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New Global Survey From Capgemini
Low brand / dealer loyalty
in the Chinese auto market

APN, PR, 21st November 2005.

Since most of them are first-time car buyers, no wonder Chinese consumers show very little brand loyality.

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 relationships.

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.

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