The Chinese automotive market is on a roll: over the past five years, it has been the only car market globally to grow more than 20 percent, and in 2010 it posted an even-higher 30 percent growth. In spite of rising global energy prices and increasing costs for essential goods, the Chinese desire to own a car is as strong is ever. According to a new Nielsen study, nearly 94 percent of Chinese consumers say they intend to buy a car at some point in the future. More than a quarter (27%) plan to purchase a car within the year while 39 percent say they expect to buy a car in the next one to two years.
But not all potential car buyers are the same. For example, consumers born in the 1960s – a significant market force, as 74 percent of '60s-born Chinese consumers say they will purchase a car within the next two years – place a premium on safety and price, whereas exterior design trumps both safety and price among younger consumers born in the 1990s.
As fuel costs rise, would-be car buyers in China are somewhat open to alternative energy vehicles, as 27 percent of consumers said they would consider hybrid or the more-expensive electric vehicles to save money in the long term; however, sticker price continues to be a concern, and has held down purchase intention for electric vehicles to 40.8 percent compared to 67.9 percent for oil/electric hybrids.
For more on China’s auto market, click here to download A Snapshot of Today’s Car Buyers in China.