Scandal: Half Of Our Young Ready To Drive Chinese

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Someone call Homeland Security: Large segments of Americans (if we still can call them that) are willing to spend hard-earned dollars on (are you ready for that?) CHINESE cars. Market research company GfK Automotive’s did its annual Barometer of Automotive Awareness and Imagery, and found that a whopping 38 percent of the respondents would consider buying a Chinese car. Indian cars? A little less, but 30 percent ain’t nothing. That’s amongst all respondents. Once you get to Gen Y consumers, you’ll see wholesale desertion to the enemy.

Says the study:

“The openness to purchasing a Chinese and Indian vehicle is highest among Gen Y consumers, with 52 percent saying they are open to a vehicle from a Chinese automaker and 41 percent saying they are open to a vehicle from an Indian automaker.”

Imagine that. The cars aren’t even on U.S. shores, and especially basement dwellers are ready to buy them – even worse, with dad’s money.

India’s Economic Times (tip’o’the keyboard to Chinacartimes) of course gets it all wrong and writes that “the majority of American consumers are not open to buying a car from a Chinese or Indian manufacturer.” If 38 percent of all respondents and more than half of the Harry Potter Generation already are ready to abandon our hard fought freedom to buy American, Japanese, German and the occasional Korean cars, and cross lines to products of the vehicular dens of iniquity, then things are going down the drain, fast.

Said Don DeVeaux, managing director, GfK Automotive:

“When a relatively unknown auto brand enters the market, potential buyers are going to have some initial scepticism without a frame of reference into the company’s history and differentiators from other brands. Quality and repair support are critical factors that potential buyers evaluate before purchasing a new vehicle, and without an established history in the United States, Chinese and Indian manufacturers need to overcome the lack of knowledge of their brands among potential new buyers.”

But once they have their nose under the tent … Where is Glenn Beck when we need him?

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Mullholland Mullholland on Aug 23, 2011

    It's likely that the first Chinese car you or your children will buy here in America will be a Chevy.

  • Demetri Demetri on Aug 23, 2011

    If Chinese brands started selling cars here this week, I wouldn't consider one, but it doesn't have anything to do with them being Chinese. They just need to be proven. Hyundai paid their dues, and any new entries to the market will have to as well.

  • Mike Some Evs are hitting their 3 year lease residual values in 6 months.
  • Tassos Jong-iL I am just here for the beer! (did I say it right?)
  • El scotto Tim, to be tactful I think a great many of us would like a transcript of TTAC's podcast. 90 minutes is just too long for most of us to listen. -evil El Scotto kicking in- The blog at best provides amusement, 90 minutes is just too much. Way too much.
  • TooManyCars VoGhost; I was referring more to the Canadian context, but the same graft is occurring in the US of A and Europe. Political affiliation appears to be irrelevant.
  • The Oracle Going to see a lot of corporations migrating out of Delaware as the state of incorporation. Musk sets trends, he doesn’t follow them.