SHANGHAI -- Chinese car buyers are more likely to consider buying European models than two years ago and less likely to consider Japanese and domestic Chinese models, according to J.D. Power's 2011 China New-Vehicle Intender Study.
Thirty-two percent of the survey respondents would consider a European model, up from 25 percent in 2009.
European models received high ratings for safety and upgraded powertrains. They also drew strong word-of-mouth endorsements from family members and friends, according to J.D. Power.
By contrast, only 27 percent of potential car buyers said they would consider Japanese models, down from 32 percent in 2009.
And 20 percent of respondents were willing to consider domestic Chinese brands, down from 26 percent.
Respondents gave Japanese models lower grades for quality and reliability. They also were concerned about dealership service, and received few recommendations from family members and friends.
Potential car buyers gave the Chinese brands low grades for quality, and they got few recommendations from their peer group.
J.D. Power doesn't specifically release the consideration rates for U.S. brands. But three models built by GM - the Chevrolet Sail, Chevrolet Cruze and the Buick GL8 - top the list of models with the highest consideration rates in their respective segments.
The J.D. Power study, now in its third year, examines pre-purchase perceptions among Chinese consumers intending to purchase a new vehicle over the next 12 months.
The survey, fielded in March 2011, was based on responses from 4,979 potential car buyers in 53 Chinese cities. Sixty-five brands and 161 models were included in the study, according to J.D. Power.
Models with the highest levels of consideration in each segment include:
- Compact: BYD F0 and Chery QQ3
- Premium compact: Chevrolet Sail
- Entry midsize: Volkswagen Polo
- Midsize: Chevrolet Cruze
- Lower premium midsize: BYD F6
- Upper premium midsize: Honda Accord
- Luxury: Audi A4L
- SUV: Volkswagen Tiguan
- MPV: Buick GL8