Business / Auto China

Research finds improving domestic brand image, but buyers still wary

By Zheng Caixiong in Guangzhou (China Daily) Updated: 2013-07-15 07:26

A growing number of residents in major mainland cities think the domestic cars are becoming better, but more buyers still intend to purchase a foreign brand, according to a survey conducted in May.

Though 66 percent of respondents to the Guangdong Public Opinion Research Center survey agreed that domestic brand cars are getting better, only 19 percent of residents in three big metropolises said they would buy a Chinese brand. Forty percent prefer to purchase a foreign nameplate.

The first-ever such survey by the center, it included more than 1,500 residents in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, with 95 percent of the respondents urban residents.

Some 14 percent said domestic brand cars have shown only a little improvement. Another 4 percent think they have become even worse, according to the survey.

But "more than 80 percent of the residents who purchased a domestic brand car said the cars are getting better and better", the research found.

"And the figure was 20 percent higher than those who have not bought a Chinese or a foreign brand car," it reported

"Brand awareness of domestic cars has risen in the past years, but there are still some people who are used to buying foreign brand cars," said the survey.

More than 86 percent of those aged over 60 accept Chinese brand cars, 20 percent higher than respondents between 19 and 30 years old.

By the end of June last year, joint venture carmakers had registered to produce more than 114 million vehicles annually, with a large number of the operations based in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, began limiting car registrations in July 2012 in an effort to tackle the city's heavy traffic.

With a population of more than 16 million, Guangzhou has more than 2.4 million cars now on the road.

On average, 3.3 cars have to compete for or share a single parking place in the southern metropolis.

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