more mature
markets," says Mary Chong, Vice President and
Automotive Sector Leader, Capgemini China. "Without
an accurate understanding of consumer behavior, companies
will find it difficult to succeed in this market."
The research also found that both brand
and dealer loyalty remain lower in China than in
other countries since most consumers are first-time
buyers. And price is the number one factor influencing
consumers' choice of vehicle in China, with 98% of
respondents naming it, compared with 82% of UK consumers
and 83% of those in the U.S.
In addition, Chinese consumers are much
more likely than their counterparts in other countries to
rely on family and friends when researching vehicles,
which is to be expected in a new market as well as a
society that places considerable emphasis on personal
Yet Internet use also is high in
China, with 78% of consumers using the web to research
vehicles, compared with the overall average of 61%. Nearly
nine out of 10 of those web users in China are visiting
both manufacturer and third-party sites.
The web is also an important factor in purchase
decisions, with 79% of Chinese consumers saying they
are likely to purchase a vehicle because of a
manufacturer's website features, compared with the overall
average of 65%.
"These findings point to the
importance of integrating the web even further into
marketing strategies targeting the China region,"
says Nick Gill, Global Automotive Leader, Capgemini.
The study - which surveyed consumers,
dealers and manufacturers in China, France, Germany, the
United Kingdom and the United States - explores the
intersection between consumers, dealers and vehicle
manufacturers by comparing consumers' needs, demands and
preferences with dealers' and manufacturers' perceptions.
The report focuses on topics such as consumer behavior,
lead management, web usage and aftersales/servicing.
Capgemini, one of the world's foremost
providers of Consulting, Technology and Outsourcing
services, employs approximately 60,000 people worldwide
and reported 2004 global revenues of 6.3 billion euros.
Capgemini's automotive practice
serves 14 of the world's 15 largest vehicle manufacturers
and 10 of the 12 largest automotive suppliers. Its
automotive sector offers automotive-specific services such
as Lead Management, B2C Web Strategy, Optimization of
Dealer-Focused Operations and Global Emerging-Market
Sourcing. More information about individual service lines,
offices and research is available at www.capgemini.com.